Funding for roads : understanding the South African road funding framework

Van Rensburg, Johann A. ; Krygsman, Stephan C. (2019-09-30)

CITATION: Van Rensburg, J. A. & Krygsman, S. C. 2019. Funding for roads : understanding the South African road funding framework. Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management, 13:a453, doi:10.4102/jtscm.v13i0.453.

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Background: A good quality road network holds numerous benefits to any country, but is dependent on sufficient and stable modes of funding and adequate financing. Funding for roads in South Africa is complex, controversial and faces different viewpoints. In this environment, it is difficult to implement any new form of road user charges, including the user-pay principle, or promote a sustainable road infrastructure policy framework. Objectives: This article examined the road funding framework in South Africa to fully understand its capability to fund the country’s road infrastructure network while quantifying and presenting the linkage between road-generated income, its distribution, allocation and the expenditure of these funds through a consolidated report and comparing the country’s income and expenditure on roads to international standards. Method: Numerous financial statements were assessed through a budget analysis to present the current road funding framework in South Africa in terms of the income generated from the road sector, its allocation, distribution and the expenditure of these funds. Local road funding trends were then compared with selected countries in terms of road-generated income, its allocation and expenditure. Results: South Africa’s current road funding framework collects a substantial amount from road users, but there is a mismatch between road-generated income collected and governmental road expenditure. Furthermore, South Africa’s road expenditure in not outside the norm compared to international countries. Conclusion: Investigation into the effectiveness of South Africa’s current road cost recovery methods is needed, and the impact of future technologies on its income-generating potential must be examined.

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