Commonly cited estimates of the road maintenance backlog in South Africa, including that used in the 2018 Draft Roads Policy for South Africa, quantified it at R197 billion in 2014. This paper interrogates the accuracy of this estimate by evaluating the extent to which national, provincial, and municipal road authorities are singularly and cumulatively affected by road maintenance backlogs as at 2017. The modelling suggests that rehabilitation backlogs are potentially as high as R135.4 billion for the paved road network and R281.2 billion for the gravel road network. Backlog estimates are also generated for gravel to surface upgrades and the contingent liability posed by unproclaimed roads. The discussion of these results addresses the implications for road investment policy, budget planning, and attempts to develop an integrated funding model.
Papers presented at the 38th International Southern African Transport Conference on "Disruptive transport technologies - is South and Southern Africa ready?" held at CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa on 8th to 11th July 2019.