Toll road to link Maputo Walvis Bay

Posted On Friday, 08 February 2002 03:01 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Platinum Toll Highway is launched

Platinum Toll Highway is launched

Road InfrastructureMore than R3bn will be injected into the economy and about 3000 jobs created with the construction of SA's third big toll road, the Platinum Toll Highway, says Transport Minister Dullah Omar.

At the launch of the R3,2bn Platinum Toll Highway in North West yesterday, Omar said the new toll road would link Maputo Harbour in Mozambique with Walvis Bay in Namibia.

He said it would create the 'first high quality transcontinental route in sub-Saharan Africa'. . The road will stretch from Warmbaths in the north, link up with Pretoria and continue to Lobatse in Botswana.

Through this project, Omar said, export and shipping times would be reduced by as much as 10 shipping days while the distance by road between Johannesburg and Windhoek would be shortened by about 500km.

The road is a partnership between the public and private sectors, driven by the National Roads Agency. It involves a 30year concession to upgrade and manage the road, but ownership will revert to the state at the end of the concession period.

Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire won the 30-year concession last October.

The lead shareholders are Spanish state-owned development agency Compania Espanola de Financiacion del Desarrollo Cofides and Spanish toll road contractor Grupo Dragados, which each hold 25% of Bakwena.

The Spanish firms, which have come into SA for the first time, have put up 50% of the R738m in equity, with the rest of the project being debt-financed.

The SA Infrastructure Fund, which has been involved in the N4 Maputo Corridor and N3 Johannesburg-to-Durban toll road projects, holds 25% of Bakwena.

Other shareholders include empowerment entity Royal Bafokeng Nation, Public Investment Commissioners, Real Africa Holdings, Murray & Roberts and Concor Holdings.

Leo Röhrig, CEO of Bakwena, said the project constituted an important investment breakthrough, with 50% of the equity being sourced offshore.

Röhrig said the highway would pioneer the introduction of electronic toll collection along the route, a first for SA. Rather than stopping at toll booths, vehicles will have a small electronic TAG device attached whereby the toll fee will automatically be deducted as they drive past.

He said the tolling of roads was SA's best method of funding the maintenance and upgrading of road infrastructure.

The National Roads Agency received only half of the R1,05bn it needed for road requirements in 2001/02.

Omar said that the transport department was committed to developing an infrastructure programme dedicated to securing an adequate funding mechanism.

'The use of public private partnerships to fund infrastructure is one such mechanism that has once again proved its success through this project. '

A further focus was on black economic empowerment, which was entrenched within Bakwena's concession contract.

In terms of this, Omar said small businesses would receive 20% of the value of the design contract, 15% of the value of the construction contract, and 50% of the operations contract.

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 20:51

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