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20 September 2019

National efforts to secure funding for the maintenance of
South Africa’s high-quality road network are
being undermined by “narrow-minded groups” that encourage people to break the
law, says South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral)
CEO Skhumbuzo Macozoma.

He laments that it is “outrageous” that an
organisation, such as Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), can “criticise a decision”
by the New Development Bank (NDB) to extend a R7-billion loan for road infrastructure development projects.

Macozoma adds that the organisation’s actions will
deprive South African citizens of “world-class” national road infrastructure.

He reiterates that Sanral is “doing its best” in
tough economic conditions and amid unfavourable bond markets to secure funding
for road development.

“The loan from the NDB shows international
confidence in our capabilities despite the destructive comments from Outa.”

Macozoma says Outa and other special interest
groups have led an illegal civil disobedience campaign to encourage citizens
not to comply with their legal obligations to pay e-tolls.

“It is thanks to them that the level of compliance
on the network is low and the much-needed extension of the Gauteng freeway
network cannot proceed,” he points out, adding that these organisations are the
reasons the delivery of toll road infrastructure has
slowed down in the last decade.

As a result, this infrastructure will have
to be delivered at a “much higher cost”, if at all, in the future, owing to the
delayed maintenance.

“It is time that the government and the citizens of
South Africa hold Outa to account
for the civil disobedience campaigns that are contributing to the long-term
destruction of critical road infrastructure,” Macozoma

The funds from the NDB will enable Sanral to bring
forward much-needed improvements to toll road infrastructure across
the country, which were delayed because of the declining income for the first
phase of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.

Sanral continues to look for more funding options to address the backlog of R140-billion for toll road projects that are currently without funding. https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/sanral-blames-narrow-minded-groups-for-delays-in-road-maintenance-2019-09-19

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