The Road Fund Administration (RFA), Walvis Bay Municipality and the Roads Authority (RA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for the rehabilitation of roads leading into the port of Walvis Bay.
As Namibia seeks to strategically position itself as a gateway to the Southern African economic market through the deepened and expanded Port of Walvis Bay, more cargo volumes will pass through it destined for neighbouring countries. This subsequently increases the usage of the roads in Walvis Bay, particularly the roads leading toward the port. Thus, a vital aspect of the MoA is to ensure the continuous upkeep of the roads used by the cargo traffic destined for local, regional, and international markets.
RFA, through this MoA, is committing an amount of N$ 248 million over five years to rehabilitate and widen specifically municipal roads leading to the Port of Walvis Bay. These funds will be derived from the RUCS (Road User Charges) funding.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Ali Ipinge, CEO of the RFA said that “Over the past 2.5 years, the funding allocations to the Local Authorities (LAs) have more than doubled from N$ 104 million to N$ 216 million. The increase demonstrates RFA’s commitment to improving urban roads, which have endured years of underfunding.”
Ipinge added, “RFA has committed to increasing its road sector investments by 25% for 2023-2028 FY period, in order to accommodate the following strategic and critical national road projects.
- Funding the conclusion of rehabilitation of Keetmanshoop-Mariental road: Section Tses-Gochas N$200 mil in FY2023/24.
- Rehabilitation of TR8/4 Rundu-Divundu Road N$100 mil FY2023/24.
- MR118 Rosh Pinah-Oranjemund Road (N$230 mil total: N$100 mil FY2023/24
- Regravelling and upgrading roads in Etosha National Park: N$120 invested to date & N$580 mil to be deployed in the current BPIan over the 2023-2028 period).
- N$350 mil loan funding on LVS roads over the past two FYs.
- Upgrading and widening of Eneas Peter Nanyemba Road (old Monte Christo Road) in Katutura: N$380 mil over two FYs.
The Erongo Region, has benefitted from significant capital roadworks projects, such as the upgrade of MR44 & TR2/1 Walvis Bay-Swakopmund dual carriageways and MR44 & MR76 Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Uis-Kamanjab, said Ipinge.
According to Ipinge, “These strategic corridor upgrades align with positioning Namibia as a logistics hub by 2025 and attaining the vision of an industrialised nation by 2030. The prospects of green hydrogen production and recent discoveries in the oil & gas energy sectors would require road infrastructure to support and sustain future primary and secondary industries.”
The RFA has equally invested in the light rehabilitation of a 65km section of Trunk Road 2/3: Omaruru-Karibib at the cost of N$60 million and is now looking to commence with the reconstruction of the Karibib-Usakos road in the 2nd half of this year 2023. The loan agreement with KfW has been concluded with MFPE, added Ipinge.
Ipinge called on the Local Authorities to play their part in complying fully with the provisions of the Procedures Agreements and the Public Procurement Act; value for money principles (i.e., accepting quality workmanship); efficient utilisation of funds; requisite supervision, monitoring, and reporting of works and to move towards developing basic Pavement Management Systems and proper budgeting.
In conclusion, Ipinge said that the signing of this joint MoA will ensure added support to the national vision of promoting the national road corridors and logistical hub ideals enshrined in Namibia’s Vision 2030.