Senior members of the Department of Transport gave a follow-up briefing to the Committee on the Human Resource Development Plan in terms of Transport’s contribution to the New Growth Path, Skills Development and Job Creation in the Transportation Industry.
The Department outlined the Broad Skills Development Programme, with reference to the New Growth Path, job creation, service delivery and transformation through skills development. Critical areas where skills were needed were indicated – for example, engineering, information technology, economists, aircraft maintenance engineers, naval architects, and port engineers. The Department collaborated with 13 universities and sponsored students in specific areas, such as engineering and maritime engineering. The Transport Further Education and Training Curriculum and Programme had been approved for introduction in the Further Education and
The Department explained a major transport sector job creation initiative, the S’hamba Sonke Roads Maintenance Programme. Roads were part of the country’s Gross Capital Stock which contributed to economic development. Research had shown that there was a correlation between investment in economic infrastructure and economic growth. Large sections of the provincial road network were very poor. It had been decided to invest and focus in the secondary road network - hence the S’hamba Sonke Programme.
The national Department would establish a Performance Management Unit to ensure the methodology relating to S’hamba Sonke would be implemented.
The Department presented on the Shova Kalula Bicycle Programme. The Department had conducted a feasibility study for the construction of a bicycle manufacturing plant. There was manufacturing capability in the country. The annual production requirement was 162 000 bicycles at a monthly production rate of 13 500 bicycles. Interviews were conducted with local bicycle industry, local manufacturing industry and foreign equipment manufacturers. Three assembly plants were identified for the development of the concept – in
The Department briefed Members on the Rail Rolling Stock Acquisition Programme. Forecasts of commuter rail volumes indicated need for a new fleet. There was a procurement of 360 coaches per year for a 10 year contract. The procurement would result in the creation of 65 000 direct and indirect jobs. The medium term procurement would allow local capability to evolve to 65% of the value of a coach produced locally.
Members thanked the Department for an improved presentation; asked if the Department had a career guidance programme and whether its mobile laboratories targeted learners from deep rural areas; if the provinces understood the In relation to the S’hamba Sonke Programme since they used the grant to pay off their debts; were concerned about the assembly plant for the Shova Kalula Bicycle Programme that was located in Gauteng because there were rural provinces that needed a such a plant to create job opportunities for rural people to minimize migration; and asked why the Department did not target rural provinces like Mpumalanga in establishing assembly plants. A Democratic Alliance Member was concerned that provinces used money from the S’hamba Sonke Programme that was intended for municipalities to maintain roads and thereby create jobs. One would not want to loose focus as to the purpose of the funding. The manufacturing aspect of the Shova Kalula programme was not really the issue, because 280 jobs was nothing compared to potential job creation from maintaining those bicycles over longer periods. Seven years ago the Committee went to the
The Chairperson welcomed Members and delegates from the Department of Transport (DoT). She gave a brief introduction and noted that the Committee should acknowledge that the Department had sent senior officials to the meeting. Her reason for that acknowledgement was that this was a follow-up meeting to fill the gaps the Committee had identified during the previous presentation by junior staff. The Committee was not happy with the earlier presentation but appreciated the seriousness of the Department when it was told to go back and improve its report and send senior officials to the follow- up meeting. This showed respect. The Committee's approach was that it worked as a collective with the Department, but the Committee would always hold it accountable and sought to facilitate the Department's response to the needs of the public and ensure that it put in place programmes that prioritised Government’s service delivery, and one of those priorities was to ensure job creation in
In the last presentation there was no clear indication on how skills development would take effect, and how the Department was creating a balance between the infrastructure development and development of service delivery in line with a sustainable developmental state. The Committee had also highlighted that it would want to see an approach that sought to develop the transport industry in relation to the New Growth Path, and ensure that there was beneficiation for the natural resources of the country.
Broad Skills Development Programme
Mr Mathabatha Mokonyama, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Public Transport, DoT noted that the Department had managed to compile a fairly big document which consisted of a total of 96 slides. But in terms of its presentation to the Portfolio Committee it would not go beyond 20 slides, because the majority of the information covered provinces. This was included so that Members could familiarise themselves with what was happening there. The presentation was divided into three parts: the Broad Skills Development Plan or Strategy of the Department; the major job creation drivers within the sector in general and particularly within the Department; and the S’hamba Sonke Programme, Shova Kalula Bicycle Programme, and the Rail Rolling Stock Acquisition Programme. The latter had greater relevance to job creation and had a close relationship with the provisions of the New Growth Path. The presentation would also touch on other job creation initiatives which were not an immediate focal point.
Mr Mokonyama noted that the purpose of the presentation was to provide an overview of the manner in which the Department of Transport responded to New Growth Path, job creation, service delivery and transformation through skills development. It was to show interventions in terms of initiatives to address the skills but also to report on major transport and job creation initiatives. In terms of the Integrated Skills Development he noted that the vision of the Department was to improve the public transport system through skills development in partnership with private, public and international institutions. The secondary vision of the Department was to improve rural access, infrastructure, and mobility safety, efficiency, and offer an affordable and reliable transport system that responded to socio-economic infrastructure. All the modes of transport such as road, rail, air, and maritime would encompass the aims of the Department in terms of the integrated skills development. The skills integration would include planning, project management, implementation and public transport as an output. The integrated skills development would result to job creation, training through education in Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), mentoring and coaching, capacity building initiatives, and seminars and workshops.
The critical areas where road skills were mostly needed were in specialized fields such as engineering, artisans, apprentices, road maintenance management, traffic officers, etc. In terms of rail skills needs engineers, information technology (IT) and signalling experts, rail infrastructure developers, economists, logistics experts, monitors, and yard masters were in high demand. In the aviation sector pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers, air transport managers, and aviation compliance managers were needed. In the maritime sector pilots, seafarers, ship designers, naval architects, maritime safety officers, maritime engineers, and port engineers were mostly required to fill the skills gap shortage.
Mr Mokonyama noted that the Department’s approach to the skills requirements was very holistic as it was informed by policy making, regulations, and integrated planning. The Department would then identify the skills needed so as to provide coaching and mentoring, learnerships and internships, bursaries and scholarships and contact retired professionals in terms of scarce skills, mainly in the engineering sector. All of that would be done in an integrated, coordinated skills development and implementation plan.
In terms of interventions in skills development Mr Mokonyama noted that the Department had Skills Coordinating Bodies but did not have them for each mode of transport, but the Department was represented in each province and in agencies in relation to the identification of skills and identification of opportunities wherein skills could be developed and tested. The Department collaborated with thirteen universities in the form of centres of development programme and and sponsored students with bursaries and scholarships in specific areas, such as engineering, maritime engineers, etc. The Department also had the Transport Research Activity Centre that supported learners and educators in high schools on mathematics, science and technology by way of 33 mobile laboratories.
In terms of further interventions the Transport Further Education and Training (FET) Curriculum and Programme had been approved for introduction in the FET Colleges for 2012. The education outreach programme of the Department was in the form of campaigns where the Department together with its agencies had to go out and sell their vision and what the transport sector could offer. The learnerships and apprentices were driven by the Transport Education and Training Authority (Teta). The utilisation of retired professionals for mentoring and coaching was still to be properly coordinated. The Khaedu project and Accelerated Development Programme for managers was running according to the national programme.
Major Transport Sector Job Creation initiatives: S’hamba Sonke Roads Maintenance Programme
Adv James Mlawu, Acting DDG, DoT, noted that the Department's focus on roads was because roads were part of the country’s Gross Capital Stock which contributed to economic development with infrastructure investment influencing gross domestic product (GDP) levels. Research had shown that there was a correlation between investment in economic infrastructure and economic growth whereby the effects of investment in economic infrastructure would last up to 20 years and beyond.
In terms of the overall road network condition he noted that large sections of the provincial road network were very poor and the totality of the road network at various levels had declined. According to data received from the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), provinces declined by 82%, metros 64%, and municipalities declined by 4%. That was an issue the Department was currently dealing with in its road path.
In terms of the net requirement for maintenance funding he noted that the figures were based on the 2009 analysis and were low, but they gave an indication of what was required to bring road maintenance up to date from the gravel to the paved road network. In terms of provincial trends in utilising own equitable share in the maintenance of road network he noted that the average was 40% and a decision had been taken to introduce a programme to invest and focus in the secondary road network - this was where the S’hamba Sonke Programme came in.
Adv Mlawu noted that in terms of the targets for job creation on the programme across all provinces, R6.4bn had been allocated to the programme, to respond to the challenges of the road network. The Department had previously noted that the total business plans in the provinces made 165 000 a jobs target for the current financial year and it had to convert those into full time equivalent. 70 000 full time were to be created in the programme.
In terms of the performance information collected at the third quarter of the current financial year against the targets he noted that against the allocation of the R6.4 billion there was a transfer schedule agreed upon by the Department, the provincial roads authorities, and the Treasury whereby the first grant transfer was effected totalling R1.4 billion. That was not just a simple straight line division. Provinces had to indicate what their programme scheduling would look like and how on the quarterly basis they would draw down on the total allocation for the provinces. The question often asked was what was put in place to oversee the programme in order to respond to how what had been planned had to be achieved. The National Department of Transport would put in place a Performance Management Unit (PMU) that would work with the provinces to ensure the methodology relating to S’hamba Sonke would be implemented, because the provinces did not have the same technical capacity or human resources (HR) expertise to implement the programme to meet the objectives of the programme. The Department wanted the PMU and it wrote to Treasury requesting that a portion of the grant be allocated to the PMU, but the Treasury had declined. The Department now had to marshal the resources internally because it was still putting the PMU to be in place. However, implementation had started without the unit being in place.
The Department wanted the PMU to make sure that best decisions were implemented within budgets; Secondly, to ensure that there was a roll-out of best practice programmes to show that the national Department assisted provinces; thirdly to ensure that there was some integration on the network on the level of planning; lastly to institutionalise the participation of the general public in planning and implementing projects.
Mr Mokonyama stated that SANRAL, with its Gauteng Improvement Project, would create 20 000 jobs with the N1/N2 Winelands creating 6 000 jobs. The Cross Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA) through its law enforcement vacancy programme would recruit
Presentation on the Shova Kalula Bicycle Programme
Mr Mokonyama informed the Committee that the Department had concluded a feasibility study for the construction of the bicycle manufacturing plant and was happy to report on the findings on prospects for job creation. The study showed that there was manufacturing capability in the country. A map (slide 73) showed some of the poverty pockets and where there was a need for bicycles. The propensity to buy a bicycle was 55% in rural areas and 55.3% in urban areas. 13 million households were in need of bicycles. The current bicycle ownership per household was 1.36% in rural areas and 1.35% in urban areas. The current market gap was 7.9 million bicycles, with an annual increase of 20 000 and a potential demand of 9.5 million over a 10 year period. Therefore the annual production requirement was 162 000 bicycles at a monthly production rate of 13 500 bicycles.
Interviews were conducted with local bicycle industry, local manufacturing industry and foreign equipment manufacturers. The concept investigated was the setting up of assembly plants using imported components and distribution networks, and locally manufactured components. There were three assembly plants that were identified for the development of the concept –
Mr Mokonyana noted that the assembly plants offered prospects of a good business venture if a long term activity and would be profitable through Private Public Partnerships (PPPs). Local companies had the capacity and capabilities to manufacture selected components for bicycles.
There was a need to establish distribution channels and to manufacture components locally there was need to establish new companies for frame manufacturing while using existing factories to make components that required machining, pressing or moulding. In future capacity would be expanded to target latent demand and promote bicycles for sport and recreation.
The Rail Rolling Stock Acquisition Programme
r Mokonyama noted that the forecast for commuter rail volumes and market engagement indicated that new fleet was required. There was a procurement of 360 coaches per year for a 10 year contract. The programmatic procurement would result in the creation of 65 000 direct and indirect jobs. The medium term procurement would allow local capability to evolve to 65% of the value of a coach produced locally. The 65% local content was prescribed in the medium term for Operational Expenditure (OPEX) and Capital Expenditure (CAPEX). That contribution would go along way towards job creation within the South African Economy which would amount to an estimated 65 992 new job opportunities over 20 year life cycle of the project.
Mr Mokonyama noted that during the OPEX phase more than 40% of the employment opportunities were expected to be created within the transport sector. That would be followed by the wholesale and retail trade sector, business services and community, social and personal services. During the CAPEX phase a total of 52 766 employment opportunities were expected to be created within the wholesale and retail sector. Other sectors such as catering and accommodation services, community, social and personal services, business services, and building and construction would contribute employment opportunities.
Mr Mokonyama noted that the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) would partner with industry to place 36 cadets in four small vessels, with students coming from SAMSA Centres of excellence absorbed by Transnet and international organisations that had their own fleet. The Committee should support the job creation initiatives of the Department and the sector as part of the implementation of Government’s New Growth Path, and note the progress made in the implementation of those initiatives.
Ms D Dlakude (ANC) thanked the Department for an improved presentation. She asked if it had a programme that attracted students to the courses offered by the institutions of higher learning in terms of the partnership that the Department has with the 13 universities highlighted in the presentation. She asked if the Department had a career guidance programme and who were the targets of the programme. In terms of the mobile laboratories that were mentioned in the presentation she asked whether those mobile laboratories did target learners from deep rural areas.
In relation to the S’hamba Sonke Programme she asked if there was understanding of the programme in provinces because they used the grant to pay off their debts. In terms of the Shova Kalula Bicycle Programme she was concerned about the assembly plant that was located in
Mr S Farrow (DA) was also concerned that there was confusion in the
He was also concerned that there was another confusion which related to the two budgets which were allocated for the S’hamba Sonke Programme. One related to Classification Funding for municipalities and Metros to apply to get roads classified. That would be the criteria of how funds should be characterized so that the funding could be apportioned according to the needs of each municipality or metro. Therefore, the classification of money needed to be determined across the country so that provinces would know the purpose of funding.
The last funding that needed to be separated out of that link was the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) because all those monies were allocated differently and one would not want to loose focus as to the purpose of the funding.
In terms of the Shova Kalula programme Mr Farrow noted that the manufacturing part of it was not really the issue, because 280 jobs was nothing compared to what could be created through the spin-offs of maintaining those bicycles over longer periods. He reminded the department that seven years ago the Committee went to the
In terms of the railway lines, he noted that there was no mention in the presentation of the opportunities latent in the branch lines which were lying idle and moribund. This was linked to the rural development component and was one of the most crucial opportunities for moving goods and services around the country.
He was also concerned that the shipbuilding opportunities were not mentioned in the presentation which was something they needed to expand on.
Adv Mlawu noted that, in terms of the S’hamba Sonke Programme, the
The Rural Transport Services Grant was a separate and additional grant and Adv Mlawu did not focus on it. The Grant would increase through the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). The intention was to roll-out the asset management system in those municipalities to determine a model to roll-out throughout the country. The Department was engaging with those municipalities and had called a meeting with National Treasury. Prioritising of projects would be done with an asset management system.
As to confusion on the usage of the grant, Adv Mlawu explained that the grant was called “The Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant”. This did not mean other roads within the province should be excluded. However, in some provinces like the
He therefore agreed with Members that the biggest challenge was the articulation of how the grant should be spent. He also agreed with Mr Farrow that some provinces were using the grant to reschedule their equitable share.
Mr Mokonyama noted that the new grant was the fusion of two previous grants and there would be inevitably commitments which came from a year or two back, but, for the future, everything would have to depend on condition in the relevant Act.
The choice of
Mr Mokonyana noted that the components that could be manufactured in the three assembly plants would beat the ones that were imported. The real business of the plants would be that of assembling components that were locally manufactured and those that were imported. From the business analysis that had been conducted that was the best scenario the Department could come up with.
He responded that the Netherlands Project was the “Shova Kalula 1” some years back which was based on the donation of second hand bicycles to the country which benefited learners. The project was not big enough and the majority of the bicycles were not only second hand but rather third and fourth hand. The project could therefore not be sustained because the bicycles broke up in weeks after being used and, at the time, Shova Kalula had no maintenance programme. That was why there was a change in approach so as to acquire new bicycles and have a maintenance programme.
Mr Mokonyama noted that the maintenance programme was based on strategies which were mainly designed by provinces. It was a strategy the Department wanted to continue because it was reflected in the indirect jobs that were created.
In relation to the question of 280 jobs to be created by the programme he agreed that the number was very little, but if one looked at the whole programme it was about supply and distribution, and the number of bicycles per job became very critical. He admitted that the Department was not creating much in terms of jobs but rather concentrating on the number of learners that would benefit from the programme.
The Chairperson explained that it was important to understand that Government was improving the social and economic standards of the poor. Secondly, Government was transforming the economy of the country ensuring that there was no first world and third world country within the same country. The Government was narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, opening opportunities to those denied by apartheid. She thanked the departmental delegation for a progressive report and acknowledged that some of the objectives of the programmes would require effort and effectiveness within the Department to carry the mandate of service delivery to the poor of the country.
The meeting was adjourned
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.