Roads Authority Namibia, Private bag 12030 Windhoek, Namibia INTRODUCTION This paper provides as background the recent institutional changes within the Namibia Department of Transport, the responsibilities of each new entity and the goals of a road management system within the new RoadsAuthority (RA). It further describes the process of the Road Management System (RMS) development and the progress up to now. BACKGROUND
Road Reform of the MWTC 2000 Project
When government came into power with Namibia’s Independence on 21 March 1990, some of its main policy objectives were to: • revive and sustain economic growth, • promote an efficient use of scarce resources, which would createemployment opportunities, and • help to alleviate poverty. Government found that the availability of safe, effective and efficient transport services would be instrumental in achieving these policy objectives. On 4 October 1994 Government adopted the “White Paper on Transport Policy” which called for the improvement in the performance of the transport sector and for encouraging increased competitionas the main instrument to achieve increased efficiency. It also called for the introduction of a system of road user charging for full recovery from road users of the costs of providing and maintaining road infrastructure according to the principle of minimising transport costs, with co-financing form general revenue sources for that part which does not directly benefit road users. This led theway to the reform of the road sector with the fundamental and overall long term objective to minimise the total costs of road transportation to society, consisting mainly of the sum of infrastructure costs and vehicle operating costs. This is inextricably linked to sustainable availability of funding at the required optimal level, as well as the institutional capacity to utilise such fundsefficiently for the benefit or road users.
20th South African Transport Conference ‘Meeting the Transport Challenges in Southern Africa’ Conference Papers
South Africa, 16 – 20 July 2001 Organised by: Conference Planners Produced by: Document Transformation Technologies
To give effect to Government’s policies and objectives, the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication launched theMWTC2000 Project during 1995 to reform the road transportation sector as well as the Ministry. A Steering Committee, consisting of the top management of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, representatives of the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministries of Finance and Trade and Industry as well as the Namibia Public Workers’ Union, with the assistance of a project team andconsultants successfully guided the MWTC 2000 Project towards its objectives. The institutional arrangements for planning, designing, constructing and maintaining Namibia’s national roads network has been restructured and the arrangements for the funding via the national budget will be replaced by funding via a Road Fund and a Road User Charging System. The road reform will have many advantages, of whichthe most important ones are: • • • • • It will bring about a more cost-effective and more competitive road sector It will promote a more equitable and equal means of recovering costs from the beneficiaries, the road users, including the heavy vehicle operators. The country will be thus be able to maintain one of its most important assets, the roads network of more than 45 000 km, of which 5 500km are bitumen and the rest are all unsealed roads, on a sustainable and a efficient basis. It will reduce the direct role of Government in the road sector and increase the role of the private sector to participate in the maintenance and construction of Namibia’s roads. Namibia will align itself with international standards regarding roads and the SADC Protocol on Transport, Communications and...