The Committee discussed the DA’s input on the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) for the Department of Transport. The ANC recommendations had already been incorporated into the BRRR, and the DA explained that it fully supported those recommendations but thought that they merely needed to be supplemented in some respects. The key findings that the DA wished to have discussed included the following:
- Issues within the Civil Aviation Authority, including the lack of expertise, high vacancy level, high inspection fees as well as increased incursions on to runways, of particular concern in Gauteng
- The need to improve the availability of rolling stock for Metrorail. There was a long discussion on this point, but Members eventually agreed that whilst they would accept that there were improvements, it would be noted that some effort was necessary to make still further improvements, given that the rate of damage to coaches exceeded the numbers refurbished and put back into service. In addition, under a separate point, Members noted that it would be necessary to educate the public on how it should take responsibility for looking after public property such as coaches.
- The need to upgrade and maintain provincial and rural roads, and to investigate solutions where alternatives to toll roads were being damaged by heavy trucks that the roads were not designed to support
- The need for improved scholar transport and improved road access to public facilities
- The need to review funding models for freeways and road infrastructure
- The continued unavailability of the two shipping vessels was noted as a concern, particularly in view of South Africa’s recent commitments to international conventions on oil spills
- The need to exploit South Africa’s large capacity within the locomotives industry, encouraging manufacture and export to other countries in the region.
Pursuant to these points, the DA suggested inclusion of the following recommendations be included:
- The Minister should work with PRASA to increase the number of rolling stock and improve the implementation of the refurbishment and maintenance programme
- The Department was urged to improve staff retention to solve issues at the CAA
- An investigation should be instituted on the unused vessels
- The Minister should be urged to co-ordinate with provinces to open up alternative routes to toll roads
- Thorough investigations be conducted on the issue of fake drivers licences as well as vehicles with false registration
- PRASA should investigate the low rental income and occupation rates for their properties that had not been refurbished and were standing idle.
- PRASA should be urged to improve the safety and security at railway stations, platforms, parking lots and access roads for all commuters, as well as improving it communications systems.
The Chairperson noted the ANC’s recommendation to implement a single ticketing system for all public transportation. Members briefly discussed whether it would be possible to effectively subsidise commuters, as the Committee had earlier suggested, and agreed that more investigation was needed.
The BRRR was adopted by the Committee, with amendments.
Committee’s draft Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report: Input by Democratic Alliance
The Chairperson noted that during the meeting, the Democratic Alliance (DA) would present its input on the draft Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) on the Department of Transport (DOT or the Department). The Committee still awaited the specific comments of the ANC.
Mr I Ollis (DA) apologised in advance for any typographical errors that might have crept into the document, noting that it had been typed up at the end of a long, full-day conference. He was more than happy to have another document typed up if there were any mistakes.
Mr G Krumbock (DA) took the Committee through the DA’s inputs.
Section 7 - Point A
Mr Krumbock noted that many highly qualified staff in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had left. The CAA annual report showed huge vacancy rates, and it was of concern that many of these were in the aircraft safety, air safety and air maintenance units. Because the majority of the vacancies were in the safety sector of aviation, there was a desperate need for more expertise in order to maintain the safety of aircrafts. Until recently, there were only two people qualified to operate one of the key machines that was used to test aircrafts. This was currently being rectified in the sense that more people were being trained, but the fact remained that the CAA was being gutted by resignations, retirements and departures for other reasons at the senior staff level. It was clear that the employment numbers were not at an acceptable level.
Mr Krumbock continued to say that the Minister and the Director-General (DG) had issued contradictory signals, in regard to the burden of the certificates of air worthiness that were required for aircrafts of a certain type and size. The Minister had stated that only 42% of aircrafts in the country did have a valid certificate, and only those with the certificate were legally allowed to fly. However, subsequent to that media statement, the DG contradicted the Minister by saying that in fact the remaining aircrafts without certificates, which were smaller type aircrafts that did not require a certificate of air worthiness, had the authority to fly. However, in the original question posed to the Minister and the DG, it was indicated that the authority to fly was a restricted certificate of air worthiness; as such, it was now unclear how many aircraft there were that were not legally allowed to fly. These contradictions also clearly indicated that the register was a mess and the database was either corrupt or missing a large portion of the information. He stated that the annual inspection fees were being used to regenerate the details but there were a lot of people who were not paying their fees. Ultimately, it was unclear how many aircrafts there were in South Africa, and how many were actually able to fly, and there was in fact a massive discrepancy between the Minster’s and the Director General’s statements.
In regard to the runway incursions, Mr Krumbock stated that there was quite a big problem at one of South Africa’s airports. He explained that runway incursions used to be a rare occurrence at OR Tambo International Airport, but there had been 28 incidents in the last year. As a result, air traffic navigation services (ATNS) had had to double up on the number of staff in order to increase the monitoring. It was important to put an end to all runway incursions, but even more so in Gauteng, where there was high air traffic. He believed that it was very important to call the CAA to the Committee, as there were many questions that remained unanswered.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee had yet to engage formally with the Minister and the Director General, so at this stage their words could only be paraphrased. The Committee itself had also not discussed these matters, and therefore did not yet have any findings. For this reason, she thought it would be premature to include those comments from the DA as Committee findings. Engagements with the Minister were required.
A Member asked whether the key findings now addressed in he DA’s input should not be included as the key findings of the BRRR report. Aspects that emerged from outside the report many not be key findings, but should be under a different heading. She agreed with the Chairperson that issues that had not yet been fully discussed by the Committee should not be labelled as Committee issues.
Ms N Ngele (ANC) noted that a key finding could also be one that emerged from the Committee’s oversight work, for there would then be engagements on that with the Department. However, she agreed that issues not yet fully debated by the Committee could not be classed as findings, for no conclusions were yet reached.
Mr Ollis indicated that he agreed with that reasoning.
Section 7 - Point B
Mr Krumbock explained that the report had not already noted that there were 549 new coaches refurbished and returned into the rolling stock, although it did note that many were destroyed. This was not a complaint, but it was certainly worth mentioning because at least steps were being taken to try to preserve coaches so that they did not have to be destroyed. He merely wanted there to be a mention that the Committee was aware both of the destruction, but also of the refurbishments, which were welcomed.
The Chairperson agreed that this was definitely an important point to make. It was of course the community’s responsibility to look after public property, not the responsibility of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). This comment should be put in the “issues” section; it was a major issue as there was unfortunately a culture in South African that communities did not take ownership and care of public property. An awareness campaign would be necessary to educate communities about their responsibility to take care of this property.
Section 7 – Point C
Mr Krumbock noted that the South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL) was congratulated on the very high quality of new roads built. However, given the lack of control over the provinces, the Committee was not able to tell the different spheres of government what they must do. The Committee therefore should at least note in the BRRR that some of the rural and provincial roads were not well maintained, and emphasise that there was a need to maintain them.
Ms Ngele stated that provinces should be brought under the control of the Committee, in order to take care of provincial roads.
The Chairperson also agreed that it was a very important point, but suggested that the statement should note at the outset that there were uneven levels of services. Some areas had adequate services that required maintenance, whilst other areas were in desperate need of maintenance but were poor and did not have adequate services. There had to be a balance in resource allocation. The Committee could not simply focus on road provision, and neglect maintenance. At the same time, upgrading of rural and provincial roads required prioritisation, in order to ensure that all roads were adequate. The issue of rural roads must be addressed separately because there was a rural roads transport plan, approved by Cabinet in 2008 but that was not yet funded. She agreed that, in summary, the BRRR should note that there were uneven levels of development, adequate road infrastructure that required continuous maintenance, as well as poor and inadequate road infrastructure that required updating. There were also undesignated roads that were not looked after or did not fall under any entity’s specific responsibility.
Section 7 – Point D
Mr Ollis suggested that the Committee may choose to move this point to Section 4 of the BRRR report, as there was some mention of the issue there too. He explained that this point dealt with concerns about the need for improved scholar transport and road access to hospitals and clinics, particularly in rural areas. The Chairperson and the Committee should decide where this was best placed.
The Chairperson suggested that it was fine to leave that comment where it was presently, but added that there should be an emphasis on the need for improvement not only in scholar transport, but an overall need for improved conditions of roads to public facilities, which included hospitals, clinics, schools, graveyards, churches, tribal authorities and sports facilities.
Section 7 – Point E
Mr Ollis explained that this point may be a bit controversial. During the deliberations on funding for provincial roads, infrastructure, freeways and other roads, the Committee noted that a review of these funding models was necessary, and that it should be incorporated into the Presidential review of State Owned Enterprises. In the Presidential review document, many recommendations were made about road infrastructure and its funding. He suggested that mention should be made of this also in the BRRR, so that the Department could investigate what the Presidential Review report had said, since it had many implications for transport.
The Chairperson commented that instead of saying there was a need for a review of funding models, the Department should simply be asked to refer to the Presidential Review document, to check how it related to transport.
Mr Ollis understood that point, and agreed with the wording change.
Section 7 – Point F
Mr Krumbock explained that the continued unavailability (if this was still in fact correct) of the two shipping vessels required for the cleaning of oil spills and inspecting ships at sea was of great concern, and even more so considering the two Bills recently passed in pursuance of the international conventions on oil pollution. He asked that this point be checked, but thought that the ships still remained neither fully operational nor deployed.
Section 7 – Point G
Mr Ollis stated that he was quite astounded at South Africa’s capacity to build trains, locomotives, carriages and wagons, and it was important for the Report to mention what had been seen during oversight visits, and that they resulted in talks about South Africa building trains for other countries in the region. It was important to noted that there was capacity, and encourage it to be fully used.
The Chairperson agreed that the capacity was in fact there but the Committee must also keep in mind that the building of locomotives had already been done, which had created many new job opportunities.
Mr Ollis stated that his understanding was that Kibela was going to build an entirely new factory, which meant that existing facilities such as Transnet Engineering, would stand empty. He said it should then also be noted that there were other existing facilities that could be utilised for manufacturing.
The Chairperson responded that they were in fact being utilised and that she did not understand his statement.
Mr Ollis agreed with the Chairperson, but wanted to emphasise that although the existing factories were being used, they were nonetheless under-utilised. The level of production had decreased significantly over the years. He suggested that perhaps the Department could encourage Southern African countries to order their rolling stock from South Africa, as opposed to China, so that South Africa could utilise the existing companies to their full potential.
The Chairperson stated that the way the sentence was structured in the DA’s document implied that there was capacity that was not being utilised.
Mr Ollis explained that this was exactly the point he was making. He believed that the existing capacity was not being used to the full, because only a small amount of work was going through. Countries such as Zambia or Angola used the same railway structures as South Africa, and should therefore be encouraged to purchase from South Africa.
The Chairperson noted that this section of the BRRR was dealing with PRASA and its financial resources. She explained that PRASA had given work to Transnet Enterprises as well as others, and had made sure that products that used to be brought in from other countries were now designed and manufactured in South Africa. PRASA had thus met its mandate. She argued that the way the sentence was structured did not actually address how the capacity was being utilised and created the impression that nothing was being done. It must also be remembered that PRASA had exceeded the target for local production.
Mr Ollis stated that he was willing to withdraw that point from the DA’s input, as the process of buying new trains was under way.
The Chairperson replied that she was not suggesting that the whole statement be withdrawn, but rather changed so that the portion reading “which should be exploited to create job opportunities” be changed to “which had been exploited to create job opportunities.”
Mr Ollis replied that South Africa was now building R123 billion worth of new trains, which he fully supported. However, he was concerned that the existing facilities were incrementally receiving less work. A new plant was to be built, which would create new jobs but there were existing plants that were not receiving enough work.
The Chairperson replied that the level of work that these plants would receive was dependent upon the allocated budget, but that did not mean that they were going to close down. Visits to the facilities did indicate that they were under-performing, but that was also associated with the skills level. The point was that there was an expectation for job creation inherent within the budget, which was being met with more potential for greater job creation. She stated that it should be appreciated that new jobs were created and that there was a potential to create even more.
Section 8 – Point A
Mr Ollis commented that whilst there was work being done to improve the number of rolling stock in service with Metrorail, to improve commuter services, was 300 of 549 carriages that were refurbished were lost, so there were only 249 left.
The Chairperson pointed out that there were new ones being built.
Mr Ollis replied that their building had not started and they would only be ready in two years time.
The Chairperson asked where the money would come from to invest in new rolling stock.
Mr Ollis replied that it would be possible for the DOT to economise on some aspects, and direct those savings into train transport. He believed that every State Owned Entity (SOE) had the ability to compromise. More effort was need to refurbish and maintain current trains, or more would be lost. Some rolling stock was not being used as it required maintenance. The total number of trains in the Gauteng Metrorail system, for example, was reducing every year. He wanted to appeal for more funding for refurbishing and maintenance, in view of the diminishing numbers whilst new trains were being prepared.
The Chairperson stated that she would have been more comfortable if this point had been raised during engagements with PRASA, so that it could agree or comment on the need and capacity for such work. The Committee did not have the exact numbers of how many trains were actually running.
A Member asked where it was suggested that the funds to increase and maintain were to be sourced.
Mr Ollis replied that a written submission was made by the ANC to the Department, which he had supported, stating that there should be funding redirected from money budgeted from Shosholoza Meyl, towards refurbishing for Metrorail.
The Chairperson replied that there had not been a request for funding for refurbishment of trains, although there was one for the Shosholoza Meyl project, which was needed. There had also not been engagement with Metrorail to discuss whether the loss of 300 trains had an impact on transporting commuters.
Mr Ollis wanted to make two points. Firstly, PRASA had stated clearly, on several occasions, that it had a shortage of trains so there was no debate needed on that point. When it had come to order replacements, it was adding another 20%, due to the admitted shortage. The Chief Executive Officer of PRASA repeatedly stated that he could not provide a good service because the trains were continuously breaking down and were very old, and there was not enough rolling stock. The Committee was now making recommendations. The first recommendation, from the ANC caucus, had been supported by the DA, and that was that there was a need for National Treasury to allocate more money for Shosholoza Meyl. At the moment, R540 million was being spent on Shosholoza Meyl, which Treasury had made available by taking funds from elsewhere. He argued that the money that was compromised from other areas could also be used to fund the refurbishment of rolling stock, in order to address the shortage issue.
The Chairperson replied that there was indeed a shortage, but she noted that there were already interventions to address that issue. One of those interventions was manufacturing of new trains. In her view, refurbishment was currently being taken care of, so she thought this specific recommendation then was unnecessary.
Mr Ollis replied that he would abide by the decision of the majority, but reiterated that the DA wanted to stress its point that there was currently not enough rolling stock, and the number was continuously shrinking, as insufficient numbers of refurbished trains were coming on the line to serve the commuters.
The Chairperson agreed with Mr Ollis on the shortage but did not agree that there was a current need to improve the number of rolling stock in service with Metrorail to improve the commuter service. She was in the view that this was already being done, through refurbishment of old stock and through building of new trains, and therefore should not be a recommendation.
Mr Ollis proposed the removal of Section 8(A) from the DA input document, to be replaced with ‘the DA is concerned that the number of rolling stock available to Metrorail for the next two to three years is not going to be sufficient.’ This way, the DA was not making a recommendation but it was clearly put on record that the DA was not satisfied with the number of rolling stock.
The Chairperson stated this was a report produced on behalf of the entire Committee and therefore the views of the majority must be presented. She requested Mr Ollis to convince the Committee why this statement should remain. She personally had noted that the refurbishment target of 430 was exceeded, with 570 coaches being completed.
Mr Ollis understood the significance of the numbers presented by the Chairperson but re-emphasised that the point was repeatedly made by PRASA that it could not produce a safe and reliable transport on Metrorail because there was not enough rolling stock sufficient to meet the needs of commuters. He also quoted the Chief Executive Officer’s statement that roughly 200 coaches were going to be brought in from Brazil because there were still not enough, despite what PRASA was currently doing. There was a need to keep rolling out the old trains for about eight years, until there were enough of the new ones to take over. Currently, however, the loss of trains annually was higher than numbers being refurbished, and this was worsened by the fact that refurbishment had only started recently. Despite the targets having been achieved for this year, the situation was getting progressively worse.
The Chairperson replied that no one was disputing what Mr Ollis was saying but that the Committee must be mindful that the recommendations made would influence the budget, and this issue had already been addressed alongside the purchase of new trains. She was not sure that there was still a gap.
Mr Ollis replied that the gap was between the rate of refurbishment and the growing needs, and the situation on the ground was actually getting worse. While there were new trains coming in, the old trains were collapsing faster than the new could take over, and this was the gap.
The Chairperson disagreed and stated the railway was not collapsing in South Africa; it had collapsed in 1994 but was not collapsing now, and that rail issues were currently being addressed. Had the target for refurbished trains not been met, then she would have agreed with the DA.
Mr Ollis suggested that then perhaps his recommendation could be changed so that it noted the need for measures to reduce the number of coaches that were damaged, burnt or suffered accidents, for if that rate could be curbed, the number of rolling stock suitable for use would rise.
The Chairperson replied that this point was addressed earlier, when the Committee was dealing with the rights and responsibilities of communities.
Mr Ollis commented that this was noted, but asked for a specific recommendation to be included to reduce the number of coaches that were removed from service.
The Chairperson replied that it was important to understand what was the cause of the damage to trains; sometimes it was not only commuters dissatisfied with services, but also damage inflicted by some of the union members. The Chairperson agreed to add a statement in the recommendations section for the need for measures to address the issue, but thought PRASA had to deal with the issue and no further funding should be redirected to the refurbishment of the trains. She emphasised again the need to raise awareness in communities about taking care of the trains and not causing damage and emphasising that the right to protest did not imply the right to cause damage. She reiterated that communities had little appreciation of their role in owning and protecting public property.
Mr Ollis said that there was actually four major ways the trains were damaged. The first was accidents, as three major accidents had taken place. The second was that older trains’ heaters caught fire and burnt the coaches. Thirdly, there was vandalism and damage caused by the community, due to dissatisfaction with the service and the fourth was damage because of union dissension. Each of these required a different form of intervention to be resolved. He simply wanted to have a recommendation that some effort was necessary to make improvements.
The Chairperson agreed that a recommendation of that sort was necessary.
Section 8 – Point B
Mr Krumbock explained that this was similar to the comment made in Section 7 on staff, but set out the consequential step that was needed.
The Chairperson stated that the Committee could not come up with recommendations without first engaging with entities on the matter. Perhaps the recommendation should state that, based on the complaints raised, follow up should be made, alongside the Minister.
Mr Krumbock replied that that was fine; the most important aspect was that it should be noted.
Section 8 – Point C
Mr Krumbock informed the Committee that this also related to a point raised in the previous section, which had been engaged with as a Committee in a previous meeting.
Section 8 – Point D
Mr Ollis explained that the N3 to Durban between Johannesburg and e-Thekwini was tolled in many places, and many complaints were made by the public that the alternative routes were in a poor state with many potholes. The alternative routes to the N3 were being damaged by heavy trucks as the drivers were pocketing the toll money provided by their employers, and taking non-toll roads instead. Furthermore, the alternate route to the N2 had been closed for two years because the Eastern Cape government claimed that it did not have the money to maintain that road. The only way to deal with this issue was to request the Provinces to pay more attention to the conditions of the alternate routes. However, it was recognised that the Committee was not able to enforce this and could only provide recommendations. There was also a question of the provinces prioritising which roads should be done first, and that too was out of the control of the Committee, although he would like to encourage the Provinces somehow to continue the maintenance of the alternative routes to the toll roads.
The Chairperson thought that this was in order, as it related to the amendment that the Committee made while dealing with transport laws and related matters. There needed to be a balance found in relation to trucks opting to use the alternative routes, because alternative roads were not designed to carry heavy loads. She added that perhaps there should be a recommendation that a restriction should be placed on heavy trucking on alternative roads.
Section 8 – Point E
Mr Ollis stated that the issue of fake drivers licenses and vehicles with false registration and roadworthy certificates was ongoing, not new. Some of the experts suggested that perhaps 30% of licences or certificates were not approved correctly, either being fake or not properly tested.
The Chairperson agreed with the point, but did not like the specific emphasis on Gauteng.
Mr Ollis replied that the mention of Gauteng could be removed.
Another Member pointed out that this was a country-wide issue.
The Chairperson asked if only the Minister should do the investigations. She also stated that measures were required in order to bring this under control.
Mr Ollis did not think it should be limited to the Minister but that was not an issue, and agreed that there as certainly a need for stringent measures.
Section 8 – Point F
Mr Ollis explained that this recommendation stemmed from the facts and figures that were discussed during engagements with PRASA. The problem was that there were some vacancies and some properties that were being renting out at much lower rates than planned, which meant that not enough income was coming in. The solution was to firstly find out why there were so many vacancies, and secondly why the rentals were not high enough. Perhaps some refurbishment was required for some properties, or the rent should be dropped to get empty spaces rented. He was unsure of what exactly had to be done, but some interventions were necessary to address the vacancies, and there was a significant difference in figures.
The Chairperson said that plans were that during the oversight visits with PRASA, plans were presented that showed that it was refurbishing the properties and redesigning them in order to make them more commercially viable. She asked if this was the same point that Mr Ollis was now addressing.
Mr Ollis replied that two or three of the major train stations had been refurbished or were currently being refurbished, but there were roughly 2 000 properties in this portfolio that still required work. For example, a property in Newtown had been up for rental for over two years, was run down and its doors were boarded, which was very unattractive. He agreed with the Chairperson that some of the flagship properties were very well maintained and newly refurbished, but this represented a small proportion of the total.
The Chairperson understood the recommendation and stated that it should be rephrased in order to appreciate what was currently being done, and to also note the job creation possibilities.
Section 8 – Point G
Mr Ollis stated that there was a need for PRASA to improve safety and security at railways stations, platforms, parking lots and access roads of all commuter train stations, and to urgently implement a better communication system with passengers. PRASA’s annual report did note that some security measures in place but more had to be done. PRASA had informed the Committee that one of the biggest problems was that new railway police only wanted to work during SAPS’s hours. Furthermore, in some of the stations, although there was security inside the building, the parking lots were not secured. This was therefore a request for additional security measures to make the trains safer for commuters. Another point was that although there were some measures in place, cable theft remained a problem. There was some form of communication system, such as speakers on some platforms, but these were often not used, and others did not have a system in place at all. Announcements at train platforms were needed, in order to inform commuters of any delays.
A Member commented that it could not be expected that all these systems would be achieved immediately, particularly in those stations where there was not yet any infrastructure. She argued that efforts were being made, and some improvements were apparent.
The Chairperson had to leave and asked another Member to take the Chair at this point.
The Acting Chairperson stated that the general perception of the Committee was that measure were already being taken. She asked if Members wanted to change the wording.
Mr Ollis replied that perhaps the part on the communication system could be removed from the recommendation, given that work had begun.
The Acting Chairperson commented that the recommendation implied that there nothing was being done at all in regard to safety and security, which was not the case, and suggested that this be changed to say that the current measures should be extended.
Mr Ollis agreed.
Consideration of ANC caucus input
The Acting Chairperson stated this was the end of the input made by the DA. The Committee was expecting to hear the key findings suggested by the ANC.
The Chairperson returned and resumed the Chair at this point.
Mr Ollis commented that he did not have any issues with the recommendations made by the ANC caucus under Section 8. The DA had merely added to them, and he believed that all issues were now covered. Since no other parties were present, he suggested that there was no need to go through the input of the ANC, line by line.
The Chairperson briefly summarised that the key findings of the ANC had been separated into improvements and challenges. She read out the improvements that were observed, as well as the challenges faced despite the progress made (see BRRR document for wording). She indicated that another recommendation had been added by the ANC, which asked the Department to investigate and assess the introduction of a single ticket system for all public transport. She also stated that in this system, the commuters would be subsidised.
Mr Ollis agreed that the integration of tickets and transport was a great idea. However, there were no experts in South Africa who agreed it was a good idea for the subsidy to be given to the commuter, as opposed to an entity. He argued that there would be significant structural problems in paying the subsidy to the commuter so that the commuter could choose how to use that subsidy. Part of the problem was that this would be unpredictable and could lead to crashes in the system. Whilst he firmly supported the concept of the one-ticket system, he suggested that much more research was required on exactly how to make the subsidies available to commuters before the Department could be urged to implement that. The DA had tried to find ways to go about this but there was no one that was willing to support the idea. He argued, therefore, that no statements on the subsidy should be included in the report, and strongly urged the Committee to change the wording, perhaps by recommending that the Department should run an investigation, as opposed to forcing it to implement it.
Mr L Suka (ANC) asked what exactly was meant by a single ticketing system.
Mr Ollis replied that this meant that a commuter would only need one card, that could be used on every single mode of transport, and that would get rid of the paper tickets and queues. The card would merely be swiped on any form of public transport. It was possible to implement this successfully within the next financial year.
The Chairperson explained that subsidies and discounts were possible but may be opposed by some service providers. Government had a responsibility to ensure that commuters had access to good and affordable transportation. She agreed that the subsidy matter required further investigation, but emphasised that she still believed it was a good idea, and that the Committee had to assist commuters and see to their best interests, rather than those of service providers.
Mr Ollis stated that he was happy to adopt the report, as amended by the additional items of the ANC and the DA being incorporated.
Mr L Suka (ANC) seconded the adoption of the amended version of the report.
The Chairperson thanked the Committee for working hard to produce this report and for working coherently on the matter.
The meeting was adjourned.
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