More de­lays on N3 fix

San­ral seeks R128 bln for projects

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

SOUTH African Na­tional Roads Agency Lim­ited (San­ral) CEO Skhum­buzo Ma­co­zoma had bad news and more bad news for road users on es­pe­cially the busy routes through KZN.

Ma­co­zoma was de­liv­er­ing the key­note ad­dress at the South­ern African Trans­port Con­fer­ence, held in Pre­to­ria on Mon­day. He ti­tled his speech ‘The Road Construction Sec­tor’s Con­tri­bu­tion to the Trans­port Fu­ture That We De­sire’.

He said San­ral has projects on the books that will cost R128 bil­lion, but the roads agency can­not start on any of th­ese projects be­cause tolls and fuel levies are not ac­ces­si­ble.

“Peo­ple are anti-fuel levy now. So now, you can’t use the fuel levy. And then pub­lic funds are not suf­fi­cient.”

He did not ex­plain why the fuel levy, which started out as a fund to de­velop South Africa’s road in­fras­truc­ture, can­not be used, or why San­ral can­not be funded from the R118 bil­lion gov­ern­ment will get from tax­ing fuel sales in 2018.

“The si­t­u­a­tion with tolls in this coun­try now is that, num­ber one, peo­ple are anti-toll, and now we can’t toll any­thing,” he said.

Ma­co­zoma said fund­ing and plan­ning con­straints are de­lay­ing im­prove­ments to two sec­tions of the N3 — Van Ree­nen’s pass, which is con­trolled by the N3TC and tolled; the San­ral-con­trolled N3 sec­tion from Cedara to Dur­ban; as well as a rapid rail link from Gaut­eng to Dur­ban.

Ma­co­zoma, who holds a BSc and MSc (Civil En­gi­neer­ing), has launched a turn­around plan at San­ral, dubbed Hori­zon 2030.

In this, he hopes to get more loans to fi­nance San­ral plans. He told Lead­er­ship mag­a­zine in an in­ter­view last year: “Roads have to com­pete for funds from the fis­cus with other so­cio-eco­nomic pri­or­i­ties and it is of crit­i­cal im­por­tance to find a work­able fund­ing strat­egy.

“Pub­lic funds will no doubt con­tinue to form a sig­nif­i­cant share of our fund­ing model. Na­tional Trea­sury is the cus­to­dian of pub­lic funds and should de­ter­mine how th­ese are sought.

“We will fo­cus on the plan­ning and where we sub­mit re­quests, we ex­pect we will be given the money to carry out the work.

“When we first in­tro­duced pri­vate fi­nanc­ing, we in­creased our fund­ing en­ve­lope and were able to move quicker in de­liv­er­ing on projects. We still see the need for pri­vate fi­nanc­ing, with the bulk com­ing from the fis­cus, but we need a con­sen­sus as South Africans on a fund­ing pol­icy and on when to use pri­vate fi­nanc­ing and how.

“The one good thing that had emerged from the e-toll saga is it has brought into sharp fo­cus the need to de­bate and agree on how road in­fras­truc­ture will be funded,” he says.

Lead­er­ship re­ported Ma­co­zoma also be­lieves there is an op­por­tu­nity for San­ral to gen­er­ate its own rev­enue and add it to what will be an in­te­grated fund­ing model in­clud­ing pub­lic tax-based fund­ing, pri­vate capital and own rev­enue.

A busi­ness de­vel­op­ment strat­egy to ex­plore po­ten­tial ar­eas of own rev­enue gen­er­a­tion, again bot­tomup, is cur­rently be­ing crafted but Ma­co­zoma con­firmed his po­si­tion that pub­lic funds will be the big­gest slice of the pie for the roads agency.

PHOTO: FIN24

San­ral CEO Skhum­buzo Ma­co­zoma has plans to fix SA’s roads, but needs funds.

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