/ 18 October 2007

Plans to improve road integration in Southern Africa

The Department of Transport has adopted a plan of action to improve regional and national road integration, Jeff Radebe, the Minister of Transport, said on Thursday.

Radebe was speaking at an African Union conference at KwaZulu-Natal’s Sibaya Casino and said the effort was part of the AU’s call to eliminate missing infrastructure links on roads.

He said the South African National Roads Agency (SANRA) had successfully developed and improved a national road infrastructure for key corridors such as the Maputo Development Corridor, the Platinum Highway, and the N1, N3 and N11 corridors.

”We have also developed a regional infrastructure action agenda that identifies opportunities for improving regional links, which is now being used to enter into discussions with neighbouring countries for the joint pursuit of common interest projects,” said Radebe.

A new project had also begun to improve the Sani Pass access road in KwaZulu-Natal and the Monontsha Pass access road in the Free Sate, to ensure safer South Africa-Lesotho movement, he said.

There had also been discussions about improving river crossings, but funding was needed.

”We have for some time now been negotiating arrangements for the improvement of river crossings at border posts between South Africa and Botswana. Funds have been secured and a memorandum of understanding is being finalised to enable this work to begin,” he said.

Further projects had been identified but needed funding. These included routes between South Africa and Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

Radebe said the Department of Finance had been asked for assistance in this regard. — Sapa