A team of 17 people have today November 17th completed a week-long tour of various PPP projects in South Africa. The team interacted and learnt from a host of experts in the field of PPPs.
The team, comprising Uganda National Roads Authority staff, National Information Technology Authority, Kabale Hospital, Makerere University as well private business persons visited The South Africa National Road Agency, which is implementing a PPP toll road project in the Gauteng Province.
The road project is being implemented by TRAC which has got a 30-year concession.
The Ugandan delegation was received by Mr Koos Smit the former CEO of SANRAL and Mr Alex van Niekerk, the Planning Toll & Transportation Manager of SANRAL.
The delegation was informed of the N3 Toll road that runs from Pretoria in South Africa to neighboring Mozambique capital Maputo. The 564km road has six toll gates.
The concession agreement with TRAC in this case included design of the road, construction, rehabilitation, financing, operation and maintenance, transfer. The concession started in 1998. The Ugandan delegation toured the Diamond Hill Toll plaza to get a clear understanding of how a toll gate is managed. The team learn that the pricing is categorized by the type of vehicle on is driving. Passengers pay by credit card, cash and e-tickets.
The team also visited the Donkerhoek Traffic Control Centre which runs a weigh bridge and does vehicle checks to ensure cars are in good mechanical condition to use the road.
The team also visited the Gautrain Office in Midland, to learn about the Gautrain PPP project. The story of Gautrain, as told by the COO Mr William Dacks is not about a train, but rather the “How far we’ve come, the faces we meet, the places we see, and our everyday life journey”
“It’s the story of a new face and pace of Gauteng’s public transport.” The project was funded mainly by the government, which provided 88% of the funding. The company runs a train, bus services and parking service which are all integrated. The project can be said to have achieved its objectives which included; stimulation of economic growth, development, investment and job creation. It has also promoted efficient public transport.
South Africa has also got PPP projects in Prisons, where a private investor sets up a prison and the government pays a certain fee for every prisoner sent to that jail. Other projects are in office accommodation such as the Department of Environment Affairs (DEA) which got a private investor to build their Green-Office Block. The government in tern pays the private investor a monthly fee for the period of the concession. The concessionaire is mandated with designing, construction and maintenance of the building. The breathtaking view of DEA office blocks is something to reckon with.