RA under-performed due to lack of funding: Lutombi

22 Jul 2016 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JUL (NAMPA) – The Roads Authority (RA) only managed to rehabilitate 12 kilometres (km) of road in the 2015/16 financial year – far below the 140km it targeted.
The authority also only re-gravelled 425km of road instead of the 1 700km it wanted to re-gravel nationwide.
Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the review of the first year of the RA strategic plan on Thursday, RA Chief Executive Officer Conrad Lutombi said this was due to a lack of funding.
“We under-performed due to a lack of funding for the rehabilitation of roads as we needed N.dollars 2 million for the rehabilitation of the Grunau-Mariental section of the B1 road during the 2015/16 financial year,” Lutombi said.
He said the rehabilitation of the Grunau-Mariental road in the //Kharas Region will commence in the 2016/17 financial year with the little capital the RA has available - less than N.dollars 100 million.
Lutombi explained that the available funds will also cover the rehabilitation of the Eenhana-Onhuno main road in the Ohangwena Region.
He said the rehabilitation of the two roads is currently out on tender.
The CEO further noted that the authority exceeded the target of bringing 100km of road to bitumen standard, instead upgrading 230km to bitumen standard.
It also managed to gravel 141km against its target of 90km.
The company has also resealed about 325km of road against its target of 300 km.
Lutombi said the RA has six road projects which need to be completed during the four-year period of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (2016/17 to 2019/20).
These projects include the Windhoek-Okahandja dual carriageway (68km); Windhoek – Hosea Kutako Airport Road (44km); Swakopmund-Walvis Bay road (44km); Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Uis-Khorixas-Kamanjab (402km) and Ongwediva-Ondangwa-Omuthiya dual carriageway (142km).
A number of rural roads will be gravelled as per the priorities of the regional roads Master Plan and roads linking schools and clinics - which are flooded when it rains - will be constructed in the Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Kavango East and West, and Zambezi Regions.
Lutombi said the organisation has committed itself to enhancing service delivery at Namibia Traffic Information System (NaTIS) centres, and enhance road safety through engineering intervention.
“We want to have effective overload control and want the government to pass the law on the decriminalisation of overloading offenses within this financial year,” he said.
Lutombi explained that this law will assist in the preservation of roads.
The RA has a three-year strategic plan (2015/16 to 2017/18). The company's budget for the last financial year was N.dollars 3 012 473 592, and N.dollars 3 482 682 081 is projected for the 2016/17 financial year while N.dollars 5 320 623 466 is budgeted for the 2017/18 financial year.