Everyone will recall the saying “All roads lead to Rome” and the grand idea in the 19th Century of linking the Cape to Cairo (Egypt). Roads have been described as the “lifeblood or arteries of the country”. Napoleon, and later German leaders, spent good amounts from their treasuries to ensure good roads crossed their territories: whilst important in the movement of their armies, roads are also crucial in the everyday movement of goods (trade), people (commerce) and the administration of their territories.
Indeed, the concept that all roads led to Rome gave each and every citizen in the vast Roman Empire the perception that they could, quite easily, travel to the capital to ply their business. A more modern reinforcement of this concept is the “Building South Africa through better roads” dictum of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL).