… 98km Rosh Pinah-Oranjemund road set to deliver economic gains
By Hilary Mare
GOVERNMENT, through the Roads Authority (RA), last week commissioned the 98km Rosh Pinah to Oranjemund road (MR118), at a revised cost of approximately N$714 million.
Following the ground-breaking ceremony in 2013 by then Prime Minister Hage Geingob, the project managed to create 388 jobs for Namibians during the construction phase, Confidente established.
A total of 76 employees or 20 percent were female.
In terms of trickle-down effects, a total amount of N$50.3 million was spent on work done by SMEs, while sub-contractors received work worth N$101.7 million.
“One of the main objectives of this project was to provide technology transfer and capacity building opportunities to Namibian small-scale contractors and to employ as many locals as possible from the surrounding areas,” Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb, said while commissioning the road.
As member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Namibia is committed to the development of regional transport infrastructure, which was identified by all member countries as a development priority.
Elaborating on this, !Naruseb reiterated that the road is part of government’s policy to expand and modernise Namibia’s road infrastructure in all parts of the country.
“Our government recognises that transportation is one of the best investments we can make to expand opportunities and the prosperity of our countrymen and women. Thus, we are fully committed to ensure that our road network is constructed to the highest standard, and maintained regularly, in order to facilitate commercial trade throughout Namibia, and to improve mobility and safety of all road users,” the minister said.
“This project is by far our biggest road construction project we have embarked on in the southern part of our country. The project forms parts of Namibia’s regional trunk routes development programme, which aims at promoting the development of the country through inter-regional trade. It also supports the development of the south-western region of the country, which is characterised by strong tourism, and the fishing and mining sectors, which are key components of the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).
The //Karas region contains a number of attractions, including the Fish River Canyon (the second largest canyon in the world), the Ais-Ais Hotsprings, the Sperrgebiet and Lüderitz, a seaside town).
In addition, the natural scenery along the Orange River will attract more tourists, which will boost the economy.
The newly upgraded road, which is bitumen standard, has created a shorter link from the south to west.
The traffic currently using the Lüderitz-Keetmanshoop-Grunau-Noordoewer route, including for the import and export of goods and services to and from South Africa, will shift to the new shorter route, thereby reducing travel time, travelling costs and accidents.
Revelling in their biggest project in the South to date, RA Chief Executive Officer, Conrad Lutombi, praised government’s developmental efforts, while saying that it was evident that development is happening in all parts of the country.
“I would like to thank the government for availing the funds that made this project possible. If it was not for them, then this project will not be possible. In a few weeks, we will open another road in Omusati and another will follow in North. This shows that development is happening everywhere, and we are proud because of that,” Lutombi said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015