Assessing the conditions of rural road networks in South Africa using visual observations and field-based manual measurements: A case study of four rural communities in Kwa-Zulu Natal
Keywords:Rural road conditions, Socioeconomic impacts, Poverty, Road authorities, Rural access.
AbstractThe prioritization and improvement of rural road networks is important in developing countries in order to uplift the socioeconomic conditions experienced by communities. So far, limited information exists on the conditions of unpaved or gravels roads, particularly in rural areas and the associated implications to rural economies. The present study therefore used visual observations and field-based measurements to assess the physical, environmental and anthropogenic factors affecting Minor roads (R3), Collector roads (R4) and Local roads (R5) in four rural communities in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. The function of these road classes is to provide access from homesteads to main roads that connect rural areas to towns. In this study, two classification methods were used to rate the severity and extent of each surface distress on each road class. Results indicate that there was more than one surface distresses identified and assessed on each road class within the selected communities. It was noted that all the road classes had moderate to severe surface distress, except for the R3 road class in Emazabekweni community, reflecting problems associated with poor drainage systems and maintenance. Visual observation and field-based methods are useful tools that can aid in identifying and assessing the physical conditions of unpaved roads, as well as possible environmental, physical and anthropogenic factors at interplay, especially in resource limited regions. This study recommended that road authorities should ensure that proper drainage systems should be well designed; constructed and maintained on all gravel roads in order to reduce surface deterioration associated with runoff.
Alzubaidi, H. (2000). Rating of Gravel Roads in Sweden. Development of a new method. TRITA-IP FR, (00-77).
Alzubaidi, H., & Magnusson, R. (2002). Deterioration and Rating of Gravel Roads: State of the Art. Road Materials and Pavement Design, 3(3), 235-260. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680629.2002.9689924
Beegle, K., Christiaensen, L., Dabalen, A., & Gaddis, I. (2016). POVERTY RISING AFRICA. World Bank Publications.
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. (2001). The Massachusetts Unpaved Roads BMP Manual: A Guidebook on How to Improve Water Quality While Addressing Common Problems. Project 98-06/319. http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/water/resources/a-thru-m/dirtroad.pdf.
Bhattacharya, A., Oppenheim, J., & Stern, L. N. (2015). Driving sustainable development through better infrastructure: Key elements of a transformation program. Global Economy & Development Working Paper, 91.
Bond, P. (1999). Basic infrastructure for socio-economic development, environmental protection and geographical desegregation: South Africa's unmet challenge. Geoforum, 30(1), 43-59. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7185(98)00031-1.
Briceno-Garmendia, C., & Estache, A. (2004). Infrastructure services in developing countries: access, quality, costs, and policy reform (Vol. 3468). World Bank Publications. http://dx.doi.org/10.1596/1813-9450-3468
Chambers, R. (2014). Rural development: Putting the last first. Routledge.
Chambers, R., & Conway, G. (1992). Sustainable rural livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st century. Institute of Development Studies (UK).
Chamberlin, J., & Jayne, T. S. (2013). Unpacking the meaning of ‘market access’: evidence from rural Kenya. World development, 41, 245-264.
Chamorro, A., & Tighe, S. (2009). Development of a management framework for rural roads in developing countries: integrating socioeconomic impacts. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2093), 99-107. http://dx.doi.org/10.3141/2093-12.
Chamorro, A., de Solminihac, H., Salgado, M., & Barrera, E. (2009). Development and Validation of a Method to Evaluate Unpaved Road Condition with Objective Distress Measures. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2101), 3-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.3141/2101-01.
Cohen, B. (2006). Urbanization in developing countries: Current trends, future projections, and key challenges for sustainability. Technology in society, 28(1), 63-80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2005.10.005.
Commitee of Transport Officials. (2012). Technical Recommendations For Highways. South African Road Classification and Access Management Manual, Pretoria, South Africa.
Connerley, E., & Schroeder, L. (1996). Rural transport planning. Approach Paper, Sub-Saharan Africa, 68, 69-71.
Faiz, A. (2012). The Promise of Rural Roads: Review of the Role of Low-Volume Roads in Rural Connectivity, Poverty Reduction, Crisis Management, and Livability. Transportation Research E-Circular, (E-C167).
Forman, R. T. (2003). Road ecology: science and solutions. Island Press.
Fu, B., Newham, L. T., & Ramos-Scharron, C. E. (2010). A review of surface erosion and sediment delivery models for unsealed roads. Environmental Modelling & Software, 25(1), 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2009.07.013.
Gwilliam, K., Foster, V., Archondo-Callao, R., Brice-o-Garmendia, C., Nogales, A., & Sethi, K. (2008). The Burden of Maintenance: Roads in Sub-Saharan Africa. Background Paper, 14.
Hanmer, L., Booth, D., & Lovell, E. (2000). Poverty and Transport: A Report prepared for the World Bank in collaboration with DFID. Overseas Development Institute.
Hettige, H. (2006). When do rural roads benefit the poor and how?: an in-depth analysis based on case studies. Asian Development Bank, Philippines.
Hetzel, M. W., Iteba, N., Makemba, A., Mshana, C., Lengeler, C., Obrist, B., & Mayumana, I. (2007). Understanding and improving access to prompt and effective malaria treatment and care in rural Tanzania: the ACCESS Programme. Malaria journal, 6(1), 83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-6-83.
Housing Development Agency. (2013). The Housing Development Agency annual report 2012/2013 [Online]. Johannesburg, South Africa: HDA. [Accessed 04 October 2015].
Huntington, G., & Ksaibati, K. (2005). Gravel roads asset management. Transportation Research Circular E-C078: Roadway Preservation 2005, 214-228.
Huntington, G., & Ksaibati, K. (2007). Gravel Roads Surface Performance Modeling. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2016), 56-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.3141/2016-07
Jones, D. (2000). Draft TMH12: Pavement Management Systems: Standard Visual Assessment Manual for Unsealed Roads (Version 1). Pretoria, South Africa.
Jones, T. E. (1984). The Kenya maintenance study on unpaved roads: research on deterioration. Overseas Unit, Transport and Road Research Laboratory.
Kilkenny, M. (1998). Transport costs, the new economic geography, and rural development. Growth and Change, 29(3), 259-280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0017-4815.00087
Lay, M. G. (2009). Handbook of road technology. CRC Press.
Lishman, D. (2013). A critical evaluation of road pricing in South Africa Duncan Lishman.
Lugo, A.E. and Gucinski, H., 2000. Function, effects, and management of forest roads. Forest ecology and management, 133(3), pp.249-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(99)00237-6.
Maser, K. R. (1996). Condition assessment of transportation infrastructure using ground-penetrating radar. Journal of infrastructure systems, 2(2), 94-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1076-0342(1996)2:2(94)
Mashiri, M., Naude, A., & Nchabeleng, A. (2002). Rural transport strategy for South Africa. Contract Report CR-2002/72. Pretoria.
Miheretu, B. A. (2011). Causes and consequences of rural-urban migration: the case of Woldiya town, North Ethiopia (Doctoral dissertation).
Mwabu, G., & Thorbecke, E. (2004). Rural development, growth and poverty in Africa. Journal of African Economies, 13(suppl 1), i16-i65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejh015.
Nkomo, S. Developing key success criteria for rural development initiatives in the context of sustainable land management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus (Masters dissertation).
Okhahlamba Local Municipality. (2015). Okhahlamba Municipality IDP Review-2015/2016, Bergville, South Africa.
Porter, G. (2014). Transport services and their impact on poverty and growth in rural Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of recent research and future research needs. Transport reviews, 34(1), 25-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01441647.2013.865148.
Porter, G., Hampshire, K., Mashiri, M., Dube, S., & Maponya, G. (2010). ‘Youthscapes’ and escapes in rural Africa: Education, mobility and livelihood trajectories for young people in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Journal of international development, 22(8), 1090-1101.
Potts, D. (2013). Rural–urban and urban–rural migration flows as indicators of economic opportunity in Sub-Saharan Africa: What do the data tell us. Migrating out of poverty research programme working paper.
Rivera, F., Chamorro, A., Lucero, R., & Aravena, C. (2015). Development of Condition Indicator for Managing Sealed Rural Road Networks. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (2474), 90-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.3141/2474-11
Roberts, P., Kc, S., & Rastogi, C. (2006). Rural access index: a key development indicator: The World Bank Group, Washington DC.
Sahn, D. E., & Stifel, D. C. (2003). Urban–rural inequality in living standards in Africa. Journal of African Economies, 12(4), 564-597. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jae/12.4.564.
Schulze, R. E. (ed.) (2008). South African Atlas of Climatology and Agrohydrology. WRC Report No. 1489/1/08. Water Research Commission, Pretoria, RSA.
Sethi, K. (2008). The Burden of Maintenance: Roads in Sub-Saharan Africa. AICD.
Shoop, S., Affleck, R., Haehnel, R., & Janoo, V. (2008). Mechanical behavior modeling of thaw-weakened soil. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 52(2), 191-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coldregions.2007.04.023.
Simonsen, E. and Isacsson, U., 1999. Thaw weakening of pavement structures in cold regions. Cold regions science and technology, 29(2), pp.135-151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0165-232X(99)00020-8
Smith, A., & Visser, A. T. (2001). A South African Road Network Classification Based on Traffic Loading. M Eng project report, University of Pretoria.
Songco, J. A. (2002). Do Rural Infrastructure Investments Benefit the Poor?: Evaluating Linkages: a Global View, a Focus on Vietnam (Vol. 2796). World Bank Publications. http://dx.doi.org/10.1596/1813-9450-2796
Starkey, P. (Ed.). (2002). Improving rural mobility: options for developing motorized and nonmotorized transport in rural areas (Vol. 23). World Bank Publications. http://dx.doi.org/10.1596/0-8213-5185-0
Statistics South Africas. (2014). Annual report 2013/14 [Online]. Pretoria, South Africa. [Accessed 14 October 2015].
Tacoli, C. (2003). The links between urban and rural development. Environment and Urbanization, 15(1), 3-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/095624780301500111
Ubuhlebezwe Local Municipality. (2015). Ubuhlebezwe Municipality IDP Review – 2015/2016, Ixopo, South Africa.
Van de Walle, D. (2002). Choosing rural road investments to help reduce poverty. World Development, 30(4), 575-589. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(01)00127-9
van der Gryp, A., & van Zyl, G. (2007). Variability and control of gravel road visual assessments. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, (1989), 247-253. http://dx.doi.org/10.3141/1989-70.
Wenzel, P. (2007). Public-sector transformation in South Africa Getting the basics right. Progress in Development Studies, 7(1), 47-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/146499340600700105.
Yifred, K. (2013). Performance Assessment of Road Drainage Structures and Proposed Mitigation Measures: The case of Daleti-Odagodere Gravel Road in Benishangul-Gumuz Region (Doctoral dissertation, AAU).
Zhang, C., & Elaksher, A. (2012). An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle‐Based Imaging System for 3D Measurement of Unpaved Road Surface Distresses1. Computer‐Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 27(2), 118-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8667.2011.00727.x.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).