PMR Golden Arrow Award in the Road Maintenance section for its contribution to the economic growth and development of the country. This is indeed an award to be proud of because the award is determined by a panel from the business community.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our line Minister, Honourable Erkki Nghimtina, Minister of Works and Transport and our Board of Directors for their strategic and visionary leadership. The Roads Authority has reached a lot of milestones through their guidance and support. The dedication and commitment of our entire staff was the key factor in the achievement of these milestones.
Confidénte: What challenges have you experienced and how have you tackled them?
The Roads Authority is faced with challenges such as the lack of funding for road preservation e.g. rehabilitation and maintenance as we are not a profit making organization. Other challenges include deterioration of roads due to the aging network and the recent damages to our road network due to heavy rains and floods.
We have tackled these challenges by engaging our Government through our line Ministry and Road Fund Administration to solicit more funding.
I am happy to inform you that as mentioned earlier, we have commenced with a three-year reseal and re-gravelling programme as well as a five-year blading contracts. We have also commenced with the repair and upgrading of roads that were damaged by the floods.
Another challenge we are faced with is skills shortage of professional engineers in the Roads Authority. This is due to scarcity and the high demand of this skill, exacerbated by the limited number of Namibian and professional engineers in the local labour market. The Roads Authority has a total number of ninety-two (92) positions for professionally registered Engineers and Engineering Technicians. Of these positions, sixty-one (61) are occupied and out this twenty-three (23) are occupied by Engineering Trainees.
We are currently in short of thirty-one (31) professional registered engineers, and to remedy this situation, the Roads Authority has made considerable investment in the education of young Namibian engineering students, as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Roads Authority has to date awarded fifty-seven (57) bursaries to young Namibians, from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, to pursue various qualifications in the Engineering field.
As we continue to avail more funds for this purpose, we are hopeful that it will be in aid of addressing the skills shortage of engineers in the near future.
We also have an understudy and development programme to develop and assist Engineers in Training to obtain their professional registration with the Engineering Council of Namibia.
Confidénte: What do you hope to achieve in future or when the appointed CEO takes over?
When the appointed CEO takes over, I will continue to support him/her with making the Roads Authority an employer of choice, with an inspired workforce working towards realizing a sustainable road sector which is ahead of regional and national socio- economic needs in pursuit of Vision 2030. I believe that team work is the key ingredient for any organization to achieve its goals. We will continue to work as a team at the Roads Authority in order to achieve our objectives and respond to our shareholders and stakeholders’ needs.
Confidénte: Shifting our focus to the construction of roads and road development, it has been a common concern that most developments take place in the north, what is your comment on that perception?
The perception is not true, major develop is taking place in all corners of our country based on the Government priority project list and our Medium to Long Term Road Master Plan.
For example, we have completed the following roads projects: the Aus – Rosh Pinah in Karas region, Gobabais – Otjinene in Omaheke region, Okahandja – Karibib in Otjozundjupa and
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