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TRANSPORT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
16 October 2002
NATIONAL LAND TRANSPORT TRANSITION ACT: BRIEFING ON RESEARCH BY PALMER DEVELOPMENT GROUP
Documents handed out:
Report by Palmer Development Group
National Land Transport Transition Act, 22 of 2000
The Palmer Development Group briefed the Committee on the key issues and recommendations that emerged from their initial report and the hearings on the progressive implementation of the National Land Transition Transport Act. The National Department of Transport has not had the opportunity to consider recommendations contained in the report yet.
Concerns expressed by Members ranged from issues of lack of capacity, transportation of farmworkers, taxi recapitalisation process and distribution of responsibilities between municipalities and district councils with regard to implementation of the Act.
Ms Gillian Sykes of the Palmer Development Group read through the report. The key concerns of the report was the development of a sustainable financial framework as well as capacity building within the sector at large, from planning authorities to individual transport operators.
Registration and Operating Licences
Mr Farrow (DP) wanted to know if the Act requires farmers transporting their farm labourers to acquire operating license.
Ms Sykes replied that Section 2(1) of the Road Transportation Act exempted the farmers from the requirement of operating licenses. Furthermore, this list of exemptions has been incorporated into the Act.
Mr Magubane (ANC) added that he felt very strongly on the question of transportation of farmworkers. He urged the NDoT to develop a proper policy framework to protect farmworkers in this regard.
Mr Slabbert (IFP) also raised similar concern regarding lack of protection of farmworkers and said that the Act must provide protection in cases where farmworkers are crossing over from one farm to another.
Ms Sykes added that exemptions relate to the transportation of farmworkers to social activities, such as a place of worship. But the list of exemptions as incorporated in the Act also cover other areas.
Mr Slabbert (IFP) also wanted to know why meter taxis are being singled out to obtain operating licenses. The Chair, Mr JP Cronin responded that reference to meter taxis literally meant meter taxis and added that issue of meter taxis is separate issue that requires its own discussion.
Mr Magubane (ANC) expressed the view that meter taxis were singled out to enable different local municipalities to levy fees from operating licences of the meter taxis.
However, the Chair cautioned Members to remember that the meter taxis were not substantially covered by the Act.
Mr Ainslie (ANC) asked whether operating licenses were transferable under the Act.
Ms Sykes replied that the transfer of operating licences was covered under compensation but requires further investigation.
Transportation Legislation and Planning
Mr Ainslie (ANC) asked whether the transport authorities (TA's) were required to raise their own funds in terms of the Act.
Ms Sykes replied that TA's are currently not substantially funding themselves although plans are afoot to allow TA's to fund themselves.
Mr Farrow (DP) was concerned by the lack of co-ordination between district councils and municipalities. Such lack of co-ordination may result in conflict between the former and the latter. Consequently there might be confusion regarding responsibilities in implementing the Act. Furthermore this situation may lead to lack of capacity and distort the distribution of funds for progressive implementation of the Act.
Mr JP Cronin replied that transport patterns vary across various localities and as such certain municipalities and metros will receive optimum funding while others will not. However it is believed that the NDoT would make recommendations regarding this issue.
The Chair noted that the Palmer Group's comprehensive report and added that the report will be useful to the committee as it prepares its draft report on the implementation to be tabled before the National Assembly.
The meeting was adjourned.
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