SARF Western Cape Region AGM and Members’ Forum

On 20 October 2016, nearly 50 delegates attended the Western Region of SARF Annual General Meeting, followed by the now well-established Members’ Forum. The functions were held at SANRAL WR in Bellville. During the latter function, Prof Stephan Krygsman, of Stellenbosch University addressed the audience on research – initiated by Sabita – into innovative solutions for the funding for roads in South Africa.

Referring to the quest to unearth a coherent national policy on funding of roads “a real collection of unknowns”, he set about offering solutions, one of which was to apprise Treasury of the downstream impact of a lack of rationale concerning the funding and financing of roads.  While Australia, New Zealand and Europe were well on the way of formulating cogent policies on road funding, there was no unit in South Africa dealing with it.  Such a policy should among other things encompass:

Why should we fund roads

How much funding was required

Who should pay

How should payments be made

What happens if we don’t

Data was hard to come by, given the lack of policy. But using ball-park figures some interesting options, some of which incorporating modern technologies, could be explored to find an equitable solution.

The team were working in close collaboration with SANRAL and Treasury, the latter having stated that it would welcome policy recommendations.

The research is ongoing and a more comprehensive presentation will be made by Stephan to the Road Pavements Forum in November.

AGM

Following the annual report presented by SARF WC regional chairman Robbie Uys, the current committee was re-elected en bloc.  New members duly nominated and elected were Colin Tichauer of Mowana Engineers and Chris Atkins (private member).

The chairman’s report is available to view below.

Chairman’s report Regional AGM on 20 October 2016

Corporate matters

At the Regional AGM held on 22 October 2015, Robbie Uys of Mott MacDonald PDNA was elected as chairman, and Lydia Steyn of the same company, as secretary. The rest of the committee was re-elected en bloc, with the exception of Chris Atkins, who had retired. The committee comprises the following persons (with portfolios noted):

Robbie Uys                   MMPDNA               (Chairman)

Lydia Steyn                   MMPDNA               (Secretary)

Malcolm Watters         PGWC                       Finance

Kobus van der Walt     SANRAL  Effective delivery of road provision and preservation

Rudolf Murray              SAFCEC            Safety in road usage and provision

Colin Brooks                 Much Asphalt     Stakeholder engagement

Andre van Pletzen        RHDHV              Capacity Development

Ian McDonald               COCT                         Sustainable practice

Mervin Merrington)     COCT

Eric Swanepoel             COCT

Piet Myburgh                Regional Coordinator

During the year Jean Nortje of ARMCO was co-opted to the committee. He will assist Rudolf Murray on the Safety in Road Usage and Provision portfolio.

The committee has met regularly at monthly intervals and attendance was generally very good.

Finances

Regional financial reports are now being furnished by HO. Certain aspects of the report format have been discussed with HO staff and partially resolved. Payment of costs incurred by the region is functioning effectively. The assistance of Dianne Myles is sincerely appreciated.

Visit by President and COO

A very useful interaction with the President and the COO was had on the 25th of May. Amongst others, the matter of SARF support / partnership for the Sabita initiative on a research project on Sustainable funding for land transport; Charges, levies, tax and other income sources to be carried out by the University of Stellenbosch was discussed with the President undertaking to take the matter to Council on the region’s recommendation.

Stakeholder engagement

Membership support, growth and appropriate representation spectrum

Articles on the regional AGM and a site visit on 29th October to the N1 tunnel approaches crawler lanes were submitted for publication on the SARF website

Additionally, an article on the regional seminar on the N1 and N2 freeway improvement schemes on 11th August with photographs were submitted for publication on the SARF website.

The region is still awaiting advice from the COCT regarding their representation on Council and the regional committee, following the retirement of Chris Atkins. Currently, the traffic department of the city is adequately represented on the regional committee; what is required is a representative of their engineering sector.

The regional AGM and Members’ Forum, being held today, will feature an address by Prof Stephan Krygsman on the topic of findings of the research into funding for roads and some potential solutions and the prospects for alternatives to the fuel levy.

Safe and effective road transport infrastructure

Road provision and delivery

The committee is being kept abreast of key developments affecting the region such as:

  • The revision of COTO specifications;
  • Congestion studies;
  • Pedestrian safety;
  • Road and pedestrian safety in the rail reserve
  • National road capacity improvements
  • Technology development in general.

Safety in road usage

Traffic Learner Centre

A MOA has been signed (by the Operations Director) with the COCT regarding the establishment of this centre in Mitchell’s Plain.

Approval of site and building plans is expected to be at hand in due course.

A task group has been established to procure sponsorship for various items and for the construction of the infrastructure.

Capacity development in the road sector

A seminar programme on Engineering for Safety has been developed in conjunction with SANRAL. The seminar was postponed to mesh with other national seminars on related topics. It is likely to take place early in 2017.

A site visit to the rehabilitation of the crawler lanes on the N1 tunnel approaches was held in conjunction with SANRAL on 29th October 2015. Following presentations by SANRAL and the consulting engineers RHDHV, the 40 delegates were bussed to the construction site where details of the UTCRC construction could be viewed.

A seminar outlining provincial projects on the N1 and N2, covering such items as design considerations in terms of capacity and safety, services relocation, traffic accommodation and other challenges was held on August 11 in conjunction with PGWC. The event, which was held at the SANRAL WR Auditorium, was fully subscribed by 90 delegates. SANRAL generously made the venue available at no cost.

Sustainable practice in road provision

It is pleasing to note that the guest speaker at the regional AGM in 2015 on the potential use of the secondary materials economy in road construction, Dr Kirsten Barnes, has become well connected with the road industry, given her participation in the RPF earlier this year and an appointment by SANRAL. This appointment will entail investigating the use of reusable material (e.g. building rubble) in road building.

Robbie Uys

Chairman