roll-out and procurement strategy will be key to stimulating Limpopo economic growth. RAL is not only a quality road infrastructure delivery parastatal, but an economic driver as well. Limpopo Development Plan 2020, a provincial version of the National Development Plan (NDP), draws linkages between road infrastructure and key sectors of the Limpopo economy such as mining, agriculture and tourism. RAL has already set the benchmark with regard to procurement as it continues to create jobs and support SMMEs. The agency has ringfenced 30% of its construction costs for SMMEs in communities where its projects are implemented. Do partnerships with the private sector form part of the strategy for RAL? The current management and board of directors believe partnerships with the private sector are the future. Government budgets are constrained. To put it in context, RAL has been allocated R988.9 million for operational costs, upgrading and maintenance of roads during the 2018/19 financial year. However, at current estimates, it needs R160 billion to upgrade and maintain the entire road network of about 19 997 kilometres in this sparse rural province. Approximately 6 179km of the road network is tarred. The balance of 13 818km is gravel. The total kilometres upgraded from gravel to tar in the period 2015 to 2017 is 168km. The biggest backlog is oddly experienced in mining districts, such as in the Sekhukhune District Municipality. It was in this context that in 2015, RAL adopted a strategic partnership approach as part of the successful turnaround strategy for the agency. The agency has recently surpassed the half-a-billion-rand (R500 million) milestone with the funds raised in the four years since the appointment of the board led by Mr Matome Ralebipi and Chief Executive Officer Mr Maselaganye Matji. Most of the funds were raised from the mining industry, followed by the agricultural sector. The
agency is hoping to lobby the tourism sector and intensify the participation of the agricultural sector. These three industries are the key contributors to the provincial Gross Domestic Product. This has resulted in a serious dent in the battle against the road infrastructure backlog that has been the bane of the province. Resources are rechannelled to areas that need such infrastructure the most. This approach has enabled the agency to deliver road infrastructure in areas as such Muyexe in the Mopane District, one of the poorest villages in the country. What are some of the projects that RAL is involved in? RALâ€™s partnership with our national counterpart, South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), is starting to bear fruit, particularly since 2014. Not only has SANRAL made tangible road infrastructure investments in Limpopo, but the transfer of some sections of regional roads to SANRAL has enabled RAL to increase its turnover of projects. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2018/19
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