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FEATURE

Supplied by: The Department of Transport

SANRAL paving the way for economic and social upliftment

T

he national roads network, which spans the length

upgrading existing routes whilst also investing in new infra-

and breadth of South Africa, plays an important role

structure that will open new vistas for economic emancipa-

in the economy.

tion and social upliftment.

Over the years, the length of the network has increased

“Deteriorating roads are being repaired; additional capacity

significantly. In April 1998, the South African National Road

is being added; dangerous segments are being eliminated;

Agency Limited (SANRAL) managed 6 622km of national

and new routes that are shorter and safer are being carved

roads. By 1 September 2016, the length had increased to

on the national landscape,” says the Minister.

21 946km. As the network increases, so too does the need for mainte-

sources in managing road infrastructure and activities with

nance, says Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters, under whom

the use of Variable Message Signs during the construction

SANRAL falls.

of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project. This was later

She points out that there is a general lack of infrastructure maintenance by all sectors of society – government, private big business and every individual in South Africa.

extended to fixed points along some of the major corridors in Cape Town and Durban. “SANRAL also introduced solar-powered toll plazas at two

“We South Africans do not look after our assets very well.

of its plazas. The Dalpark Plaza – a SANRAL-run plaza - uses

We have a mind-set of buying or building new things all

a solar plant for its mainline toll plaza operations and the

the time instead of maintaining what we have.

Diamond Hill Plaza (managed by Trans African Concessions)

“We must change this mentality, whereby we see government, private business and every individual adopting a renewed mind-set in looking after the infrastructure we currently have,” Minister Peters adds.

Maintaining and upgrading infrastructure

started using solar power as an alternative energy source in September 2014. “The two plants serve as pilot projects and the objective is to roll out further solar-powered toll plazas along the 3 120 km of freeway that constitute SANRAL’s toll road portfolio. In addition, energy-efficient lighting has been fitted to

SANRAL’s philosophy is to maintain its assets first and only

reduce consumption. This means that by replacing conven-

then allocate funds towards upgrades or new infrastructure.

tional luminaires with LED technology, the agency is able to

“SANRAL is spending billions of rands in maintaining and

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In 2008, SANRAL introduced the use of renewable energy

save 30 percent of its power requirement,” she adds.

Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017


PSM December/January Edition 2016/2017