Transport : Minister's Budget Speech


20 May 2008


Transport Minister Radebe’s Budget Speech

20 May 2008
Let me first of all welcome all members of the media. As I table the budget vote in Parliament this afternoon, it is important to state that the success in hosting the mega event of the 2010 FIFA World Cup much depends on an efficient transport system, that is, to efficiently move people to stadiums, to areas of their accommodation, to recreational and tourist areas, as well as enable transport between cities as people would be moving from one game to another. And this would be the main message in my Budget Vote Speech this afternoon. The Transport Department’s initial initiatives to acquire 1400 luxury coaches to provide transport for guests attending the FIFA World Cup games are at an advanced stage.
As the Department of Transport, we are working closely with the Local Organising Committee, and we share the LOC’s vision that takes the opportunity provided by the FIFA World Cup tournament to ensure the event leaves behind a useful legacy. In other words, we have worked hard to put up infrastructure that would meet the World Cup transport imperatives while knowing that such infrastructure will continue to be invaluable in the transport needs of our people and economy long after the last goal is scored. The increased transport capacity for the FIFA World Cup will help resolve the limited transport capacity that is characterized amongst others by traffic congestions particularly during peak hour traffic.
What this means is that while we will seek to present a successful event that would meet the expectations of football fans across the world as they will  converge in South Africa, the FIFA World Cup events must help boost our economic development in general and our infrastructure development in particular.
Today, we are 750 days away from the 2010 World Cup and as the transport sector our 2010 related projects are in full swing and the majority are to be concluded before or on time for the event.  But first let me remind you that the investment we are putting into the Transport system to prepare for 2010, which has increased to R13.6bn over MTEF period through the Public Transport Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) from 2005/06 to the current MTEF ending in March 2011. The overall investment framework in transport infrastructure in addition to PTIF;
Road Infrastructure                     R 70bn

Access Roads (EPWP)              R 3bn

Airports Development                 R19.5bn

Air Traffic Navigation                   R 400m

Passenger Rail                          R 18bn

Taxi Recap Programme              R 7,7bn

Gautrain                                    R25bn
Almost all of the major physical 2010 projects have started in all Host Cities. Some have even been completed or are in the final stages of completion. The major projects that have started so far include among others, the Phase 1A of the Rea Vaya BRT system in the City of Johannesburg that is 48 km long with 48 bus terminals as well as the N17 linking Soweto to Nasrec and Northern suburbs of Johannesburg. It also includes the BRT system in Nelson Mandela Bay; the various rail station upgrades throughout the country and particularly those linked directly to stadia or training facilities in Host Cities.; and the 1st phase of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme (230km freeways widening by 2010 out the total of 560km). This scheme is part of Government’s innovative way of improving traffic flow in the Gauteng freeways, which carries more than 180 000 vehicles per day.
An important area for the Department of Transport has been to drive the capacity of the aviation sector and the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) has embarked on a very impressive programme to prepare for 2010 and beyond. Revenue is expected to grow from R3bn in 2007/08 to over R4.3bn by 2010/11. This growth averages an increase of 12.1% per annum. ACSA in turn continues with its concerted infrastructure expenditure through developments at OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town and Durban and other airports at a cost of over R20bn to provide for the expansion of airport infrastructure.
I am proud to say that over the past 18 months, the SARCC has been able to upgrade and take through its general overhaul programme over 790 coaches which have since been deployed back into service. The SARCC has already committed another 700 coaches to be refurbished in this current financial year at an estimated cost of almost R2 billion in this regard. This is vital because a key factor in the deterioration of rail services has been under-investment in rolling stock.
The recent launch of the Tshwane Business Express between Tshwane and Johannesburg was yet another milestone in the turnaround of passenger rail, particularly after the Soweto and Khayelitsha Express Services were launched. It is important that we demonstrate in practice that Metrorail is positioned as a world-class organisation that could offer high-quality passenger services. In addition, the programme to upgrade key rail stations for the Confederations Cup next year and for 2010 World Cup is already underway, and construction or improvement at stations such as NASREC, Doornfontein near Ellis Park, Moses Mabhida, Cape Town, Loftus and North End Station in Port Elizabeth will be completed by end of April 2009.  Furthermore, the SARCC has allocated an additional R300 million over the next 3 years to cover the  basic improvement of facilities such as ablution facilities, lighting and subways in over 130 stations this year, with over 75 stations either under construction or have been completed.
In Gauteng, the Gautrain will be a central axis around which we build an integrated intermodal transport system. As you know, the Gautrain Rapid Rail Project is well on course and we are spending R25 billion for this modern, state of the art rail system which will close a major gap in our public transport infrastructure provision and services.
Honourable members, at the end of the 2007/08 financial year, the Gautrain project reached the eighteenth month of development putting Phase 1, the section between the O R Tambo International Airport and Sandton, at 40% and Phase 2, the completion of the whole project, at 33,3% of actual time elapsed since the effective date.
The Taxi Recapitalisation Programme has resulted in over 13 500 taxis being recapitalized and R 675 million being paid to taxi operators.
I’m also glad to announce that the AARTO project will be implemented as a pilot project in June, while a national roll-out will be implemented in 2009. Critical to this is the demerit system aimed at fostering law compliance to ensure road safety. Processes are afoot to move the eNatis programme from the Transport Department to RTMC. Roads safety remains a critical issue on our roads, more so as road casualties rob families of their members in the most violant and traumatic ways that leave lasting scares, with many loosing their bred winners and plunging dependants into poverty. However, our Arrive Alive campaigns have yielded positive results with the reduction in car fatalities over the past festive season and Easter weekend. 
Air transport has been enhanced over the past years by the introduction of budget airlines that have enabled more people to afford air travel. However, the problem of baggage theft at airports is something that must be further engaged beyond changing of the baggage handling service provider. As a Department, we will continue to engage relevant stakeholders, particularly ACSA, on issues of safety and security for both baggage and passengers, particularly in the context of reported criminal activities at the OR Tambo International Airport.
In conclusion, despite the various challenges we face on matters of transport, the initiatives we have taken will enable us as a country to have a better transport system in the long run that serves the interests of both our people and the economy at large.


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