A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
SELECT COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES
24 April 2002
NATIONAL RAILWAY SAFETY REGULATOR BILL: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Ms P C P Majodina (ANC)
Documents handed out
National Railway Safety Regulator Bill [B7-2002]
B7b-2002 will be available here on 30 April.
Presentation by Department of Transport
Amendments Agreed to in the Portfolio Committee of Transport (Appendix 1)
Transport Portfolio Committee Report (Appendix 2)
The Department presented an overview of the background and purpose of the Bill. The presentation outlined the measures to manage and improve rail safety regulation, the role, functions and duties of the regulator and the future plans and developments regarding the Bill.
Members expressed their dissatisfaction at the perception the Department has of the role to be played by the NCOP in this Bill. Members have to brief their provinces on the Bill but were unsure of which amendments had already been proposed by the Portfolio Committee. This resulted in confusion. It was decided that Members would brief their provinces and decide whether public hearings would be held, this would take the process forward.
The briefing team was: Mr Jerry Makokoane, Deputy Director General, with Mervyn Panzera, Project Leader: Railway Regulator Team Office, Ms Khibi Manana from the Department's Policy and Strategy Implementation Directorate, Mr Stanley Khosa, Deputy Director: Rail Safety, Advocate Sindiswa Dube: Legal Representative of the Department and Ms Nomsa Maeko, the Administrative Secretary to the Minister of Transport.
Briefing by Department
The DDG stated that he would be providing a general overview of the intention behind the Bill, and Mr Panzera would conduct a more in-depth presentation on the Bill.
The Bill provides safety mechanisms to assist the South African railway infrastructure and accommodates major industry players like Spoornet, a long distance freight service, Metrorail, an intercity passenger rail transport service and Shosholoza Mail, a long distance passenger transportation service. The Bill also covers the smaller rail services that provide rail transportation to tourism and entertainment industries. All these operate on a fixed infrastructure: railways.
It has to be accepted that occurrences are part of the rail system. This incorporates incidents, in which animals or persons are nearly killed and accidents, which are more high profile cases (such as the recent Metrorail crashes) that involves loss of life, injuries, damage or destruction of goods or the environment. The problem here is that there is no single national authority proclaiming that the current rail safety standards are unacceptable as evidenced by the increasing number of incidents and accidents in the South African rail system. For this reason it has been decided that a regulatory framework has to be established to address the problems with rail safety, so that it may also serve as a platform from which to ensure that the current accidents and incidents are avoided in future. Alternatively, should they indeed occur, the Bill provides a quick response to the event.
This is what has been presented to the Portfolio Committee on Transport, and the Department now looks to guidance and support from the Select Committee. Certain sensitive areas have arisen from the Portfolio Committee deliberations, especially in view of the recent Metrorail troubles. Furthermore, the Bill does not cover everyone on the ground, like the introduction of the Transit Police Unit (TPU) that has recently been pronounced by Cabinet to look at safety at the transport nodes. This unit was first used at the national airports and it is hoped that it would be as successful in the rail system, and later in the taxi industry. The Bill provides for the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Department of Labour to deal with security measures.
Mr Panzera discussed the following issues:
- the need for a railway regulator;
- the necessary criteria to apply to the regulator;
- a comparative study of approaches to rail safety regulators;
- external factors influencing rail safety;
- measures to manage rail operational safety;
- the bodies to be regulated;
- the role and functions of the regulator;
- a brief run through of the each clause in the Bill;
- the key regulations affecting the regulator;
- the safety performance assessment system; and
- the future developments and plans regarding the Bill.
Ms J L Kgoali (Gauteng, ANC) stated that Mr Panzera outlined the stakeholders involved in the managing of operational safety, but failed to include commuter organisations. This issue is a definite problem in Gauteng, and the recent damage to Metrorail property is nothing more than the commuters voicing their disapproval at their exclusion from this issue. How does the Department plan to quell this by effectively communicating this important Bill to members of the public?
Mr Makokoane replied that these groups have been consulted via the South African Commuters Organisation. These groups were also involved in the public hearings hosted by the Portfolio Committee.
Furthermore, the communication of the Bill to the public has not been specifically set out by the Bill, but the Department will commence a process whereby all relevant stakeholders with an interest in rail will be informed. The media will also be engaged in this regard, so that especially those who are not directly involved in the industry may be made aware of the Bill.
Secondly, clarity is requested on exactly who is responsible for appointing the board, as well s the time frame for these appointments and their term of office. Furthermore, how is the board expected to interact with this Committee if Members are not allowed to be members of that board under Clause 8(8)(d)?
The DDG responded that the Board is appointed by the Minister, unless this Committee wishes to direct otherwise. But it has to be borne in mind that this is done by the Minister as a matter of custom in other similar agencies within the Department.
Mr Panzera pointed to Clause 8(13)(a), which states that a board member may not hold that position for longer than three years.
Ms B Thompson (Kwazulu-Natal, ANC) commended the Department on requiring the rail operators to have safety licences like the Canadian model, but clarity is requested on the actual investigating of rail accidents. This includes the safety of the railways itself with regard to cable theft.
Ms A M Versveld (Western Cape, DP) requested clarity on the precise content of the SADC objectives mentioned on Slide 3 of the presentation.
The DDG replied that the focus here is to harmonise the infrastructural arrangement between South Africa and the various SADC member states. In this regard the roads and aviation programmes have already recorded progress, whereas the rail project only commenced during 2001. The second committee meeting between SADC member states has just been held three weeks ago in Botswana. Here it became apparent that, because there is no existing rail safety regulatory regime in the SADC states, the other member states are looking to South Africa to lead the way with regard to rail safety.
Mr V V Windvoel (Mpumalanga, ANC) referred to the phrase "which may include representatives" in Clause 8(7)(b) of the Bill, and requested clarity on the inclusion of the word "may". Surely this should read "must include representatives of the relevant committees of Parliament" because if Members do not participate who would then compile the shortlist?
The DDG agreed that it should be changed to "must", and stated that the Department has no problem with this.
Mr Windvoel added that the participation of the committee has to be ensured so that it can help the people involved.
Secondly, the inclusion of Clause 8(8)(d)(v) seems unnecessary because a Member of Parliament cannot be a member of "the Executive Council of a Province" if s/he is not a Member of the Provincial Legislature.
Thirdly, Chapter 10 of the Bill provides that a person found guilty of an offence under the Bill, such as the theft of railway cables, may be ordered by the court to pay compensation. The question which then arises is who would be liable for the compensation should this person be unable to pay him/herself.
Advocate Dube responded that Clause 47(b) grants the court the discretion to employ the alternative option if the guilty person does not have the finances to pay. Clause 47(a) and (c) could also be employed by the court as Clause 1 of the Bill defines "person" as a juristic person as well. They could therefore include an operator in covering the costs.
The DDG added that the point being made here is that these compensation orders cannot be applied across the board, but have to be determined on a case-by-case basis on a proper evaluation of the merits of every case. Furthermore, government cannot be held responsible for covering the costs of wrongs done by service providers.
The Chair suggested that it would assist the overall process if rail could achieve the same levels of safety currently being enjoyed by the airports.
Mr Panzera replied that the important issue of the personal security of commuters is intentionally not covered in the Bill because, as mentioned earlier, the Department has concluded MOUs with various relevant Departments. This means that this Bill, which deals exclusively with operational safety, can also assist with commuter security where possible.
The DDG added that the matter of the distinction between rail commuter personal security and rail operational safety was discussed greatly by the Portfolio Committee. The ultimate goal is to introduce the same dedicated SAPS units, as done at the airports, to the railway as well. The key issue here regards the powers of seizure and arrest which these SAPS officials are empowered to exercise, and the contrasting rail security guards patrolling South African stations who are not divested with these powers, hence the increasing amounts of incidents and accidents occurring in rail transport.
Ms Kgoali requested further clarity on the role of SAPS, especially with regard to its involvement at Gauteng stations, where the idea of using the trains at 7pm is unthinkable because of the real threat to passenger safety. The role of the security guards and the private companies that employ them are also relevant here, because these are not ensuring passenger safety as SAPS officials could. If SAPS were in fact employed they would be able to arrest offenders and immediately hand them over to the criminal justice system. This is the outcry from Gauteng commuters and communities, as evidenced by the recent damage to Metrorail property.
Mr Panzera stated that, as mentioned earlier, MOU's have been concluded with various Departments in this regard, but it is difficult at this stage to detail exactly how rail security will be addressed because it will come out in the wash. Members are assured that rail security is a grave concern to the Department, and all efforts are being made to ensure the TPU will have the necessary teeth. If necessary, a separate piece of legislation could be introduced that deals exclusively with the purpose and functions of the TPU.
The DDG added that, as mentioned earlier, Cabinet itself has called for the introduction of the TPU within the existing SAPS structure and a task team has since been established in this regard, which includes the Department, to devise strategies and policies regarding the improvement of rail safety. It cannot be denied that crimes are committed in rail, but this is not unique to rail transport, as the history of taxi violence and other transportation modes illustrates. All involved are confident that the task team will arrive at answers here.
Ms M Chabaku (Free State, ANC) commended the Department on the simple vocabulary employed in the Bill and asked what contributions had been made to the Bill by the National Assembly, because it is important for the Select Committee to know which amendments have been made by the Portfolio Committee.
Secondly, as far as the training and assessment of operators' performance once they have been granted a safety permit, how often is their performance reviewed for efficiency, and for how long a period of time is the permit valid? These concerns are important in ensuring rail safety.
Mr Panzera explained that Clause 24(2) provides that the CEO may impose conditions including the validity period of the safety permit. This therefore depends on the relationship with the particular operator because if the CEO knows the operator and its safety standards it could grant the permit for a longer period of time than to those operators that are less familiar to it. The Safety Management System (SMS) provides that these permits have to be reviewed and renewed on a yearly basis, and a failure to comply with this requirement results in the revocation of the permit.
The training requirement is part of the SMS, especially the safety critical operations in which the movement of the train poses certain safety threats. These specific tasks have certain prerequisites that have to be complied with to properly perform the task.
Ms Chabaku stated that she would "swallow [the answers provided] reluctantly" because of time constraints, but the matter is not sufficiently explained.
Dr P J C Nel (Free State, NNP) stated that Members have been supplied with Bill 7B for this meeting, but this is not identical to the original Bill (B7-2002). Furthermore, the word "may" in Clause 41 of the original Bill should be replaced with "must".
Advocate Dube replied that this change has been effected in the new version of the Bill (B7B-2002).
Rev P Moatshe (North-West, ANC) stated that the front cover of the Bill (B7B-2002) stipulates "as amended by the Portfolio Committee", which means this version already contains their proposed amendments. Yet Members have no way of knowing where exactly these amendments have been made because the Bill (B7B-2002) does not contain the customary bold and underlined format that clearly indicates where the amendments have been made. The presentation just delivered was therefore more of a general overview of the Bill and did not guide this Committee at all, but succeeded only in confusing Members.
Ms Kgoali agreed and requested that the Department at least provide Members with the original Bill so that they could familiarise themselves with the information. The Select Committee has to be sufficiently informed on the entire Bill, especially a Section 76 Bill like this one, which is supposed to be introduced by the NCOP. Yet this Bill was first deliberated upon by the Portfolio Committee. This Committee does not accept this sort of treatment from the Department, and what is worse is the fact that this is not the first time that this Committee has been subjected to this sort of treatment from the Department. Members are not sufficiently appraised of the Bill, and have to report back to their provinces commencing this week on the Bill. Reverend Moatshe has to do the briefing at 8 am tomorrow morning.
The Chair stated that consensus must be reached here because Members are clearly troubled, as they think the Department has reduced the role of this Committee in the processing of this Bill to nothing more than a rubber stamp. This Committee is thus faced with two options: either reject the recommendations made by the Portfolio Committee and reset the process by commencing deliberations on the original Bill, or move on.
Ms Thompson suggested that the Committee just moves on, because to begin from scratch would be a waste of time.
Dr Nel asked the Department whether it had received verbal or written submissions from NGO's or other interested parties during the public hearings hosted by the Portfolio Committee, and whether such submissions could be made available to Members.
Ms Maeko replied that the amendments to the original Bill had been circulated in both Houses of Parliament, and these could be made available to Members before this meeting is adjourned. Members of the delegation from the Department present today will accompany Members of the Committee to their provinces to assist them with their briefings. The Department is not sure whether this would sufficiently remedy the situation, but hopes that it will be forgiven, as it was under the impression that the process of circulation of documents would be done by the Parliamentary structures themselves.
Mr M A Sulliman (Northern Cape, ANC) suggested that the B7B version of the Bill be dealt with.
Ms Kgoali acknowledged this point, but requested that the original Bill together with the amended version, which has not been provided, be circulated to Members of this Committee. As matters stand Members cannot distinguish the amendments from the original Bill, and Members now have to brief their provinces. Each time this Committee deals with the Department they have to be told what to do, yet everytime they do the opposite of what they have been requested or instructed to do.
Rev Moatshe stated that some Departments go out of their way to refine the documents so that Members are fully informed and the their task of reporting on the particular issue to their provinces is made that much easier. He had been told on previous occasions that briefings to provinces on matters falling within the competence of the Department of Transport include a Member being accompanied by the Department representative, which he found most unusual. It is only now that he understands why. Members are being left confused.
The Chair noted that Ms Maeko would supply Members with the amendments. It has to be said, in the Department's defence, that they are accompanying Members at the Committee's request, and not all provinces do this.
The DDG stated that the Department accepts that it could have conducted matters in a manner not acceptable to Members, but this was not its intention. The Department was under the impression that if this Bill was first deliberated upon by this Committee it would then move to the Portfolio Committee with amendments, and then be returned to this Committee if the Portfolio Committee was unhappy. The Department was never of the opinion that the Portfolio Committee has the final say on this Bill, and this Committee must voice its objections with the Bill which would then be returned to the Portfolio Committee. This is the process envisaged by the Department.
Furthermore, the original Bill provides a broad overview, but much value has been added by the Portfolio Committee following their public hearings which they themselves initiated, not the Department. The Committee itself then consolidated the input and contributions made by those who submitted proposals for reform during the hearings into a single document, which was then distributed to Members of that Committee. This document formed the basis of the proposed changes made by the Portfolio Committee, as contained in the Bill.
The Department does therefore not wish to undermine the House but the process has to continue, and this Committee could very well factor in aspects the Department and the Portfolio Committee may have overlooked.
The DDG stated that he would now answer the questions posed earlier.
Ms Kgoali contended that the initial matter has to be resolved, as Members are under pressure to be properly informed when briefing their provinces. This Committee has to decide on how it will move forward from here.
Mr Windvoel agreed with Ms Kgoali and contended that the Department is the "custodian" of this Bill, which means they cannot just back off. Indeed, the very reason for having a liaison is to ensure that this sort of problem does not occur. The Department of Transport cannot be allowed to do things in its own style and the Select Committee has to be roped in, because this now creates the impression that the Department is coming in to save the day. This creates unnecessary tension, and should the occasion arise when the Department is cannot be present at the provincial briefings, people would be reluctant to attend. This sort of vacuum cannot be created.
The Chair urged Members to decide on the route to be taken. The Department is requested to inform the Committee whether its representatives will accompany Members to all the provinces, commencing tomorrow. If so, they are also requested to explain the problems experienced with time constraints in the Select Committee's deliberation of this Bill. A failure to do so would reflect badly on the Committee's Members and create the perception that they are incapable of presenting a briefing on the Bill, and that the assistance of the Department is needed all the time.
Ms Maeko informed Members that a separate printed document compiled by the Portfolio Committee would be presented to Members with all its amendments, and not an official printed version of the Bill with proposed amendments.
Rev Moatshe stated that in future the amendments must be contained in the Bill itself for clarity.
The DDG wished to clarify the fact that the Department is a national phenomenon, and is not and cannot be regarded as merely a provincial phenomenon. The fact of the matter is that the very nature of its operations in the rail system entails a close relationship with local government structures. Indeed, the Department does not become involved in a piece of legislation initiated by the provinces within its exclusive competence. Furthermore, the Department had not been informed that it has to bring the Select Committee to a comprehensive understanding of the Bill, but rather that its role would be purely to serve to clarify matters.
The Chair stated that, as mentioned earlier by Ms Kgoali, the Gauteng provincial structure has already been briefed by the Department on the Bill, which means that the hosting of a briefing tomorrow would be nothing more than repetition. For this reason it might be prudent to cancel that meeting. Which version of the Bill will be used in the briefings?
Mr Monwabisi Nguku, the Committee Secretary, stated that the Bill should be fast-tracked and that version B7-2002 should be used together with B7B-2002, but solely as a reference or resource document.
Mr Windvoel stated that Members of this Committee would brief their provinces in the form of an overview of the Bill, its background and objects, and the Department representatives would then flesh out the content. It is suggested that the Bill [B7B-2002] be used in conjunction with the original Bill [B7-2002], and the history of the amendments could then be traced via the original as a resource.
The DDG assured Members he would do his best to secure the printed version as requested by Rev Moatshe.
Rev Moatshe replied that in the other Departments the Portfolio and Select Committees work so closely with each other and the relevant Department that there is usually consensus on the issues, and they see eye to eye. The Department has the duty to ensure that the Select Committee accepts the Bill, and it must defend the amendments proposed by the Portfolio Committee because it is in fact the Department's viewpoint reflected in those amendments, not the Portfolio Committee alone.
The Chair stated that the Bill cannot be fast-tracked as this only succeeds in creating additional hiccups and confusion. Furthermore, the Chairperson of the NCOP has declared that Bills are not to be fast-tracked.
Ms Kgoali voiced her disapproval at the fact that the Portfolio Committee was able to host public hearings on the Bill, yet this Select Committee has to fast-track this Bill, itself a Section 76 Bill. The provinces have to be granted sufficient time to process the Bill, especially Section 76 Bills, such as the Bill presently before this Committee.
The Chair urged Members to arrive at workable solutions to this problem, so that the process may move forward.
Ms Kgoali suggested that Members brief their provinces and they could then decide whether public hearings should be held. This would take this Committee forward. The Department cannot afford the Portfolio Committee more time to deliberate upon the Bill than this Committee, especially as it is a Section 76 Bill.
The Chair stated that the negotiating mandates would discussed on Friday 3 May 2002 in S26 from 11am to 1pm. The final mandates would take place on 10 May 2002 from 9-11 am in S26.
The Chair concluded the meeting by assuring the Department that this Committee looks forward to a healthy working relationship with the Department.
The meeting was adjourned.
AMENDMENTS AGREED TO NATIONAL RAILWAY SAFETY REGULATOR BILL [B7-2002]
1. On page 5, after line 24,to insert a definition:
(iv) "human factors" means factors which include the perceptual, physical and mental capabilities of people and the interaction of individuals with their job and working environments, the influence of equipment and system design on human performance, and the organisational characteristics that influence safety-related behaviour at work;
2. On page 5, in line 29, to omit, "track structure", to insert, "civil infrastructure".
3. On page 5, from line 29 to 30,to omit, "overhead electrification equipment", to insert, "electric traction infrastructure".
4. On page 6, in line 5, after "circumstances", to insert ", and does not include security".
5. On page 6, after line 5,to insert definitions:
(xix) "security" means freedom from intentional harm or damage to persons or property;
(xx) "safety" means the lack of railway occurrences, fatalities, injuries or damage within railway operations;
6. On page 6, in line 30,to omit, "rule or".
7. On page 6, in line 38 after the word "which" to insert, "illness or injury to, or death of,"
8. On page 6, from line 38 to 39,to delete, "could be injured or which could cause illness to a person
On page 6, in line 53,to omit, "harmonise", to insert, "promote the harmonisation of the".
1. On page 7, in line 33,to omit, "including", to insert, "in particular".
2. On page 7, in line 34, after "Labour", to insert "and the National Department of Safety and Security,"
1. On page 8, in line 55, to omit, "and", to insert new paragraph:
"(p) collect and disseminate information relating to safe railway operations; and
2. On page 8, in line 56, to omit, "(p)", to substitute, "(q)".
1. On page 9, in line 12, to delete, "proven managerial capabilities and have"
2. On page 9, after line 17,to insert a subparagraph:
"(v) transportation Of dangerous goods;"
3. On page 9, in line 18,to omit, "(v)", to substitute, "(vi)".
4. On page 9, in line 25, to omit, "and".
5. On page 9, in line 26,to delete, ".", to insert, "; and"
6. On page 9, after line 26, to insert new subparagraph:
"(vi) the Department of Safety and Security."
1. On page 12, in line 30 after "Minister", to insert, "within one month of approval of the minutes".
1. On page 12, in line 40, before "industry", to omit "the" to insert "an".
2. On page 12, in line 41 after "association," to insert, "organised labour,"
1. On page 13, in line 24,to delete "January", to insert, "April".
2. On page 13, from line 24 to 25, to omit, "December of that year", to insert "March of the following year".
3. On page 13, from line 25, to 26 to omit "December of that year", to insert "March".
1. On page 13, in line 48, after "undertake", to insert "any".
1. On page 14, in line 11,to omit, "prescribed form", to insert, "format determined by the Regulator".
1. On page 14, in line 47,to omit, ", subject to subsection (3),"
1. On page 15, in line 42,to omit, "Minister", to insert, "board"
1. On page 16, from line 9 to line 16,to delete paragraphs "(b)", "(c)" and "(d)", to substitute for the following paragraphs:
"(b) any matter relating to the design, construction, manufacture, alteration, commissioning, maintenance and operation of rolling stock, infrastructure and stations;
(c) human factors and requisite skills;
(d) the safety of persons, including persons with disabilities, on board stationary or moving rolling stock, infrastructure or at a station;"
2. On page 16, in line 17, to omit ".", to insert
3. On page 16, after line 17,to insert new paragraph:
"(f) any other safety related matter that the Minister considers necessary.".
1. On page 16, after line 30, to insert new subparagraph:
"(h) security matters;"
2. On page 16, from line 31 to line 40, to omit subparagraphs, "(h), (i), (j), (k), (I)", to substitute for paragraphs "(i), (j), (k), (I), (m)"
1. On page 16, from line 43 to line 51, to delete "Part 4".
2. From page 17 to 23, clauses to be renumbered e.g. clause 33 now to be clause 32, etc.
1. On page 17, from line 10 to 14,to delete clause 34(1), to substitute:
"A railway safety inspector ma), at any time, enter or cross property under control of an operator in order to carry out
(a) an inspection;
(b) an audit of the operator's safety management system, in respect of railway operations provided for under a safety permit."
2. On page 17, in line 15, to omit "on the".
3. On page 17, in line 16, to omit the following words:
"authority of a warrant," and "with the persons, vehicles, equipment and"
4. On page 17, in line 17, to omit "material necessary", to insert "under the control of an operator".
5. On page 17, from line 22 to 35,to delete "subsections (3) and (4)".
6. On page 17, in line 36, to omit "(5)", to substitute "(3)".
1. On page 18, after line 26, to insert new subsection:
"(4) The board may disseminate any information that it considers to be in the public interest"
2. On page 18, in lines 27, 30 and 38, subsections "(4), (5) and (6)" become "(5), (6) and (7)".
1. On page 18, in line 44, to omit "may" to insert "must".
2. On page 18, after line 48, to insert the following paragraphs:
"(b) railway occurrences;
(c) security matters;
(d) occupational health and safety matters; and"
3. On page 18, in line 49,to omit, "(b)", to substitute "(e)".
1. On page 19, in line 24 before "safety" to insert "railway".
2. On page 19, in line 30, to omit "for another decision".
3. On page 19, in line 30, after "inspector", to add "with the decision of the chief executive officer."
1. On page 19, in line 43 to omit, "for another decision", to insert after "officer", the following "with the decision of the board.".
1. On page 20, after line 9, to insert new subsections:
"(3) Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any other section of this Act is guilty of an offence.
(4) A person convicted of an offence in terms of subsection (3) is liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment."
1. On page 22, in line 39, to omit "and" to substitute, "or"
1. On page 2, after "safety" in line 12, to add the following:
"ACKNOWLEDGING that railway safety has a relationship with occupational health and safety and with security;
ACKNOWLEDGING that safety and security matters are interconnected and that the regulator has a primary role to play in safe railway operations and a supporting role in occupational health and safety, and security;"
2. On page 2, in line 13, to omit, "involved" and "safe", to insert:
"that have a role to play"
3 On page 2, in line 22, to omit "their" to insert "railway".
4. On page 2, in line 24, to omit, "railway safety", to insert "safe railway operations".
5. On page 2, in line 25,to omit "harmonise", to insert "promote the harmonisation of".
1. On page 4, from line 5 to 7,to delete "Part 4".
2. On page 4, from line 10 to line 38 to renumber sections, "33" to become "32" etc.
3. On page 5, from line 1 to line 13 to renumber sections, "52" becomes "51" etc.
Transport Portfolio Committee
1. The Transport Portfolio Committee was briefed, on 13 March 2002, by officials of the National Department of Transport on the Draft White Paper on National Commercial Ports Policy (January 2002). This briefing follows committee hearings on an earlier draft, and submissions made to the Committee by a range of stakeholders in the course of 2001. In this context, the Portfolio Committee has also conducted oversight visits to the ports of Cape Town, Durban and Richards Bay.
2. The Committee welcomed the opportunity for further engagement on the Draft White Paper. It also welcomes many amendments that reflect concerns raised by the Committee and by stakeholders in earlier hearings of the Committee.
3. The Committee believes, however, that further amendments are required in the following four significant respects:
3.1 There is vagueness about the end-state institutional location of the proposed National Ports Authority. Given the proposed regulatory, strategic policy-making and landlord functions envisaged for the NPA, we believe that the White Paper must unambiguously state that the NPA should, eventually, be answerable to the National Department of Transport.
3.2 The present draft assumes that it is a foregone conclusion that all port operations will be concessioned out. While this may well be the most desirable outcome, the Committee believes that the White Paper should not pre-empt in-depth research and effective negotiations within the context of the National Framework Agreement on the restructuring of state-owned enterprises.
3.3 The present draft introduces the notion of inter-port competition. The Committee believes that the White Paper must make clear that any inter-port competition should be strictly within the framework of an overall, emerging South African growth and development strategy
3.4 In general, the White Paper should more clearly emphasise the critical and overarching necessity of linking port policy to an emerging national growth and development strategy.
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