Exxaro pledges R100 M for Lepha­lale road

African Times - - FRONT PAGE - PIET RAMPEDI Photo: Muku­rukuru Me­dia

Exxaro Re­sources has set aside R100 mil­lion to tar a road in Lepha­lale.

The project fol­lows the sign­ing of a Mem­o­ran­dum of Agree­ment be­tween Exxaro Re­sources and Roads Agency Lim­popo (RAL) on Wed­nes­day. This is the sec­ond strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween Exxaro and RAL since 2015.

Both par­ties re­leased a joint state­ment say­ing the project would be im­ple­mented jointly by RAL and Exxaro. The project is for the up­grade from gravel to tar road D2001 that stretches 9.56 kilo­me­tres.

“The es­ti­mated cost of the project is R100 mil­lion, and Exxaro will con­trib­ute 100% of the project cost,” they said in a state­ment.

This is the sec­ond strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween Exxaro Re­sources and Roads Agency Lim­popo SOC. The first project, which is still in im­ple­men­ta­tion stage is due for com­ple­tion by end of Novem­ber 2018.

This is for the up­grad­ing of sev­eral roads con­nect­ing Ga-Seleka vil­lages to the Com­mer­cial Cen­tre of Lepha­lale which was jointly iden­ti­fied through the In­te­grated De­vel­op­ment Plan (IDP) of the Lepha­lale Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, and the pro­vi­sion for co-fund­ing was sub­se­quently in­cluded in Exxaro Grootegeluk’s So­cial and Labour Plan (SLP). The cost of the project is R250m, and Exxaro con­trib­uted R71.2m or 28.5% to­wards that con­struc­tion with RAL car­ry­ing the bal­ance of R178.8m.

Exxaro’s Ex­ec­u­tive Head of Coal Op­er­a­tions Dr Nom­basa Tsen­gwa said: “the com­bined over­sight role that RAL and Exxaro have through their re­spec­tive Project Man­agers and En­gi­neers has been pro­fes­sional and make for a suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship.”

She says Exxaro de­cided to fund this project not only be­cause it was a manda­tory re­quire­ment for Exxaro and fu­ture project de­vel­op­ments, but also be­cause it was not cur­rently pro­vided for in the RAL bud­get.

“As a re­spon­si­ble citizen, Exxaro un­der­stands that Pub­licPri­vate Part­ner­ships (PPP) are re­quired to al­le­vi­ate the backlog on in­fra­struc­ture to power bet­ter lives for all com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

Roads Agency Lim­popo CEO Mase­la­ganye Matji said the un­der­tak­ing by Exxaro was an in­di­ca­tion that the pri­vate sec­tor has con­fi­dence in the way the Agency con­ducts busi­ness.

He added that the strate­gic part­ner­ship ap­proach has been one of the key tenets of RAL’s suc­cess­ful turn­around strat­egy. Since 2015, RAL has raised a con­sol­i­dated R382 mil­lion from the pri­vate sec­tor to co-fund the con­struc­tion and main­te­nance of roads in eco­nom­i­cally strate­gic ar­eas.

“The amount has now in­creased to R482m and fast ap­proach­ing a half a bil­lion mile­stone. Most part­ner­ship con­tri­bu­tions are be­tween 25% and 30%, and those who have ex­pe­ri­ence of work­ing with us have in­creased th­ese con­tri­bu­tions sig­nif­i­cantly in sub­se­quent projects,” he said.

Matji fur­ther added that at cur­rent es­ti­mates, RAL will need R160 bil­lion to main­tain and up­grade the en­tire road net­work in Lim­popo. The bud­get al­lo­ca­tion from pro­vin­cial trea­sury for the en­tire De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works, Roads and In­fra­struc­ture for 2018/19 sits at R3.1 bil­lion, of which only R988.9 mil­lion is al­lo­cated to RAL for this pur­pose.

He re­it­er­ates that th­ese pri­vate sec­tor con­tri­bu­tions have helped to sup­ple­ment the grant al­lo­ca­tion from govern­ment of build­ing roads.

“We are, there­fore, mak­ing a steady dent in the bat­tle against the road in­fra­struc­ture backlog that has been the bane of the prov­ince,” he said.

Roads Agency Lim­popo ringfence 30% of ev­ery project value to the em­ploy­ment of lo­cal Small Medium and Mi­cro En­ter­prises (SMMEs) and 10% to the em­ploy­ment of lo­cal labour­ers in ar­eas where it im­ple­ments its con­struc­tion projects.

The pro­posed road in­fra­struc­ture project is ex­pected to fa­cil­i­tate for the com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment in Lepha­lale and con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to­wards re­duc­ing the cost of do­ing busi­ness in the area.

The ex­ten­sion of the up­grade will pre­dom­i­nantly as­sist with easy ac­cess to the op­er­a­tions whilst also ben­e­fit­ting all other road users in the area as well by re­duc­ing trav­el­ling time and im­proved road safety of com­mu­ni­ties.

Other ben­e­fits will in­clude job cre­ation and peo­ple de­vel­op­ment in the area. Pub­lic Works MEC, Roads and In­fra­struc­ture Nandi Ndalane.

NEW BE­GIN­NING: Lim­popo Pub­lic Works MEC Nandi Ndalane and RAL CEO Mase­la­ganye Matji par­tic­i­pate in a sod turn­ing cer­e­mony for the con­truc­tion of a multi-mil­lion road. in Sen­wabar­wana Exxaro has pledged R100 mil­lion to up­grade an­other road in Lepha­lale...

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