Date: 10 February 2018 By: Andries van Zyl
The Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) say they are reaping the benefits of their resourceful association with the mining Industry.
In 2015, the then-new RAL board and executive management of the agency, led by the board’s chairperson, Matome Ralebipi, and CEO Maselaganye Matji, adopted a strategic-partnership approach as part of the successful turnaround strategy for the agency that had just returned from being under administration. “Through this approach, RAL is targeting to create partnerships with the private sector relevant or benefiting from the Limpopo Provincial road infrastructure network to help augment its constrained budgetary and financial resources. The RAL is now an example of an efficient State-owned entity, a bellwether of what can be achieved when public and private sector join hands to deliver services for the greater public good,” said the RAL in a press release.
According to the RAL, mines, together with the agricultural and tourism sectors, have been identified as critical stakeholders to the business of the RAL as they rely on the roads built and maintained by the RAL for the success of their businesses. “The mining sector, particularly, has been the flagship of this approach. So far, amongst others, the RAL has partnered with Marula Platinum, Exxaro, De Beers and Anglo Platinum. The provincial roads provide a feeder role to the mines as they use these roads to transport their raw materials and products. Since adopting this strategic partnership approach, the RAL has raised more than R382 million and continues to secure more partnerships,” said the RAL.
At present, the RAL is part of the exhibitors at the ongoing Mining Indaba at the Cape Town International Conference Centre. According to Matji, more than attracting new partners, the RAL wants to strengthen its relations with the existing ones, hence its continued participation the Mining Indaba. “On 16 February, the RAL has planned to engage with several mines in the Sekhukhune area, relating to specific area-based roads,” said Matji. He added that this was part of the RAL’s continued effort to ensure that they join hands in improving the Limpopo road infrastructure. R100 million is the amount targeted for the current financial year.
The RAL has been mandated to manage, control, plan, develop, and maintain the provincial road network on behalf of the Limpopo provincial government. The road asset portfolio of the RAL measures some 20 260 kilometres, of which only 5 974km is tarred and the balance of 14 286km is gravel or dirt roads.
“The corollary of this successful partnership with the mining industry to either construct or rehabilitate roads has resulted in quicker delivery of quality roads for the people of Limpopo and an improving battle against the perennial backlog that has been the bane of this most rural of provinces,” said the RAL.
The Agency obtains its revenue from the Limpopo Provincial Government in the form of the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant (PRMG) and equitable share. The total budget allocation for the year under review for both the PRMG and the equitable share was R836 million.
“In this regard, the more than R380m secured in strategic PPPs in additional funds has made a generous impact on the agency in its mandate of delivering quality roads,” said the RAL. “We are not targeting mines and agricultural companies only, but also technology solution-oriented companies that can help the RAL with, for example, building roads more cheaply,” added Matji.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.