The National Roads Agency Limited wants better law enforcement to prevent overloaded vehicles, which cause about R600 million worth of damage to the country’s roads every year.

The National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) wants better law enforcement to stop overloaded vehicles, which cause about R600 million worth of damage to the country’s roads every year.

Nazir Alli, chief executive of Sanral, was reporting back on the state of the country’s roads to the portfolio committee on transport in Parliament this week.

The Department of Transport last year allocated R30 billion over five years for the upgrade of SA roads, but Alli said this was a total budget and still needed to be split between the various road agencies, including provincial road departments.

“It costs about R20 000/km to upgrade a gravel road, while a sophisticated highway costs about R30 million per kilometre. The overloaded trucks cause damage to the roads of about R600 million and we could save a lot of money if we can enforce the rules and ensure these vehicles do not cause as much damage.

“Roads generally have a life span of about 25 years and about 70 per cent of our national roads are about 10 to 20 years old. We must protect our assets,” he said.

Alli said that KwaZulu-Natal had had the most success controlling overloaded trucks, while the Western Cape had the most damage, but he added it was a national problem that had to be dealt with.

“We are discussing the issue with provincial governments who enforce these laws to ensure that our roads are protected.”