Note from the Editor
Welcome to another exciting edition of Mmileng. This edition is packed with regular features including the always edifying Big Interview, popular Personality profile and RAL at Work. First up, we have highlights from the Roads Agency Limpopo shareholder representative’s Budget Speech. The Honourable Nandi Ndalane, the MEC for Limpopo Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure tabled her budget vote in the provincial legislature earlier in the quarter. Our coverage includes the breakdown of the budget allocation to programmes of the department for the 2018/19 financial year, down to the department’s flagship public entity, RAL, for upgrading and maintenance of the provincial road infrastructure.
Considering the provincial road infrastructure backlog, RAL’s budget allocations are never sufficient. RAL will need R160 billion holy grail to maintain and upgrade the entire road network in Limpopo.
In this regard, the Agency is continuing full steam with its successful Strategic Partnership Approach to raise funds from private sector partners to co-fund the upgrading and maintenance of roads in the province. This approach has helped to lessen the burden of backlog, and funds raised in just four years are hovering on half a billion-rand mark.
The confidence that the private sector has in the way the Agency handles these projects and conduct its business has resulted in increased contributions and partnerships. A case in point is Exxaro Resources, a dominant miner in Lephalale area who recently signed a R100 million Memorandum of Agreement to upgrade another road as part of a network of roads that in the end will link as much as thirteen villages around Ga-Seleka on the outskirts to the commercial centre of Lephalale. Exxaro has committed to contribute every cent of that project cost. This is even before tools at the site of the current and first project between the two companies, due for completion in November 2018, are packed up.
Another partner in road infrastructure development in Limpopo Province is the South African National Roads Agency Limited. We profile the national agency’s road infrastructure investments in the province.
Also, within these pages in the spirit of youth month, we dole up inspirational youth nuggets courtesy of Big Interview with RAL Board member Xitshembhiso Russel Mulamula and our personality Cornet Mamabolo.
Over the past editions you might have noticed that we are cutting down on Insights columns to gradually create more space for content that is of public interest. The two remaining ‘in the public interest’ columns, the Board’s View and from the CEO’s Desk, will from now on appear strategically twice out of the current four edition-cycle.
One introduction in this edition is the vox pop page (Mintirho ya vulavula), where we get views from members of the public at the very coalface of communities on matters of road infrastructure, a key service delivery concern in our province. This is because we are aware that not everyone is embracing new media platforms. In this regard, we are also inviting traditional ‘Letters to the Editor’ from the next edition, and you are encouraged to get involved. Please address your letters to, The Editor Mmileng, Private Bag X 9554, Polokwane, 0700.
You can also email your letters to Mmileng Editor at email@example.com
Otherwise, for immediate response, follow us on our relatively active social media platforms, on Twitter @RoadsAgency and Facebook @roadsagencylimpopo. Another secure way to link to our official channels is through the Agency’s website, ral.co.za