By Gabi Khumalo
A safe and reliable road transport infrastructure is a key basis for South Africa’s efforts to accelerate economic growth and social development. But more critical to the effective transport infrastructure is no doubt, an efficient road network.
Almost two decades into its establishment, the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has steadily grown the size of the national road network, primarily to improve connectivity between the cities of South Africa and across the region. With October being Transport Month, SAnews looks at a new SANRAL policy that aims to transform South Africa’s road network to support economic growth over the next years.
The agency has in the past five years re-examined its core values and strategy to take stock of the environment and determine how it can further improve on the delivery of its mandate, and in response to deliver on its vision of a national transport system that delivers a better South Africa for all. SANRAL has unveiled a strategy, which outlines the agency’s vision for road infrastructure and development.
Also known as Horizon 2030, the SANRAL 2030 Strategy takes into account the priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP), and government’s strategic objective to build a more inclusive economy.
The NDP aims to reduce inequality and eliminate poverty by 2030. These goals can be achieved by drawing on the energies of South African people, growing an inclusive economy, building partnerships throughout society and enhancing the capacity of the state.
Horizon 2030 sets out the critical enablers that will make it possible for SANRAL to remain a respected, dynamic and responsive organisation over the next 13 years. It defines targets for the participation of black businesses, with emphasis on youth and women.
The strategy also calls for a number of key deliverables, including the development of Roads 2030 long term plan, public transport enablement, an enhanced role in terms of community development, equitable access to economic opportunities and an integrated funding model.
To ensure high levels of user satisfaction, the SANRAL’s Draft Transformation Policy states that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy must be aligned with the business strategy.
The agency will define ICT maturity level and ensure user satisfaction, drive innovation and smart solutions, enhance information security, increase bandwidth and capacity, and create a paperless environment.
Business will be awarded to ICT entities that are 51 percent black-owned, with a minimum Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Level 3 rating for contracts above R50 million.
The policy proposes the review of the agency’s Human Resources strategy, policies and organisational structure. SANRAL will strengthen leadership development, effective recruiting through the Employment Equity Plan and skills development, drive high impact performance team culture and ensure succession plan by using talent management.
Specific targets for scholarships, bursaries and internships will also be set up to grow the pool of young professionals.
Road network management
Horizon 2030 proposes a review of the proposed road transfers from provinces to SANRAL, from the original additional 15 000km to only 3 000km.
The policy notes that a reduction in the kilometres of roads earmarked for transfer will result in a more sustainable national road network of 25 000km with an increased budget per kilometre.
The mechanism to identify and sign off the additional 3 000km will be coordinated by the Department of Transport and SANRAL through the MinMec structure, the policy states.
Supply Chain Management
According to Horizon 2030, SANRAL’s procurement model takes into account established and emerging sectors, ensures compliance to sound practices, constantly engages with suppliers and keeps track of the impact of supply chain management practices.
SANRAL will determine supply chain management (SCM) maturity level, develop SCM operating model, build sound SCM governance framework, introduce procurement impact analysis methodology and enhance contract management capability.
SANRAL will also pursue black real estate and property developer empowerment, to ensure that there is adequate supply of black entities and professions within its industry.
The agency intends to only do business with real estate and property development entities that are 51 percent black-owned, with a corresponding minimum B-BBEE Level 2 rating from contracts above R300 million. It will also target and allocate all opportunities below R100 million to black real estate and property development entities.
Fighting poverty and inequality
Unveiling the strategy on 29 September 2017, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi commended SANRAL for the initiative, saying that the strategy will go a long way in contributing to youth employment, fighting poverty and inequality.
“Horizon 2030 is SANRAL’s pro-active response to the changing dynamics across various sectors of the economy and society. It will ensure that communities across the country share the benefits of a well-managed road network that supports the growth of a transformed economy that contributes to job creation and empowerment,” Minister Maswanganyi says.
He also underscores the need to change the structure of the economic systems of black economy, this includes change in institutions of economy, ownership of economy, as well as management and control of the economy, in favour of all South Africans.
SANRAL CEO, Skhumbuzo Macozoma says the strategy contains the framework for transformation, adding that the agency will be a bit aggressive in pursuing transformation.
Macozoma says SANRAL has a role to play in supporting road authorities, and that the agency will build co-operative relationships with other road authorities and departments for effective delivery.
The agency also wants to limit the number of contracts going to an individuals, ensure that there’s direct benefits for the communities and creates space for business to play