PER - Provincial Roads

What is this?
Provincial roads are a vital cog in the South African economy, and key to ensuring access to social services. They are generally a high-use infrastructure, the condition of which has a significant impact on users’ experience and their potential contribution to economic activity. The need to maintain roads does not wait for provincial road management systems to be in place or for budget processes to run their course, with the costs of maintenance rising exponentially with the deterioration of their condition. Furthermore, what happens in one section of the network can dramatically affect other parts. If a stretch of road goes into disrepair, fewer people use that section, which has an impact on alternate routes and feeder roads. At any one time, there are many sections of road in a network that require work, but resource constraints mean that only a small proportion can be selected for work to be done. This document is a report on a performance expenditure review (PER) on provincial roads. The key output of this PER is a costing model that enables users to develop cost estimates of a variety of kinds of roads projects in a variety of different conditions. The costing model can be applied and adapted to all conditions that exist in South Africa if the relevant data is provided and input. The model can generate estimates for all conditions, though some judgement will be required if it is to be used optimally. Users can utilise the model to obtain alternate costings of projects by tweaking variables, and therefore have a powerful tool to quickly compare different approaches to the same sections of roads. This also supports institutional knowledge accumulation and learning as officials can quickly compare the impact of these differences on project costs.

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