LETTER: Sanral board’s lack of experience is costly

2022/06/27 23:18:00

LETTER: Sanral board’s lack of experience is costly

LETTER: Sanral board’s lack of experience is costly

A restructuring is needed because none of the directors is a registered professional civil engineer

Picture: SUNDAY WORLDThere has been much consternation, both in the media and universally throughout the engineering profession, regarding decisions by the SA National Road Agency (Sanral) board affecting big national road projects.This has led to high costs for the industry players involved and also road users, where excess road user costs as a result of the decision will amount to hundreds of millions of rand. I suggest this is because of a lack of engineering experience of Sanral board members.

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27 June 2022 - 16:16 Picture: SUNDAY WORLD There has been much consternation, both in the media and universally throughout the engineering profession, regarding decisions by the SA National Road Agency (Sanral) board affecting big national road projects.Listen to our latest podcasts.23 June 2022 - 05:00 I assure LEA Callaghan ( Letters , June 2) that though he may think I am a member of the FM’s staff, I am not.Image: Fanie Mthupha.

This has led to high costs for the industry players involved and also road users, where excess road user costs as a result of the decision will amount to hundreds of millions of rand. I suggest this is because of a lack of engineering experience of Sanral board members. Is it time to go maskless? Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later. The nearest the current board comes to having appropriate engineering expertise appears to be a member who headed the KwaZulu-Natal roads department during the period when, according to a Council for Scientific & Industrial Research report, provincial roads gained the unenviable reputation of being the worst in the country. What is really frightening is that in previous years government departments responded to queries from the media immediately. This person is not a registered professional civil engineer. In contrast to this situation, the Zondo state capture commission has stressed the need for state-owned enterprises (SOE) to have board members with expertise in the dealings of the relevant SOE. As part of the multi-party coalition ‘back to basics’ service delivery programme, the city has allocated more budget to the repair of potholes through the passing of the adjustment budget, with even more to be allocated when the budget for the 2022/23 financial year kicks in on the July 1.

As a comparison with the above, the membership of the immediate predecessor to the Sanral board, the previous SA Roads Board, had five of its eight members as registered professional civil engineers. It behoves us to stand up and object to below-standard service from the very people to whom we pay substantial taxes. These five members all individually had extensive experience in civil engineering. This is a standard situation throughout the world where roads boards are used to oversee important road infrastructure. The Sanral board, whose term I gather has passed, needs to be restructured  to provide it with the necessary expertise of professional road engineers, rather than cadre deployment as appears to have been the case with the current board. I trust that our self-styled fearless and free-spirited transport minister will heed the Zondo commission’s recommendations in his new board appointments.

Malcolm Mitchell, .