South Africa: Moloto Road Reclassified As National Road

15 November 2019

The Gauteng portion of Moloto Road has officially been handed to the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL).

This means that the road will be reclassified as a national road, as announced in August 2019 and confirmed in October.

"Declaring this road a national road is a consequence of collaboration between national government and the three provinces, placing the interests of the citizens and road users at the centre," Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said.

Addressing the handover ceremony of the Gauteng section of Moloto Road to SANRAL on Friday, Mbalula said the fact that the road traverses three provinces means it was built and maintained at different standards.

"For years, Moloto Road has had to cope with increasing traffic volumes as a result of the phenomenal growth in the residential development along it, yet upgrades have lagged far behind.

"This road links 33 informal settlements and serves as a primary mobility route, which means there is a great deal of pedestrian movement on it. Moloto road is an important economic artery connecting the provinces of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng," the Minister said.

Mbalula said government has listened to the pleas of local communities and road users and has responded by transferring the road to SANRAL, and allocating more resources for its upgrade.

Government has allocated almost R4.5 billion to this project over the next five years.

The Mpumalanga and Limpopo sections of Moloto Road were incorporated into the SANRAL network in July 2015 and construction of the first phase on those sections is nearly complete, Mbalula said.

The scope of work for the first phases included the construction of four traffic circles. Three in Mpumalanga and one in Limpopo.

Other phases both in Limpopo and Mpumalanga are currently either at design stage or have just started.

"We are satisfied with the progress being made in both the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga," the Minister.

The benefits of the upgrades include reduced travel time between destinations, thus eliminating the need to travel at unsafe hours.

The upgrades will also contribute towards healthy family and social relationships by minimizing time spent on the road and improve safety through state-of-the-art traffic management features.

In addition, the upgrades link seamlessly with broader transport plans and the Moloto development Corridor Initiative, and attracts new investments and broadens the economic base of the surrounding districts.

"When we build new or upgrade existing roads, we are always mindful of the economic impact. We have no doubt that Moloto Road will draw more economic activity into the area, enable small farmers to bring their produce to markets, be a route for tourists who want to visit game reserves and natural attractions and facilitate the movement of people, products and services," the Minister said.

He emphasised that upgrading a road must bring tangible economic benefits to the communities who live alongside that road.

"People cannot simply be spectators when infrastructure development is being rolled out in their communities and not benefit therefrom. It is for this very reason that local procurement and participation are part of government's policies aimed at empowering the historically disadvantaged," Mbalula said.

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