Roads Authority prioritises road projects

By Rosalia David
December 2016 & January 2017
Prime Business

The Roads Authority (RA), which is responsible for managing the country’s national road network to achieve a safe and efficient road sector, has managed to upgrade and implement many of its targeted projects.

Early this year, RA has commenced with the installation of Kilometre (KM) for the surfaced road network in Namibia. According to information provided by RA, the KM markers are standardised and will replace the old road signs and incorporate the road number.

RA has also been committed to accomplish the objectives set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and the company’s Medium to Long Tern Road Master Plan which has been set up to focus on new projects in a period of ten years.

So far, the company upgraded the Windhoek Airport to a dual carriageway, the Swakopmund-Hentiesbay-Uis-Kamanjab road which was upgraded to bitumen standard and the Okahandja-Windhoek road to a dual carriageway while the Swakopmund – Walvis Bay road has also been transformed to a dual carriageway.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Conrad Lutombi also confirmed to Prime Focus Magazine in an interview in August saying that, RA has managed to reduce the poor condition of roads in Namibia from 12% to 9% during the period under review and aims to reduce it further to 8% during year two of the strategic plan.

The company was also able to tar 230 km of road while its initial target was to tar 100 km of road and gravel 141 km of road surface which is 51 km higher than its target for rural accessibility.

Although the company has managed to upgrade most of the road network in Namibia, RA did not reach  its target of rehabilitating 140 km road and only managed to rehabilitate 12 km of road and also failed to gravel 1 700 km of road, but resurfaced 425 km of gravel road.

However, research can prove that, 90% of the Harambee projects targeted are underway and RA is definitely confident that they will be able to deliver as per the plan.
Apart from not being able gravel and upgrade all roads, funding and skills deficit continues to be a challenge in this sector

However, RA continued to make significant strides with regard the implementation of the Performance Management System (PMS) by completing the alignment of the strategy to the Balance Score Card Framework (through the development of corporate Score Card and finally the individual Performance Agreement) and training of all users, as well as completing the contracting process.

This proves a right step it the right direction in making sure that Namibia does not struggle to meet skills demand.

With the aim of recognising the loopholes in the industry, the company is one out of few companies that do reviews every 6 months to be able to solve its challenges.
The Road Authority has always advocate for the development of local capacity In order to benefit the road sector in the long run, with specific focus on SME’S.

Moving away from the road infrastructure, RA has also made efforts to put in place programmes to train SME in tendering, technical performance as well as financial management and put programmes in place to help SMEs to register their training curricula the Namibian Qualification Authority (NQA).
We should further applaud RA for being one of the leading organisations in Namibia in the development of SME contractors.

Through implementing an SME development Policy, this helped the company to achieve its goals in assisting SME’s and enabling them to contribute to the efforts of Government in creating employment opportunities and alleviate poverty.
RA has completed the construction and upgrading of NaTIS One Stop Centres in Eenhana, Outapi, Grootfontein, and Walvis Bay, Oshakati and Opuwo and aims to commence with the construction of the NaTIS Centre in Otjomuise in Windhoek.

With the budget worth N$3 012 473 592 for 2015/2016 set out for RA to make sure that they accomplish all  projects and improve the road network in Namibia, the company has been making use of the budget allocated.

With the aim of bringing down the road conditions from 9% to 8% in the current strategic plan, research revealed that the company is currently targets more on rural accessibility by constructing gravel roads and making sure that access roads to flood affected schools and clinics are constructed in the Ohangwena Omusati, Oshana, Okavango East and Zambezi regions.