10
November 2020
Business Plan Stakeholders Consultation Meeting

Mr Ali Ipinge’s opening remarks at the 2020 Annual Business Plan Stakeholders Consultative Workshop

Members of the RFA Board of Directors under the leadership of Dr. Emma Haiyambo;
Representative from our shareholder Ministry – Ministry of Finance as well as MWT, MPE and MME
Other Government officials at National, Regional and Local Authorities levels present
CEOs and Representatives from all Approved Authorities
Mr Conrad Lutombi, CEO of Road Authority and your technical team present
Fellow colleagues of RFA both Management and Staff present,
Distinguished Invited Guests
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning

Once again, it is my distinct pleasure to host several stakeholders from across the country, at yet another RFA Business Plan Consultation meeting. Please allow me to extend my warmest welcome to you, at this very significant 20th Annual Business Plan consultative workshop, where we share our funding commitments over the next five years.

This year we are joined by a new RFA Board, who have been given the task to steer the RFA to greater heights over the next 3 years. It is capably led by Dr Emma Haiyambo, and aptly supported by Mr James Mnyupe, Ms Melanie Tjijenda, Mr. Oshoveli Hiveluah and Mr Isdor Angula. The road sector welcomes you to our big family, and wish you all the best in your endeavours.

The significance of this consultative meeting is to take stock on the implementation of current financial year, and to plan ahead for the financial support of road maintenance programmes and projects, as contemplated in the Road Fund Administration Act, (Act 18 of 1999). This year, however, our funding commitments are presented under a more constrained economic climate and stress caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, which has resulted in revenue pressures for the Fund.

In the past, thorough planning has served the road sector well, ensuring that the road sector remains a key enabler for economic growth, development and prosperity. However, the revenue pressures have forced us to become more innovative, in maximising the funding commitments towards the road sector.

Even through these challenging times, we remain committed to remain the best cost road sector on the continent, providing the best quality roads at the best cost to the road users. However, the condition of Namibia’s roads continues to deteriorate due to insufficient maintenance and rehabilitation – this impact is more severe for our gravel roads.

Cognisant of the financial stress placed on the road user, the road user charges remain well below the economic efficient levels, and thus the user pay principle may not be fully implemented. Thus, the RFA will work tirelessly to realign the RUCs towards the economic efficient levels required to maintain our precious N$101bn road network. Such that, the Fund will be in a position to pivot itself to once again play an important role in socio-economic development and growth of our beloved Namibia.

We remain committed together with key logistical hub stakeholders such as RA, Namport, TransNamib, Ministry of Works and Transport, WBCG and others to promote and actively provide links between centres of production and markets for economic sectors such as agriculture, mining, tourism and trade;whilst facilitating the free flow of people and goods along import-export corridors, linking land linked countries and ports.

This Business Plan sets out systematic road maintenance programs within the ambit of the limited revenue envelope and funding capacity. It is our plan to systematically leverage our balance sheet overtime to particularly upgrade some of our gravel road network to a low volume seal standards, which ultimately reduces routine gravel road maintenance costs and enhance roady safety and driving riding quality.

And to guide our decision-making processes, the RFA has invited you, our valued stakeholders to provide valuable input into this extremely important guiding document for the benefit of the road user. Without our stakeholders, Namibia would not have the best roads in Africa!

May I conclude by expressing my profound gratitude to the RFA Management and Staff for their continued dedication and hard work

Most of all, I would like to thank our stakeholders for your collaboration and support, which shape the impact of our collective efforts and hold us accountable for the road user charges that we are entrusted with.

I appeal for your support and thank you for your attention and support in these testing and challenging times.

I thank you.

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