JOHANNESBURG (miningweeky.com) – Roads Agency Limpopo (RAL) and Ledjadja Coal, an operating subsidiary responsible for the Boikarabelo mine on behalf of Resource Generation (Resgen), this week inked a deal to upgrade the road from the Lephalale commercial sector to Steenbokpan and all connector roads to the Boikarabelo site in the Waterberg region of Limpopo.
Ledjadja, which has already completed detailed road designs, will contribute R71-million of the R200-million required to upgrade the roads, with RAL contributing the remainder.
Ledjadja CEO Rob Lowe noted this week that the Boikarabelo mine is expected to be in full construction by early 2017 and that Transnet Freight Rail is completing a rail link between the mine and Lephalale.
Meanwhile, RAL has, to date, raised some R289-million through public–private partnerships (PPPs) to finance the construction and rehabilitation of provincial roads that are considered key to economic stimulation.
“Most of our projects in these areas are structured in a way that we work with our partners because they cannot succeed without our support. If you don’t have access to your mining area, you can’t do anything. We support business to operate in our area and to contribute towards the economic growth of that area,” said RAL CEO Maselaganye Matji.
RAL is in negotiations with other private sector players in the Waterberg region, with the hope of concluding similar partnership agreements.
In line with this, PPPs have been formed with Exxaro Coal, also in the Waterberg region, for the R234-million design and construction of a road connecting GaSeleka village to the Lephalale commercial centre. Exxaro contributed R71.2-million.
A three-way partnership was also agreed for the R266-million road upgrade from Dwalboom to Northam and Koedoeskop, in the North West.
Cement maker PPC contributed R67-million, the North-West provincial government contributed about R55-million and RAL injected the balance.
A contractor has been appointed and construction works are progressing well.
With 14 300 km of the 20 260 km road network under the responsibility of RAL being gravel roads, Matji estimated that the roads agency would need R150-billion to address the backlog, money that is not available through the fiscus.