The Department of Transport highlighted key performances for the reporting year. Government had invested R15 million on a Shova Kalula project for a period of 4 years which dealt with distribution of bicycles to deserving learners. One of the highlights of the Department was the issuing of the safety permit authorising the operation of the Gautrain and the Bus Rapid Transit. The vacancy rate was between 7% and 8% due to serious budget constrains. On the Department’s adjusted budget for 2009/10 there was R25 million that was rolled over from the previous year. The Department assured the Committee that it had noted the outcomes of the audit opinions the Auditor-General. The Department had sent 17 students to
The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency was established by the Cross-Border Transport Act 1998 (Act No. 4 of 1998). Its core functional areas were regulatory, law enforcement, advisory and facilitation.
Members’ main concerns were the extension of the Gautrain routes to other provinces and townships and to see resolution on the issue of taxi routes and permits on the borders especially on the
Department of Transport Presentation
Mr Lawrence Venkile, Acting Chief Operations Officer, Department of Transport (DOT), reported key performance highlights for the reporting year it its seven programmes. Significant strides were made in terms of refining policy and closing critical gaps that were identified in scholar transportation, road safety and passenger transportation on transportation policy, research and economic analysis. These gaps necessitated a review of the approach to law enforcement resulting in proposed amendments to the National Road Traffic Act 1996 and passing of the Maritime transport Security Act 2009 and the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability Convention) Act 2009. Mr Venkile also mentioned that vehicle registration and traffic management were conducted through the Electronic National Traffic Information System (E-NaTIS).
Challenges included revenue flows which remained passive as the revenue sharing arrangements were not working as they should and the “conveyor belt” was also not working properly. Another challenge was that Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) was not in a position to take over a system that was for the development and deployment for the E-NaTIS contract as per agreement. RTMC also did not have the management infrastructure in place to support a system like E-NaTIS. There were challenges with the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) tariffs approval by the regulatory committee which resulted in new permission being granted for ACSA and Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS).
Government had invested R15 million on a Shova Kalula project for a period of 4 years. This project had distributed 21 000 bicycles to deserving learners and a revised non-motor transport implementation plan had targeted to distribute 1 million bicycles by 2015. Mr Venkile stated that one of the highlights of the Department was the issuing of the safety permit authorising the operation and roll out of the Gautrain in Johannesburg and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Johannesburg and Cape Town. A significant focus was on building capacity of operating licence boards and simplifying the regulations of licensing public transport operations.
About 93% of the Department’s staff positions were filled and the Department promised to keep it at that level. Mr Venkile also highlighted the vacant posts that had not been filled due to serious budget constrains. The Department also acknowledged that it needed to put more emphasis on skills development, support for the disabled, women and youth, as women, coloured people and disabled people were still under represented in the Department. Job Access had been appointed by the Department to assist the Department to recruit people with disabilities.
On the Department’s adjusted budget for 2009/10 there was R25 million that was rolled over from the previous year. The Department stated that some of the unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditures were due to high salary increases and disaster management grant for flood damage in the
The Department assured the Committee that it had noted the outcomes of the Auditor General, who had recommended that Parliament must consider and decide whether the unauthorised expenditure should be approved or not. The Auditor-General also recommended that fruitless and wasteful expenditure should be dealt with accordingly.
Among the Department’s achievements was the sending of 17 students to
In 2010/11 the Department would focus on policy for public transport access in
Cross-Border Road Transport Agency
Mr Sipho Mkhize, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Cross-Border Road Transport Agency ((C-BRTA) said that the C-BRTA was established by the Cross-Border Road Transport Act 1998 (Act No. 4 of 1998). Its core functional areas were regulatory and dealt with issuing permits for and facilitation of all cross border movements and law enforcement. It also ensured that consultations and partnerships with other key role players within
The strategic role of C-BRTA was the promotion of regional trade and socio-economic integration and development, the improvement of security, safety and efficiency in cross-border road transport. The C-BRTA focused on the challenges that were faced in the RSA/Lesotho border, and admitted that non-compliance to the provisions of Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on road transportation was one of the challenges the
Initially the Department had normalisation interventions like the amendment of the Cross-Border Road Transport Act. A moratorium was uplifted against the issuance of cross-border passenger permits. A task team was also formed which consisted of senior road transport officials. The Department removed the illegal rank facilities that were at Van Rooyen’s Gate border post.
A task team had drafted some recommendations that law enforcement had to be increased around the RSA/Lesotho borders. The Minister of Transport had to engage the Free State Member of the Executive Council (MEC) at Ministers and Members of the Executive Council (MINMEC) level. It was also recommended that the
72% of the permits issued were freight permits. Most of the taxi, bus and freight permits issued were issued to
Ms M Themba (ANC,
The Department assured the Committee that the Department was looking at the matter and had given the Deputy Director-General targets on how to employ women in different positions in the Department. The Department did not have the funds to fill the vacant posts and the number of vacancies was decreasing compared to 2006. The Department had not met its national target of employing 2% of people with disability.
Mr Z Mlenzana (COPE,
The Department explained that students that were selected for skills development programme were not from rural areas but they were all black and 50% of them were women.
Mr Mawethu Vilama, Deputy Director-General: Integrated Transport Planning, Department of Transport, explained that the Rural Public Transport Development was not cancelled but was realigned.
Mr M Jacobs (ANC,
Mr Venkile told the Committee that the Minister had already spoken about the extension of the Gautrain to other provinces and townships and that the first extension might be in
Mr D Feldman (COPE,
Ms L Mabija (ANC,
Mr Venkile informed the Committee that there were containers disposed in certain areas, where bicycles were distributed, for the maintenance of the bicycles.
Mr Jacobs was not happy with the Cape Town BRT bus that was operating between the Airport and the central business district (CBD) as it was always empty and according to him it was a waste of money. He wanted to know what the Department was doing about the corruption of traffic officers.
Mr Venkile admitted that the BRT system in
The Chairperson asked the Department to state the number of cases that were condoned and the reasons. He also wanted clarity on slide 5 of the presentation as it was vague as to what was due to whom. He raised his worry on the fact that the Department failed to submit the Review on time and delayed on the E-NATIS transfer to Government by Tasima project.
Mr Jacobs wanted to know if the amended Act could not be relaxed during the festive season as he sensed that taxi violence was going to erupt between the taxis that were in the South African Border and Lesotho Border as the taxi drivers in the border claimed that they were not benefiting from the deal the Department had with them as some of the taxis did not drop the passengers on the border so they could be transported by the taxis in the border. He also wanted to know the number of taxi permits that was issued to the taxi drivers in the South African and
The C-BRTA explained that there were 3336 taxis to
Ms Themba wanted to know how the Department was educating people about its protocol, monitoring and the implementation of its protocol. She also suggested that the Department and the Committee have a workshop early next year to engage more on the issue of permits and taxi associations in the different borders of the country especially the RSA/Lesotho border.
The Chairperson asked if there were programmes in place to help the borders with problems. He also wanted an update on the air links that were cancelled.
Mr Jacobs wanted clarity on how the Department was going to resolve the issue of permits. He was not happy with the system used to issue permits and control the taxi route to and fro
The Chairperson said that Members would look at the matter of issuing of permits in the
The meeting was adjourned.
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