National road network valued at N$50 billion

Home Business National road network valued at N$50 billion

WALVIS BAY – The Namibian national road network is worth around N$50 billion and hence the need to enforce an effective axle load control programme that will efficiently regulate permissible maximum axle limits and vehicle mass and dimensions.

The Roads Authority’s (RA) chief executive officer, Conrad Lutombi, says it is essential that all road users play a responsible and participatory role as custodians of this precious asset so that the road networks of Africa in general are preserved for future generations.

Lutombi was addressing delegates from Namibia and Zambia during the opening of a three-day meeting between the RA and the Road Development Agency of Zambia at Walvis Bay.

“To protect our road network which has a replacement value of about N$50 billion, Namibia needs to have an effective axle load control programme that willl efficiently regulate permissible maximum axle limits and vehicle mass and dimensions,” Lutombi explained.

Lutombi said that the RA has detected a significant reduction of overloaded heavy vehicles on sections of the roads where there are weighbridges. He said this is a result of effective enforcement and continued cooperation of the operators. He said the limits are meant to ensure that Namibia’s roads last their full designed life span with only periodic maintenance work required. 

“The control of axle loads is very important, not only because it protects our roads from unnecessary damage but also because this ensures a level playing field between transporters, keeps road maintenance costs to a minimum and improves road safety. As we are gearing up to be a logistic hub by 2017, in terms of our NDP4, it is imperative that we work closely with our neighbouring countries to preserve our regional trunk roads. Therefore, this meeting is a testimony of our joint efforts with the Road Development Agency of Zambia to curb overloading on the Walvis Bay-Trans Zambezi-Ndola -Lubumbashi Development Corridor. We will continue to engage and mobilize partnerships with other road agencies in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Angola to ensure that we preserve our regional trunk roads and enhance road safety on all regional routes,” he said.

Also speaking at the same meeting the Director of Commercial and Technical Services, Steven Mwale, said that combined efforts are needed by both countries not only to enhance trade but to protect and maintain the infrastructure that makes trade possible.

“We are here to enhance trade facilitation and to expand Zambian boundaries by making it a land-linked country. This will cut down on transportation, as well as vehicle maintenance costs. Therefore our government embarked on establishing road links with other countries and ports in order to link us with the rest of the world. However, this can only be done with the active participation of both countries and stakeholders in our road infrastructure,” he said.