; Tubatse Part 3 - SANRAL
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Tubatse Part 3 - SANRAL


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1.1    The rationale for rural transport infrastructure improvement

Poverty as we all know has many different causes and effects. Lack of income
however is a primary cause of poverty. Income levels however, albeit
important, are just one single cause. Less often it is noticed that a lack of
access to basic goods and services is also a contributing factor, as well as a
result, of poverty. Lack of market access and access to employment centers
reduces income opportunities.

Poor access to education leads to poorly educated people. Poor health is
caused by a lack of access to (adequate) health services and lack of access
to clean water. Access to information can help people in myriad ways,
including a better understanding of the agricultural techniques, which can lead
to increased productivity even in subsistence agriculture. Clearly, access to
information alternatively contributes to improved education and to better
health standards being applied.

Precisely this lack of access to basic goods and services is still a major
impediment for many people in many communities of our country. These poor
communities are isolated not only in physical terms but also in terms of their
access to employment, financial resources, skills and information. Since
poverty has many different causes and effects, it can only be tackled in an
integrated way. Different alternative options to attack poverty exist and could
complement each other. One option is to ensure that the existing and future
capital investments in rural infrastructure development, investments to
improve accessibility, will maximize the impact on employment creation and
poverty alleviation by optimizing the use of local resources including labour in
the planning, design, implementation and maintenance of the rural
infrastructure works.

The World Bank Technical Paper no. 496 “Design and Appraisal of Rural
Transport Infrastructure” highlights the recent renewed emphasis on assisting
very poor populations through multi-component community-based sustained
rural development.

It further emphasizes the fact that an effective rural transport infrastructure
(RTI) is an essential requirement for rural development, although by itself, it is
not sufficient to guarantee success. Without adequate RTI, communities lack
the necessary physical access for basic domestic chores, agricultural
activities, social and economic services and job opportunities. Without
reliable access to markets and productive resources, economic development
stagnates, and poverty reduction cannot be sustained. Improvements of the
intra- and near-village path and track network, and the provision of all-season
basic motorized access are therefore essential conditions for rural
development. Various studies have provided evidence that poverty is more
pervasive in areas with no or unreliable (motorized) access—what are
referred to as unconnected areas.
Worldwide experience from past rural development programs and policies
suggest that improving the poverty impact of RTI interventions requires
attention to three guiding principles:

      •   An emphasis on reliable, cost-effective access to as many of the rural
          population as possible, rather than high access standards for a few;
      •   Cost-effective and innovative techniques such as spot improvement,
          labour-based approaches, and low-cost structures, and;
      •   A decentralized and participatory approach with strong local
          government and community involvement in decision making on local
          transport investment and maintenance.

The RTI network is the lowest level of the physical transport chain that
connects the rural population, and therefore the majority of the poor, to
markets and social services such as schools and health centers, potentially
increasing their real income and improving their quality of life. The provision
of basic access should be considered a basic human right, similar to the
provision of basic health and basic education.

1.2       RTI and road safety

The road safety concerns of basic access RTI are different than those for
higher-level infrastructure. Typical are single-vehicle crashes and crashes
between motorised and non-motorised vehicles, pedestrians and animals.
Economic considerations will normally not allow separation of different modes
of transport, and it must be accepted that foot and wheeled traffic of different
speeds will intermingle in the traffic stream.

The challenge is to ensure that the speed of motorized traffic is low, especially
within villages.

1.3       The value of RTI improvement

With about 69% of the population not economically active and a large
percentage living below the official poverty line, Greater Tubatse Municipality
is one of the poorest municipalities in the country, and economic development
and poverty reduction are the overriding development priorities.

According to the Limpopo Financial Report (2005) the increased value of
platinum (on world markets) and the development of the Dilokong Corridor (for
local development) are very important issues for the Province. The Dilokong
Corridor development project is a top priority for Provincial Government.

The value of Rural Transport Infrastructure improvement in this municipality,
thus, lies in the following:

      •   There will be significant positive social impacts due to improved
          access. These will include many sectors, including agriculture, industry,
          marketing, education and health.
      •   The social benefits will be maximized by e.g. targeting construction
          work opportunities for local people. The upgrading programme will
          exploit opportunities to employ the poor, including disadvantaged
          women, in road construction and maintenance and in taking care of
          vegetation along road embankments.
      •   The improvements to the rural infrastructure will lay the foundation for
          better economic opportunities and assist in poverty reduction.
      •   The improvement of rural transport is essential to meet the needs of
          education and health services.
      •   The upgrading programme may have four key components:
              o building stakeholder capacity and improving local governance
              o improving rural infrastructure
              o providing income generating activities for the rural poor, and
              o providing institutional support for effective management.
      •   The programme will strengthen the capacity of local government
      •   The programme will upgrade roads in poorer and less accessible
          districts to all-weather standards and construct culverts and bridges to
          remove barriers.
      •   Improved roads and markets help to lower marketing and vehicle
          operating costs and improve overall access to public services and
          economic opportunities. The poor in particular benefit, because they
          are vulnerable to high prices and irregular availability of goods and
      •   Upgraded roads also encourage private sector investment, especially
          in local trade and agro-processing.
      •   A recent review showed that rural infrastructure development projects
          generated rural income, because 25% of the projects’ civil works costs
          were paid to locally hired unskilled labor.
      •   Lessons learned on subproject identification, design, and
          implementation and on road safety and maintenance suggest that
          strong involvement by local stakeholders in planning and design will
          increase the usefulness, acceptance, and maintenance of rural
      •   Participatory processes can also enhance poverty reduction and the
          sustainability of infrastructure benefits.

1.4       RTI approach and principles

The overall goal of the Rural Transport Infrastructure upgrading strategy
should be to increase the access of the rural population to employment
opportunities and to economic and social goods and services through an
effective provision of sustainable rural infrastructure. The immediate objective
of this strategy would be to increase the use of local resources (labour and
materials), planning on the basis of people’s needs and productive job
opportunities through infrastructure development and maintenance.

The aims of this strategy should be to develop appropriate institutional
arrangements, effective management mechanisms and training approaches in
order to introduce, promote and support labour-based planning, design,
implementation and maintenance technologies in the infrastructure sectors.

Therefore the following four instruments as depicted in the next figure should
be used.

These four fields represent the totality of the process of infrastructure
provision from planning through to maintenance. As can be easily understood,
this strategy is defined within a framework of employment creation,
decentralization, the optimum use of local resources, a focus on local
participation and the promotion of good governance. Also, the decentralization
of responsibilities and authority, essential for local decision making and the
development of good governance, is a key factor in the effort to mainstream
the poverty alleviation strategies in rural infrastructure programmes.

1.4   Planning and       selection   of   Rural   Transport    Infrastructure

The planning process:
   • must be top-down and bottom-up iteratively
   • must be centered on the “owner” of the infrastructure
   • most of all must be participative and transparent
   • must regard the selection of stakeholders for the participatory process
      as crucial
   • must use simple and transparent economic selection criteria to allow
          for participation
      •   might consider other than just economic criteria.

1.5       The Basic Access Concept

Basic access is one of the necessary conditions for the alleviation of poverty
in rural areas of developing countries, at par with the provision of other "merit
goods" such as basic health and basic education services. "Basic access" is
defined as both, the availability of all-weather road access from villages to the
main road network and reliable access to basic social and economic services
on the intra- or near village track and path network on which trips are made
mainly on foot or by non-motorized means of transport. In cases of rugged
terrain, low affordability, and low provision of motorized transport services
basic access might mean all-season access only by non-motorized means of

In order to provide as many poor rural dwellers as possible with basic access,
and in view of the limited institutional and financial resources available for
investments and upkeep of these networks, and furthermore considering the
low (motorized) traffic levels, it is necessary to apply "least-cost" design
approaches, that is minimizing total life-cycle costs for investment and
maintenance. In most cases this will mean single-lane, simple design
standard and spot-improved gravel and earth roads for the access to the
villages, appropriate for the use of the prevailing rural transport vehicles,
including non-motorized means of transport, allowing all-season access, but
permitting interruptions during severe weather, and improved paths and
provision of footbridges for the intra- and near village transport network.

Basic Access, therefore,:
   • means reliable access at least cost
   • should be considered a human right
   • interventions are the least life-cycle cost investment for ensuring
      reliable all-season accessibility for the prevailing means of transport
   • provision could also mean improvement of the access for non-
      motorised means of transport.

1.6       Project ranking methods

The following is a ranking method that could be used when prioritizing basic
access road interventions:

Cost effectiveness indicator of link = Cost of upgrading link to basic access standard
                                                   Population served by link

Why cost-effectiveness (and not cost-benefit) analysis?
  • At traffic levels <50 vpd the traditional economic tools (e.g. HDM) don’t
  • Producer surplus method often leads to unrealistic results
      •    Emphasis is increasingly on social benefits of roads which are difficult
           to quantify
      •    Method has been traditionally applied for other rural infrastructure
           (wells, health centres) but not for roads.


5.1        Bothashoek T-junction to Praktiseer

The problems experience at this T-junction are:
      Vehicles approaching from Burgersfort that wants to turn right have
      difficulty to do so due to the oncoming vehicles travelling at speeds in
      excess of 60km/h (the spped limit at this point). The absence of road
      signs indicating the speed limit contributes to this situation. Taxis stop
      in the passing lane on the


Figure 1: Pedestrian counts site (1) Dilokong hospital intersection 21
         June 2006
Figure 2: Pedestrian counts (1) at Dilokong hospital intersection: hourly

Figure 3: Public transport at the Dilokong hospital

Pedestrian activities around the hospital (site 1) are high early in the morning
between 6:00 and 7:00, when community members go to work. People seem
to board their public transport in this area. 15:00 signals the afternoon
pedestrian rush with people returning home.
Figure 4: Pedestrian counts (2) at Dilokong hospital intersection, 21
         June 2006

Figure 5: Pedestrian counts Dilokong hospital (2): hourly intervals

Pedestrians seem to be concentrated early in the morning. Peak times for this
site are between 6:00 and 7:00, 10:00 -11:00 and then again between 17:00
and 18:00.
Figure6: Pedestrian counts (3) at Dilokong hospital intersection, 21 June

Figure 7: Pedestrian counts Dilokong hospital (3): hourly intervals

Figure 8: Pedestrian counts on the R37 at Batau High School (1), 21
         June 2006

Figure 9: Pedestrian counts Batau High School (1): hourly intervals
Figure 10: Pedestrian counts on the R37 at Batau High School (2), 21
         June 2006

Figure 11: Pedestrian counts at Batau High School (2): hourly intervals

Pedestrian activities correlate with the school children arriving at and leaving
from school in the morning and afternoons. It should be kept in mind that the
learners were writing exams and when they finish they are allowed to go
home. This might explain the 10:00 increase that is seen in the graph above.
Figure 12: Pedestrian counts the R37 and Batau High School (3), 21 June

Figure 13: Pedestrian counts at Batau High School: hourly intervals


The study conducted in 2003 by the Joint Development Trust falls mainly
outside of the SANRAL community empowerment project, but considering the
accident data and hazardous locations as they were identified by the
community, it was thought useful to give an indication of the number and
volumes of traffic on the R37 as well as the access routes and intersections
crossing or joining the R37.
Figure 14: Vehicle volumes (2003) at the Steelpoort and Burgersfort

Traffic volumes start to escalate between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning, and
then decrease again between 11:00 and 13:00. Vehicle volumes rise again
between 15:00 and 18:00 with the highest number of vehicles recorded
between 17:00 and 18:00.

Figure 15: Vehicle volumes (2003) at the Bothashoek intersection

Vehicle counts were done only at peak times. One would therefore just
assume that the rest of the day is not as busy as the mornings and
Figure 16: Vehicle volumes (2003) at the Polokwane/Burgersfort

Traffic volumes are the highest in the morning between 6:00 and 8:00 and
further escalates between 9:00 and 10:00, after which it decreases
significantly. Afternoon traffic volumes restart again between 14:00 and 15:00
and reach a peak between 15:00 and 16:00.

Figure 17: Vehicle volumes (2003) at the Modikwa mine

Traffic volumes are the highest at this intersection between 6:00 and 7:00 in
the morning and between 16:00 and 18:00 in the afternoon.

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