Skhumbuzo Macozoma plans ‘balanced funding portfolio’ for road upgrades
The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) plans to achieve a "balanced funding portfolio with fuel tax-based revenue and toll income", its newly appointed chairperson Skhumbuzo Macozoma said this week.
The new inclusive approach was welcomed by the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), which has consistently argued that general taxation and, in particular, the fuel levy, was the best way to fund the upgrade of urban freeways.
Macozoma said Sanral would explore "progressive strategies to pursue partnerships with the private sector and civil society to ensure successful national road infrastructure development in the medium to long term."
Outa said this was a "welcome departure" from the adversarial approach of former Sanral CEO Nazir Alli.
Macozoma said Sanral would engage with provincial and municipal governments to ensure that road infrastructure planning was integrated and that Sanral’s programmes contributed to regional and local social and economic development.
Partnerships with the private sector and civil society would bring certainty with regard to Sanral’s borrowing plans and its capital project pipeline, he said.
He warned that deferred investment in maintenance and new roads construction projects would raise costs exponentially in future — the maintenance backlog alone already stands at R197bn, he said.