Schlettwein encourages investments in the road sector
Speaking at the 17th Annual General Assembly of the Africa Road Maintenance Funds Association, Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein stressed the importance of investing in road infrastructure.
Schlettwein said that Africa is not exempted from the demand for the emerging new automotive industry, which demands embracing of smart technologies in road infrastructure development and usage.
“Investment in roads infrastructure requires significant resource outlay. As resources are not infinite, sustainable funding models must be entrenched and the necessary priorities must be made to contain operations within the financial means at all times,” Schlettwein said.
Schlettwein noted that continuous investment in the upkeep of her road networks has resulted in Namibia’s roads being ranked among the best in Africa as reported in the latest Global Competitiveness Report. The Namibian government spending on roads infrastructure is predominantly aligned to new road development, preservation and co-funding of road maintenance activity, while road user charges are largely deployed to maintenance of the infrastructure for which between N$1.2 to N$1.5 billion is raised annually for this function.
About N$1.2 billion is programmed for road maintenance alone in the 2018/19 financial year, this roughly translates to maintenance expenditure of N$76,000 per kilometre of bitumen road and N$11,000 per kilometre of gravel road.
Namibia has invested heavily in improving the various transport corridors including Trans Zambezi; Trans Kunene and Trans Kalahari road corridors as well as the expansion and deepening of the Port of Walvis Bay.
Moreover, amongst some of the flagship road projects that Namibia is currently undertaking are: the construction of dual carriageway between Windhoek to Okahandja; Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport; Swakopmund to Walvis Bay (behind the dunes) and Swakopmund to Hentis Bay eventually linking to Kamandjab further in the northwest.
“The conclusion of these projects will greatly improve traffic mobility, improve road safety and free mobility,” Schlettwein said.