The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) along with its country office known as the Lesotho Millennium Development Agency (LMDA) has solicited inputs of the Road Fund into the Second Compact that the MCC is developing for Lesotho, during a recent meeting held at Road Fund offices.
In her opening remarks, the Specialist to MCC Resettlement Mrs. Liza Van Der Merwe indicated that in line with MCC Compact II Vision, which is “to ensure a road network that is of high quality at all times”, they have visited Road Fund to find out its involvement in the financing of the roads sector.
She said understanding the Road Fund mandate would assist them to incorporate areas that need to be improved in Compact II, saying this would ensure that Road Fund remains efficient and effective in discharging its mandate.
The Road Fund Senior Secretariat Engineer Mr. Tšeliso Polaki highlighted the meeting on the mandate of Road Fund, which is to collect revenue from identified sources and disburse same to Implementing agencies for maintenance of roads in the country.
He further highlighted that road construction is very expensive, and there is currently an imbalance on the revenue collected and amount needed for asset recovery. He said the financial needs for maintenance and possible rehabilitation way outweigh the revenue made.
He explained that implementing agencies apply for funding to Road Fund on an annual basis, and spend their allocation per submitted annual plans.
He said that the country is facing very hard economic challenges, and that while Road Fund is striving to ensure that it maximizes collection of funds, the collected funds are not enough to meet the current demand in relation to the road condition surveys carried out through Lesotho Road Management System (LRMS).
On the inquiry by MCC on how the Road Fund efficiencies may be improved, the Road Fund Compliance Manager Mr. Phoka Thene highlighted the meeting that the Fund’s autonomy and some level of power over its mandate (both collection and ensuring implementation) would improve on the Fund’s efficiency and effectiveness.
He said this would give the Fund some grip and say on how efficiently its mandate should be performed. He highlighted further that this may be achieved by the current draft Act that fund is working on to deliver to the Ministry of Finance and Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for furthering.
The Acting Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Mphaphathi Ramanyalane closed the meeting by thanking the MCC Team for engaging the Road Fund, also expressing hope that the feedback from the overall consultations on the roads sector would be shared with Road Fund once available.
This was one of the many consultative meetings that the MCC is holding to ensure that priority sectors are well represented in Compact II.