The Road Traffic Management Corporation briefed the Committee on the entity’s 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan. The entity ensured that its priorities were informed by the National Development Plan, especially with regard to the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. This was linked to the professionalisation of the police service in connection with traffic law enforcement.
Other key focus areas included the strengthening of multiagency anticorruption systems; promotion of health in terms of reducing accidents, injuries and violence by 50% from 2010; eradicating corruption in the process of issuance of roadworthy certificates, as well as other fraudulent activities that take place in driving licensing testing centres and vehicle testing centres; as well as the training of traffic officers, with a focus on the production of quality law enforcers. The previous National Qualifications Framework level 4 qualification for traffic officers would be done away with, and National Qualifications Framework level 6 qualifications would now be introduced for traffic officers. The six months training would also be departed from, while the new training programme would run for three years.
Another key focus area was the acquisition of the Electronic National Administration Traffic Information System. This acquisition has been accompanied by various challenges including complaints received on the service of the system, as well as the taking over of the staff component. The major challenge however, is the stagnancy identified in the development of the system by the previous owners. The system was still at its employee development stage of 2002 to 2005.
Road Traffic Management Corporation noted that the national road strategy has been approved by Cabinet and would be implemented this year. However, funds were needed to implement the strategy.
A review committee has been set up by the entity to ensure that best practices were followed in its operations.
Other focus areas expounded upon in the presentation include the involvement of youths in the road safety programme; review of the K53 process; and formalisation, regulation and development of the occupational curriculum for driving school instructors.
One of the key projects lined up for implementation is the finalisation of the 24/7 shift system, as an attempt to address absence of traffic officers during post-office hours. Other key projects and events lined up for the year were highlighted.
A projected shortfall of R83 million in the 2017/18 budget was highlighted as a major source of budgetary constraints for the entity.
Members of Parliament raised issues around precautionary measures to be taken in redesigning the system in order to instil a new culture of road safety; the budgetary allocation that would be directed at training new traffic officers, and retraining old ones; the need for additional funding to carry out all restructuring plans alluded to; the cause of the failure of K53 system, as well as details on the revitalisation of the system; reporting structure of the review committee, scientific basis on which the review was based and what typical results of the review looked like; transfer of eNaTIS and obstacles faced with Tasima; the impact of the entity in terms of unlocking the potential Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, Co-ops, township and rural enterprises; the entity’s ability to take over the functions incorporated by Tasima into the eNaTIS; status of integrating traffic officers in order to ensure uniformity; timeframe for implementing the 24/7 shift system; attention given to the discussions around the accident bureau in charge of development and safekeeping of data on conditions of roads where frequent accidents occur; progress report on achieving a single force for traffic law enforcement officers throughout the country; the fight against drunk driving and the need to amend the National Road Traffic Act to address this issue; the need to make more mobile weighbridges available throughout the country; as well as the need to have a single uniform for traffic officers throughout the country in order to avoid confusion.
The Road Traffic Infringement Agency said that the Agency’s alignment to the National Development Plan focuses on curbing corruption; providing sound governance and fraud management in the law enforcement sphere; employment of youth, women and people with disabilities through contingent and permanent employment and skills development; public access and provision of redress, which is linked to making the law enforcement environment more accessible to people; and commitment to service delivery through a committed staff, constitution of the entity, as well as proactive thinking driven towards achieving success on the mandate of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency. The Agency also aligned itself to the National Development Plan by addressing the provision of job creation through the rollout of enterprise development programmes. Efforts were being made to improve customer touch-points, administrative adjudication of road traffic offences mobile offices, walk-in centres, and digital touch points through the enterprise development programme.
The Agency also aligned itself to the State of the Nation Address 2017 by offering support for small, medium and micro enterprises, which was also linked to its focus on the rollout of enterprise development programmes.
The Agency highlighted its responses and interventions to the Office of the Auditor General’s recommendation and findings on the 2015/16 audit; levels of oversight within the agency; responses to the recommendations made by the Portfolio Committee on the Budget Review and Recommendations Report 2016; and the Agency’s board and committee meetings.
It was noted that changes were made to the strategic plan of the agency in order to ensure that specific, measurable, achievable, results oriented and time-specific targets were set and achieved. One of such changes was enforcement of compliance by penalising the contravention of road traffic laws to a new strategic objective that focuses on discouraging contravention of road traffic laws. Details of performance targets and annual targets for each of refined strategic objective was highlighted.
The Agency’s key focus area for the 2017/18 period is on proactive and sustained marketing, communication and educational empowerment campaigns. This would be achieved through scholar road safety empowerment projects and driver simulators for students to be aware of road safety issues before graduating from school; rollout of enterprise development programmes; increasing and diversifying RTIA’s footprints; and the launch of the National Prayer Day for Road Safety.
The Agency highlighted its annual targets for 2017/18, together with key performance indicators and medium term targets for each annual target. It also outlined the challenges faced due to the effects of the changes in legislation and Amendment Bill on Road Traffic Infringement Agency.
Other issues highlighted by the Agency include the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework budget and cash flow; budgetary constraints; proposals for revenue generation.
It noted that it would need R250 million to fully implement the Administration Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences.
In discussion, Members of Parliament focused on issues such as the effect of the delay in finalising the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill on RTIA’s operations; application of caution in terms of incurring expenses on programmes yet to be approved by the Bill; challenge of administration within the Agency; explanation on the limited control the Agency had over the core business system; the Agency’s proposal on reducing the high cost of physical service; RTIA’s inability to fully implement Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences; whether or not the Agency had sufficient capacity to deal with the concerns raised by the Office of the Auditor General; the functionality of the audit committee within the Agency; the financial implications of numerous special meetings on the agency’s budget; timeframe within which the enterprise model would be fully developed; baselines for targets set by the Agency; focus area of targeted campaigns, target audience for the campaigns, aim of the campaigns, and how the success of the campaigns would be measured; the absence of the Agency board members from Portfolio Committee meetings; the rationale behind the Agency’s decision not to present further legislation to the Portfolio Committee within the 2017/18 period; as well as details on the amount generated by the Road Traffic Infringement Agency on an annual basis, the amount received from the fiscus, and what the Agency’s shortfall would be from the amount it generates in a bid to raise the required R250 million.
Members also asked for the rationale behind setting initial targets for the number of representations adjudicated, number of drivers with demerit points allocated, and number of licence and operator cards suspended; if a funding model has been developed by the Agency or plans were just in place to develop one; the rationale behind using old methods of mobile offices and walk-in centres to reach the public rather the use of technology, which was cheaper and more effective; explanation on plans to develop statistics to influence sound decision making; target audience of Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences support workshops and how the success of such workshops would be measured; as well as the rationale behind basing strategic objectives and targets on presumptions.
After a robust engagement with both entities, the Chairperson Informed Members of an invitation to attend the launch of new trains on 09 May 2017 at Pretoria. Members deliberated on the issue of attending the launch and still making sure that the Committee’s work was not affected. It was agreed that the Committee meeting for the said date would go on as planned while two Members of the Committee (Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) and Mr T Mulaudzi (EFF)) were delegated to attend the launch on behalf of the Committee.
RTMC’s presentation on the 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan (APP)
Adv. Makhosini Msibi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO): RTMC introduced board members of RTMC to the Committee.
The Chairperson applauded the female representation on the board.
Adv. Msibi said the presentation would focus on three critical issues, which included the change in RTMC’s strategic approach and priorities. RTMC has ensured that its priorities were informed by the National Development Plan (NDP), particularly the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020. A key issue in this regard is the professionalisation of the police service, in terms of traffic law enforcement. The strengthening of multiagency anticorruption systems was another key issue that will be focused on. The promotion of health, in terms of the reduction of accidents, injuries and violence by 50% from 2010 was yet another key focus area.
The primary aim of RTMC in strengthening the multiagency anticorruption systems was to ensure the intensification of fraud and corruption monitoring, as well as investigation on driving licensing testing centres (DLTCs) and vehicle testing centres (VTCs). This relates to the issuance of the roadworthy certificates for drivers and learner license that was now plagued with fraud and corruption; and has resulted in unprecedented escalations of accidents on the roads. RTMC’s focus was on the improvement of the quality of drivers. The entity was of the view that dealing with the corruption at DLTC and VTC would be tantamount to resolving 50% of the challenges facing the entity. RTMC urged the Committee to set time aside for it to come back to expound on the corruption that has been identified in the DLTCs and VTCs.
It was also necessary to look into the corruption at DLTCs and VTCs because of the results of a study conducted by CSAI, which noted that the amount spent by government on cost of crashes was R149 billion per annum.
Training of traffic officers was another focus area of RTMC, informed by the nine-point plan. The focus was on the quality of the law enforcers to be produced. Traffic officers currently undergo one-year training. Apart from the training, the qualification of these officers was national qualifications framework (NQF) level 4, which was equivalent to a Grade 12 qualification. In essence, the training of traffic officials has never been professionalised, neither has the quality of training being looked into in previous times. This necessitated the introduction of NQF level 6, which would commence in June 2017 and would require the traffic officials to undergo a three-year training programme. The first production of traffic officials after the training would be in 2020. In essence, there would no longer be traffic officials trained under six months by 2020.
The issue of the electronic national administration traffic information system (eNaTIS) has ignited hope for the entity. Although RTMC has taken over the eNaTIS, a court case was still ongoing on the basis that government cannot run the system. A number of complaints were received on the service in relation to the service of the eNaTIS; as well as the taking over of the staff component. However, the key issue facing the eNaTIS concerned the stagnancy in the development of the system since 2005. The eNaTIS was currently at its employee development stage of 2002 to 2005. Those in charge of running the system have not developed it; instead, they have only maintained and ensured that the system remained operational. RTMC would therefore ensure development of the system in order to cope with the current challenges.
All members constituting the RTMC board, as well as their roles, were highlighted (see slide 8 of the attached document).
There were three issues yet to be resolved in terms of the enabling Act of RTMC, namely vehicle and roadworthiness testing; testing and licensing of drivers; and vehicle registrations and licensing. RTMC was currently engaging with the Department of Transport (DoT), particularly because it was now in control of the eNaTIS, making it critical to deal with the integration of the powers of the department, while avoiding fraud and corruption.
Cabinet has approved the National Road Safety strategy and it would be implemented this year. However, the issue of funding of the strategy remained a challenge. RTMC has set up a traffic law enforcement review committee in order to ensure that the best practices followed by the Defence was also followed. The Defence went through the defence review process and ensured an integration of law enforcement from the sphere of local government, metros, municipalities, as well as national and provincial administrations. The review committee was currently in operation and has reviewed six provinces. The review for the remaining three provinces would be completed shortly.
The involvement of youths in the road safety programme was another focus area of RTMC. Youths were mostly affected by fatalities on the roads. RTMC has therefore, developed a youth structure at both national and provincial levels.
Yet another focus area under road safety was the review of the K53 process, under which most people obtained their licences in the past. K53 has however, become meaningless in the current dispensation. It was therefore, necessary to consider a change in the content of K53 in order to align it with the current challenges.
The formalisation, regulation and the development of the occupational curriculum for driving school instructors. Currently in South Africa, anyone with sufficient money can start a driving school without a proper curriculum. The absence of a curriculum has been identified as a gap to be filled by RTMC.
Key projects to be focused on by RTMC include the finalisation of the 24/7 shift system project. This was an attempt to address the absence of traffic officers during post-office hours. RTMC was engaging with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) to implement the 24/7 shift system throughout the country. Although the Public Service Act vests such powers in the provincial heads of departments (HODs), but RTMC has observed the reluctance of the HODs in implementing the system.
The promotion of the implementation of the SANS 39001 in the public sector was another key project that would be explained in greater detail at another engagement with the Portfolio Committee.
Key events lined up for the year were outlined (see slide 20 of the attached document).
In terms of the identified budget constraints and proposals for revenue generation, RTMC highlighted a projected shortfall of R83 million in the 2017/18 budget. Nonetheless, the entity would manage the available funds, despite the additional responsibility of paying of the staff of eNaTIS. This issue has been tabled before the shareholders and it was hoped that it would be managed appropriately.
Mr C Hunsinger (DA) said he was encouraged by RTMC’s presentation, especially with regard to issues raised at the previous meeting, such as interventions around learner licence issuing, corruption and bad practices that have been addressed during the presentation. It was understood that RTMC has to engage in the form of interventions. He therefore, wanted to know what precautionary measures would be taken in terms of redesigning the system in a bid to ensure the instilling of a new culture, instead of having an enforcement activity or maintaining a policing strategy.
He was encouraged by RTMC’s effort to ensure that traffic officers would hold NQF level 6 qualifications and would have undergone a three-year training programme by 2020. He inquired on the volume of budgetary allocation that would be directed at training new traffic officers and retraining the old ones; and whether RTMC believed additional funding should be allocated towards the restructuring being referred to.
In terms of the outdated K53, he wanted to know the cause of the system’s failure, and whether the revitalisation of the system referred to the development of an entirely new system, while getting rid of the defensive approach to the expected road behaviour.
He was encouraged by any form of parallel measurement and evaluation in any implementation of a particular policy or plan, as this was a good practice.
He asked about the reporting structure of the review committee around road safety; what the typical result of such review looked like; and what the scientific basis of the review was.
Mr M Sibande (ANC) applauded the presence of quite a number of women as part of the RTMC delegates.
He sought clarity on the transfer of eNaTIS and whether Tasima was still an obstacle.
He expressed worry over the issue of unlocking the potential SMMEs, Co-ops, township and rural enterprises. Most of the entities that appear before the Committee only present paper work without any practical evidence of reaching the townships, provinces and rural enterprises. He wanted to know the impact of RTMC on rural enterprises.
In terms of plans towards involvement of youths in road traffic services, he noted that it has been alleged that some provinces have already commenced some programmes to target students at schools. He asked for the strategy to be used in ensuring proper monitoring of youth development programmes.
RTMC was asked to clarify if its system of operation and responsibilities within the board were properly coordinated.
He also sought clarity on the substitute of K53.
Mr M De Freitas (DA) asked for the research on which the road safety strategy was based; a copy of the strategy to be delivered to Members of the Committee; an explanation on the 4% increase in revenue through efficiency and implementation of the funding model, and where such revenue was obtained from; progress report on the finalisation of the 24/7 shift system project in other provinces like what obtains in the Western Cape Province; as well as clarification on the national accreditation of crash statistics, and whether RTMC had the needed facility for the said accreditation.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) (who acted as the Acting Chairperson, while the Chairperson excused herself from the meeting for a short while) wanted to know if RTMC’s institutional arrangement was capable of taking over functions that have been incorporated into Tasima.
He also wanted to know the status of integration of traffic officers in order to ensure uniformity; as well as the timeframe set for completing the 24/7 shift system.
He asked for RTMC’s plan in relation to the entity’s staff complement.
It was noted that a lot of discussion has been ongoing on the accident bureau that is in charge of the development and safekeeping of data on the conditions of roads where frequent accidents are recorded due to engineering parts of such roads. Some of those accidents were also attributed to weather conditions. He wanted to know if the discussions have been receiving sufficient attention in RTMC’s strategy, as this was necessary in order to promote awareness on the behaviour expected of motorists.
In responding to the issues raised by Members, Adv. Msibi noted that the issues around the road infrastructure lay solely in the hands of SANRAL, while RTMC’s role was limited to the road monitoring system, which was a system used for conducting analysis of the road, after which recommendations will be made to SANRAL where interventions should be introduced. This was an international standard model with a vehicle fitted with all necessary facilities. The process emanated from Sweden. The vehicle would move on the roads to determine faults on road infrastructures, and the engineers would then make recommendations based on the results from the examination of such roads. Although RTMC would like to cover the 752 kilometres of the entire country, it was unable to do so within a short period of time due to capacity constraints. It therefore, prioritised roads that are prone to accidents, also known as hazardous roads, in order to give validation to the road infrastructure network and highlight areas needing repairs. RTMC would need eight more vehicles fitted with all the necessary equipment for road inspection in all provinces, as it currently had only one of such vehicles.
In terms of the 24/7 shift system, it was pointed out that the system was yet to be fully implemented in all parts of the Western Cape Province. Although there is a shift system in operation in the Western Cape Province, the system does not work round the clock as expected. The Public Service Act has made provision, and the HODs who should have dealt with this issue from the amendment stage in 2003 have refused to do so. RTMC has however, decided on an integrated version, and has engaged with DPSA, South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the provinces to agree. RTMC was currently aligning itself to the Police who work from 6 to 6, four days in and four days out. The Western Cape model has been adopted as an interim measure. Mpumalanga was the next province in line for the implementation of the 24/7 shift system, and it was expected that implementation would take place by September. This would be followed by the Free State, while implementation would take place in other provinces before the end of the financial year. The holistic approach that has been adopted is to ensure that implementation of the 24/7 shift system would have been completed before the commencement of the 2018/19 financial year, and the working conditions of all traffic law enforcers would have been changed. RTMC would be proposing to provinces to include in the work conditions of new employees that they would be working on the 24/7 shift system. This would ensure quicker implementation of the shift system without any hassles. At the centre of this working condition is the issue of overtime for traffic officers. Saturday and Sunday constitutes overtime. The minimum amount paid as overtime for traffic officers is R8 000 per month, while the maximum is R22 000. After calculating the amount for overtime, it was observed that South Africa could have employed 2 340 additional traffic officers if the amount for overtime was not included. It was therefore, necessary to review the employment conditions of the traffic officers.
RTMC noted that its staff complement was 653, and this number included the recent integration of the cross-border inspectorate, which took place on 01 April 2017. RTMC was of the opinion that stationing the national traffic officers in Pretoria was not necessary. Instead, they should be stationed at provinces. It was for this reason that current recruitments would deploy traffic officers with required qualifications at the provinces. RTMC might set aside a smaller team for intervention purposes but every traffic officer had to be at their various work positions.
With regard to the issues around Tasima, it was pointed out that RTMC had the necessary skills after taking over Tasima. The designers and developers of the system that used to be with Tasima, were now in RTMC. RTMC employed these designers and developers in May 2015, and acquired 20 additional staff to ensure full capacitation.
As to whether Tasima and eNaTIS constituted an obstacle for RTMC, RTMC noted that eNaTIS did not pose any obstacle. RTMC only had challenges with the service provider, which was Tasima. Tasima has continuously taken RTMC to court after the take-over, to the extent where RTMC was referred to as a habitual litigant by a Judge. The trend was for Tasima to appeal after losing in court; and petition after the dismissal of an appeal. One of such instances was seen in the way Tasima appealed after the handover and eviction application was granted in RTMC’s favour, Tasima appealed. The Judge in the matter concerned dismissed the application, and because RTMC was aware that Tasima would petition the Supreme Court of Appeal, it utilised the two hours based on the provision of the law that the order would not be suspended until the application was lost. RTMC ensured that on the day the matter was heard, the Sheriff and other relevant officers were on site to evict Tasima, since the order was yet to be suspended at the time. By the time Tasima was taken out of the court premises, it had already attached the stamp of the Supreme Court of Bloemfontein to its application and a case number was allocated. Tasima had petitioned RTMC on the basis that the evictions should not have taken place, since Tasima had made its intentions known. RTMC was currently in the Supreme Court based on this appeal. Tasima has also taken RTMC to the Labour Court using the provisions of Section 197 to make a case that RTMC should take over the entire staff complement of Tasima, despite the fact that most of the staff were employed in 2016 when the order was already in force. RTMC noted that the court case was likely going to continue for the next three years.
With regard to the unlocking of SMMEs in the townships and rural areas, RTMC noted that although it had a limited budget, it had ensured that the budget was spread across the remote areas through the classification of services. There were services that focused on promotional materials and promotion of road safety. It has ensured that all service providers were located in various areas, and funding was given to people in charge to secure services in such areas. However, there were two levels where RTMC was performing poorly in this regard, namely the military veterans and people with disabilities.
After the takeover of the eNaTIS, RTMC ensured that all provinces have SMMEs. This was done by ensuring that all persons in charge of the eNaTIS systems at the DLTCs were taken to local areas. Students with IT expertise were also being targeted to assist with the systems and services.
In terms of the driver-learner system and partnership with the Department of Education, RTMC stated that each Province was given R40 million in 2015 to ensure the promotion of road safety, and in particular, to have projects that were linked to the acquisition of drivers’ licences. The plan was for provinces to partner with driving schools while RTMC would determine the number of students to be trained by provinces. The condition was for such training to be held in the rural areas, in order to benefit children in disadvantaged areas.
The research for K53 has been completed. RTMC was currently developing a curriculum in relation to the content of K53 in order to address the shortcomings that have been identified in the K53. Currently, the requirement for obtaining a driver’s licence includes understanding the road signs, which is not sufficient in RTMC’s view. This was because driving on the roads exposes one to realities that are different from the road sign rules. RTMC was of the view that the K53 system was flawed, since it does not test the psychological capability of individuals. RTMC was therefore, proposing a new system that would test individuals on the issue of road safety itself, proper understanding of driving, and which places emphasis on the human conduct on the roads, since 60% of fatal accidents are linked to consequences of the human conduct.
The 4% increase in revenue was sourced from transactional fees for vehicle licensing, and acquisition of drivers’ licences. The most important factor was however, the means by which RTMC reinvested the money being made, one of which was its investment with the Reserve Bank. RTMC was running its process through National Treasury on a cash basis, on a daily basis on the amount required by the bank, so the money with the Reserve Bank is generating the income. Returns on investments with the Reserve Bank have been recorded.
RTMC stated that additional funding was needed by the entity. The introduction of the NQF level 6 qualification would warrant the retraining or upscaling of the current law enforcement officers throughout the country, and this would require additional funding. RTMC had plans to multiskill them to the required CBRTA to bring about an integrated version that would deal with matters of traffic law enforcement; and also train the inspectorate on traffic law enforcement.
There was a pending issue on the way metros viewed themselves as metro police as opposed to traffic law enforcers. RTMC has therefore, agreed with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to include crime prevention in the curriculum of training for all traffic officers, particularly the NQF level 6. This was aimed at ensuring a seamless situation in the law enforcement arrangement, which would bridge the gap of differentiating between a traffic officer and a traffic law enforcement officer in terms of ensuring crime prevention.
The implementation of the road safety strategy would also require a lot of funding. What is yet to take place in the curriculum of traffic law enforcers is the placing of emphasis on the element of road safety. 30% of the current curriculum now speaks to the element of road safety.
The traffic law enforcement review committee comprised of experts, including two professors representing two universities, namely Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and Monash University. The membership of the committee also included experts on road safety; and experts on traffic law enforcement, including representatives from SAPS, Crime Intelligence and Labour. The review committee was set up to meet with all stakeholders throughout the country, after which inputs would be made on issues such as deciding on a uniform standing order for traffic fraternities throughout the country; salaries for traffic law enforcers; norms and standards governing traffic law enforcement; as well as recruitment of traffic law enforcers. At the completion of the process, the review committee would submit its findings and inputs to the board, and the board would relay such inputs to the shareholders.
In terms of the crash data system, RTMC entered into a partnership with the CSAI to deal with the crash data system. This had to do with the collation and warehousing of the data. RTMC has also entered into a partnership with Stats SA to ensure a validation of the crash data in South Africa, as this data has never been validated. About 60 contract employees have been trained by Stats SA on the analysis of crash data, data collation and data packaging.
Ms Pinkie Mathabatha, Non-Executive Director: RTMC, said that RTMC has developed an in-house Road Traffic information data bank, which was designed to collate data from various departments that dealt with crashes, including Department of Health (DoH) and Department of Home Affairs (DHA). A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with Road Accident Fund (RAF) and DHA. This system commenced in June 2016. The second phase of the system, which was run within RTMC, has been completed. The rest of the system would be completed in May 2017. The process has been delayed due to the transfer of the eNaTIS and the need to link the system with the eNaTIS. The purpose of developing the RTID was to ensure an integration of data collection in all departments, which would bring about the existence of one crash data information system.
Adv. Msibi added that DHA was involved in the process because of the move of the system in the country towards ensuring that every individual had a death certificate before any such individual can be buried. RTMC was working with DHA to ensure that people that die in road accidents were allotted specific classifications in their death certificates. This would mean that the data given by DHA could be validated with what is given by the pathological services, SAPS, and other relevant departments.
Ms Koekie Mdlulwa, Non-Executive Director: RTMC, responded to the issue raised on the research on which the road safety strategy was based. the strategy was approved on 29 March 2017 and copies would be made available to members of the Committee. The process of the development of the strategy considered the analysis of the secondary data available to RTMC, as well as research work carried out internally and also by some institutions of higher learning. The analysis carried out and research work considered assisted RTMC in developing a more responsive strategy. RTMC also considered benchmarking; and the means by which other countries tackled road safety issues and reduce fatalities. This assisted RTMC in coming up with different interventions that would assist with the implementation of the strategy.
The interventions in this new strategy have been classified into short, medium and long term interventions, based on the knowledge that it would be impossible to implement all interventions at once. A phase-out approach was therefore necessary, especially because funding would be required at every stage.
RTMC has proposed to use the funding it already has to implement the short-term interventions, while drawing up priorities within the entity and other spheres of government and DoT in order to implement certain measures without sourcing for external funds. However, as progress is made towards the long-term interventions, particularly the issues around infrastructure, more money would be required. A proposal has been made within the strategy to introduce central funding and also bring the private sector on board. Although both public and private sectors fund road safety, it has been difficult to come together to agree on key programmes to be implemented, in order to determine the impact of both sectors. Bringing the private sector on board would assist in ensuring longevity for the country, and also help with the implementation of long term interventions that require more funding.
RTMC was also working towards aligning the implementation of the strategy with programmes across all spheres of government. RTMC would make sure the interventions fell within the strategic and annual performance plans (APP), in order to ensure continuous funding of the strategy and in effect, the interventions.
With regard to the involvement of the youth, the youth is being targeted at universities in terms of enrolling for learner and driver’s license. Part of the process for the review, development and regulation of the curriculum for driving schools was aimed at addressing some of these challenges. However, RTMC had programmes that focused on institutions of higher learning and were aimed at creating a consciousness of road safety in the youth. There was a long-term plan to legislate on the driving schools and create a curriculum that would govern the entire process of acquiring a driver’s license.
Mr Sibande highlighted an error in the reference made to MKVA in slide 5 of the attached document, noting that the appropriate abbreviation should be MKMVA.
Mr T Mulaudzi (EFF) asked for a progress report on having a single force for traffic law enforcement officers throughout the country, since the rationale behind the introduction of RTMC was to amalgamate the entire traffic force into one.
He also wanted to know if RTMC was winning the fight against drunk drivers without the implementation of the 24/7 shift system; if RTMC has considered the need to amend the National Road Traffic Act to address the issue of drunk driving, since the Act itself allows drinking without exceeding a certain per cent as opposed to the strategy that prohibits drinking and driving; and if RTMC has considered the implementation of the average speed law enforcement system on other national roads apart from the N1 road in Western Cape and N3 road from Free State to Durban.
He said that the mobile weighbridge used during the festive period was a good innovation and it would be a good idea to make more of such weighbridges available throughout the country.
He also commented on the various traffic uniforms that existed in South Africa, which could confuse the tourists. It was important for a single uniform to be agreed upon for all traffic officers.
Mr Msibi said that roadworthy tests were carried out on roads. Each Province was provided with two weighbridges, but Limpopo received three additional bridges, North West received additional two bridges, and Gauteng has eight weighbridges. It would be ideal to have more mobile testing stations and way bridges to assist with the issuance of roadworthy certificates and curb the issuance of fake certificates.
The traffic law enforcement review committee was dealing with the issue of a single traffic police and it would be finalised in the norms and standards to be produced. The issue of having a single uniform for traffic officers; vehicles; as well as the coding and branding of traffic officers would also be included in the norms and standards.
The average speed management system implemented at the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Free State was an intervention but at the centre was the issue of the back office because as you do the law enforcement the back office becomes very critical. This process would require the nationalisation of the back offices throughout the country.
RTMC was wining the fight against drunk driving. RTMC was however, working with the Department of Justice to amend the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) in terms of rescheduling Schedule 2 and 3 to Schedule 5, as well as providing a minimum sentence that would be attached to road traffic offences. This amendment would assist RTMC in fighting drunk driving properly.
Mr Ramatlakane urged RTMC to keep up the good work it has been doing. He also said that Tasima should not be a hindrance to RTMC’s work.
Mr Msibi said the Committee would be invited to visit the eNaTIS centre in order to examine and appreciate the system in charge of the entire country.
RTMC undertook to circulate an approved copy of the road safety strategy to members of the Committee by the coming week.
The Chairperson informed Members that the Committee was invited by the Minister of Transport to the launch of the new trains by the President, which would be held in Pretoria on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 by 9.00 am at the Pretoria station. Deliberations on the invitation would be discussed after the engagement with RTIA.
The Chairperson welcomed the delegates from the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) and urged the head of the delegate to focus on critical issues in the presentation.
Presentation by Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA)
Ms Palesa Moalusi, Chief Financial Officer: RTIA tendered the apology of the CEO, Mr Japh Chuwe, who was absent from the meeting due to ill health.
She outlined the National Development Plan (NDP), which was based on the approach to achieve prosperity and equity through the fight against corruption; provision of job creation; building a capable and developmental state; and ensuring an overall impact on service delivery. RTIA’s alignment to the NDP focuses on curbing corruption; providing sound governance and fraud management in the law enforcement sphere; employment of youth, women and people with disabilities through contingent and permanent employment and skills development; public access and provision of redress, which is linked to making the law enforcement environment more accessible to people; and commitment to service delivery through a committed staff, constitution of the entity, as well as proactive thinking driven towards achieving success on the mandate of RTIA.
RTIA’s alignment to the NDP also addresses the provision of job creation through the rollout of the enterprise development programmes. Efforts were being made to improve customer touch-points, administrative adjudication of road traffic offences (AARTO) mobile offices, walk-in centres, and digital touch points through the enterprise development programme.
In terms of the alignment to the medium term strategic framework (MTSF), RTIA’s key initiatives include the AARTO national rollout; implementation of demerit points; rollout of the enterprise development programme; and implementation of the driver rehabilitation programme, which would be undertaken after the promulgation of AARTO Amendment Bill.
RTIA’s alignment to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2017 in terms of job creation through support for small, medium and micro enterprises also focuses on the rollout of the enterprise development programmes and increase in the uptake of SMMEs. The key priority of the agency is to partner with women, youth and disabled-owned SMMEs to provide extended services of RTIA, such as educational empowerment programmes through the various platforms of the agency.
RTIA’s responses and interventions to the Office of the Auditor General (AG)’s recommendations and findings on the 2015/16 audit were highlighted (see pages 7 and 8 of the attached document).
The levels of oversight in RTIA was also highlighted (see page 9 of the attached document).
Responses to the recommendations received from the Portfolio Committee on the Budget Review and Recommendations reports (BRRR) 2016 were also addressed (see page 10 of the attached document).
RTIA informed the Committee of the existence of its current board, which was appointed on 01 December 2014 and whose term would end on 30 November 2017. The Registrar (Mr Japh Chuwe) was an executive member of the board, and his contract, which was renewed in 2016, would expire in 2021.
The board charter was in place and would be reviewed annually or as required. The charter is aligned to the RTIA and departmental strategies. A performance agreement is signed by the board with the Minister every year, based on the strategic plan and APP targets monitored by the department on a quarterly basis.
An external assessment of the board has been concluded and report is expected to be submitted on 31 May 2017 after the finalisation of the report.
An outline of RTIA’s board and committee meetings was highlighted (see pages 12 to 16 of the attached document).
Some changes were made to the strategic plan. This included the change in the initial strategic plan that spoke to the enforcement of compliance by penalising the contravention of road traffic laws, to the new strategic objective talks that about the discouraging of contravention of road traffic laws, which is a simplification of the initial objectives. The strategic objective on the change of behaviour of road users has been changed to the coordination and facilitation of readiness for national implementation of AARTO; while the strategic objective on administration and resourcing of the agency has been changed to the influence of change in road user behaviour, and effective administration and resourcing of the agency to deliver on its mandate. Details of performance targets and annual targets for each of the above mentioned strategic objectives were highlighted (see pages 17 to 19 of the attached document).
RTIA’s strategic goals, objectives and key drivers were highlighted (see page 20 and 21 of the attached document).
The agency’s key focus area for the 2017/18 period is on proactive and sustained marketing, communication and educational empowerment campaigns. This would be achieved through scholar road safety empowerment projects and driver simulators for students to be aware of road safety issues before graduating from school; rollout of enterprise development programmes; increasing and diversifying RTIA’s footprints through various means already mentioned above; as well as through the launch of the National Prayer Day for Road Safety (see page 22 of the attached document).
The annual targets for 2017/18, together with the key performance indicators and medium-term targets for each annual target were highlighted (see pages 23 to 26 of the attached document).
The effect of the changes in legislation and Amendment Bill on RTIA and the challenges experienced were outlined. The agency’s operations were currently external to its control, in the sense that RTIA was not in a position to sign off on the AARTO Amendment Bill, and this has affected the RTIA’s mode of operation.
RTIA had an inhibitive and prescriptive legislative framework. The agency would only be able to introduce more flexibility in its operations after the Amendment Bill has been passed into law.
The agency had a high cost of physical service and mailing services. The agency’s inability to realise the full implementation of AARTO was highly inhibitive, as it only operated within a small jurisdictional area, making it difficult to experience the full impact of AARTO.
The dependency on third parties and issuing authorities, required a more collaborative approach, as it slowed down the process of doing things at the moment.
Having limited control over the core business system (that is National Credit Regulator (NCR), which houses the eNaTIS) was another challenge facing the agency.
Other challenges include governance and separation of responsibilities with the board; and the absence of further legislation to be presented to the Portfolio Committee within the 2017/18 period.
RTIA’s medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) budget and cash flow was highlighted (see page 28 of the attached document). The budgetary constraints and revenue generation proposals were also highlighted (see page 29 of the attached document). The required funding needed for the full implementation of AARTO should be R250 million but RTIA was constrained by limited funds, as it generated most of its funds by itself. Plans were in place to generate more funds.
Proposals have been made for the generation of more revenue (see page 30 of the attached document for details).
Mr Sibande commended the presentation but sought clarity on how the delay in finalising the AARTO Amendment Bill was affecting the achievement of targets set by RTIA. He also wanted to know if caution was being applied to advertisements and other expenses incurred for programmes yet to be agreed upon or approved to be part of the Bill. An example was the tender adverts for service providers for proposed rehabilitation programmes.
He asked for explanation on the issues surrounding the challenge of administration of the agency; limited control over the core business system; RTIA’s proposal on how to reduce the high costs of physical service; and the issues around the agency’s inability to realise the full implementation of AARTO.
Mr Ramatlakane wanted to know if RTIA had sufficient capacity to deal with the concerns raised by the AG; if the audit committee within the agency was functioning and if so, if the concerns raised by the committee were being attended to by the RTIA’s CEO; if the special meetings alluded to had any financial implications on the budget; the timeframe within which the enterprise model would be fully developed; what the baselines for each target were; and what the focus and reach of the campaigns that have been targeted were.
Mr Mulaudzi expressed concern over the absence of RTIA board members from Committee meetings. It was important for board members to appear before the Committee as there were instances where Members would like to engage with them as the accounting authority of the agency.
He asked for what the focus of the 80 campaigns targeted by the agency were; whether rural municipalities have been factored into the campaigns; why the state of readiness for the AARTO rollout was still at 80%; the rationale behind RTIA’s decision not to present further legislation to the Portfolio Committee within the 2017/18; details on the amount generated by RTIA on an annual basis and the amount received from the fiscus; and what RTIA’s shortfall would be from the amount it generates in a bid to raise the required R250 million.
Mr De Freitas observed that RTIA’s target to contribute to economic growth for job creation and roll out of enterprise development programmes did not align with the agency’s mandate.
He sought clarity on the rationale behind setting initial targets for the number of representations adjudicated, number of drivers with demerit points allocated; and number of license and operator cards suspended.
He asked if RTIA already developed a funding model or was just about to develop one; what distinction existed between RTMC’s focus area and RTIA’s target to influence change in road user behaviour and discourage the contravention of road traffic laws; as well as what RTIA would be doing differently from RTMC and how such plans fit into RTIA’s mandate.
He also asked for the details of what the 80 campaigns comprised of, what form the campaigns would take, and what informs the campaigns.
He observed that RTIA’s methods of reaching the public through the introduction of mobile offices and walk-in centres were methods that various international entities were moving away from. He asked for an explanation on the rationale behind such decision.
It was also observed that RTIA made no mention of the use of technology. Clarity was sought on this, as the use of technology was much cheaper and more effective than walk-in centres and other proposed methods.
He requested an explanation of plans to develop statistics to influence sound decision making, as this should be one of the key focus areas of RTIA; the target audience for the AARTO support workshops, objectives of the workshops, and how the success of the workshops would be measured; as well as how the number of 80 campaigns that have been targeted were arrived at, what form the campaigns would take, what the target audience for the campaign were, and how the success of the campaigns would be measured.
Mr De Freitas reiterated the point made by Mr Sibande that most of the targets and objectives presented by RTIA were based on presumptions of situations yet to take place. He opined that strategies and decisions could not be made on presumptions. He therefore, sought clarity on how RTIA could base its strategies on situations that were yet to happen, and whether RTIA has considered the possibility of rejected proposals.
He considered RTIA’s proposal to introduce a road safety levy as insulting to road users. He asked for the basis of such proposal, and what the levies would be used for.
Ms Moalusi responded to the issue raised by Mr Sibande on the effect of the delay in finalising the AARTO Amendment Bill on RTIA. The delay was affecting RTIA’s business more than its targets. RTIA’s core mandate was linked to its strategic plan as contained in the RTIA Act. The four strategic objectives alluded to in the presentation were directly linked to RTIA’s strategic plan. The delays in finalising the Amendment Bill constituted a difficulty for RTIA in executing its mandate effectively and efficiently. It was not that RTIA was setting targets that could not be executed. Changes were made to strategic objectives in order to ensure the execution of targets within RTIA’s immediate control.
RTIA therefore, had to take out some of the things linked to the Amendment Bill from its strategic objectives on a temporary basis.
RTIA applied caution in terms of spending on items that were yet to be approved in the Bill. This was one of the reasons why RTIA was unable to execute everything in its procurement plan in 2016.
The real issues affecting the administration of the agency include having a robust system that would assist in effective decision making, which was the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system targeted for implementation over a three-year period. The staff capacity was another issue. Even though RTIA would like to increase its staff capacity, it was important to get certainty over the Amendment Bill and the rollout before embarking on plans to increase the staff capacity. In other words, the agency’s staff capacity cannot be increased until there was certainty on the rollout. The agency was therefore, working on a thin staff capacity, based on the abovementioned reason as well as the resources at the agency’s disposal.
RTIA’s proposal for reducing the high costs of physical services was the introduction of more electronic means. The use of technology was not included in the strategic objectives because it was dependent on the Amendment Bill. RTIA’s current Act contains provisions for registered mail for service of notices. A different method other than what is provided by the Act, can only be used after the said provision is amended. Better technologies would be introduced once the Amendment Bill has been finalised.
One of the issues affecting the full implementation of AARTO is the promulgation of the Amendment Bill. Some issuing authorities across the country have indicated an interest to take part in piloting AARTO but this cannot be done until the promulgation of the Bill takes place at the Presidential level.
With regard to the development of a funding model, it was pointed out that the current funding model was dependent on the national rollout. RTIA has engaged with the private sector on the information and work carried out by the agency that the sector might be interested in, but this could only be on a national scale in order to ensure provision of same service to all customers throughout the country.
The infringement clearance certificate could also not be implemented at the moment, as its implementation has to be done nationally.
The audit committee was functioning properly and it was well capacitated with people having the right skills. RTIA had a wide range of people in the committee that dealt with audit and risk matters effectively and efficiently. The agency also had the capacity to address the concerns that have been raised by the AG. The concerns raised by the AG were mainly around performance information management. RTIA was currently looking into ways of doing things differently, crafting its strategic objectives differently, and working with relevant experts in the field in order to achieve better results.
RTIA has envisaged that the full execution of the ERP model would be done within a three-year period. There was a need to start with the model, identify the needs analysis, and present a work plan. The building and development stage of the model would only take place after a work plan and needs analysis has been carried out. It was only after this that implementation of the model could commence.
Issues raised on the baseline of targets would be responded to in writing. Detailed information in this regard have been documented in the agency’s APP and strategic plan.
The intention of RTIA in deciding not to present further legislation to the Portfolio Committee is based on the need to deal with the issues that may arise after the promulgation of the Amendment Bill within a year. RTIA would return to the Committee after the 2017/18 financial year, if and when the need arises.
Adv. Mncedisi Bilikwana, Head: Legal and Governance, RTIA, responded to the issue raised on the nonalignment of the agency’s strategic objectives to its mandate. Rollout of the enterprise development programme was introduced as part of the agency’s plan to align its objectives to the NDP. The agency has also decided to use enterprise development as one of its resourcing mechanisms for expansion.
With regard to the issues around the use of outdated methods of engagement with the market, RTIA noted that it would still make use of other technologically-driven methods of engagement, while taking into consideration the fact that the agency would be dealing with infringers at different LSF levels and not everyone in the market place had access to technology.
The RTIA board convened several special meetings in the last financial year because of engagements that focused on the COO’s contract. The agency also introduced a new performance management system where the HR committee and the board had to engage severally in this regard.
The agency would forward to the Committee a written response by the chairperson of the RTIA board on why the board rarely appears before the Portfolio Committee.
Mr Jacob Mmekoa, Head: Strategy and Reporting, RTIA, said the target audience for the 80 campaigns includes people in different categories. The agency has also considered the geographical spread of road users.
There were no plans to completely abandon the conventional technological inventions. The agency still had to ensure service delivery to those in the rural areas without access to technology.
The details of what the campaigns would focus on have been included in the operational plan. This would be circulated among the Committee. RTIA was also making use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to publicise the campaigns.
RTIA sought guidance from Parliament and the Department in terms of crafting its APP and strategic plan in order to achieve the setting of specific, measurable, achievable, results oriented and time-specific (SMART) targets.
In terms of the targets set on infringements (see page 17 of the attached document), RTIA noted that it took into consideration the advice of the Portfolio Committee on setting SMART targets rather than setting targets for failure. It therefore, departed from that initial target to opt for the normal way of eradicating road accidents. The change in the strategy gives clear details on what RTIA’s function would be in terms of discouraging contravention of road traffic laws.
Responses to other issues raised by Members would be sent in writing to the Committee.
Members deliberated on the invitation sent by the Minister to attend the launching of new trains in Pretoria.
Mr Ramatlakane said the invitation was part of oversight and the Committee honoured the invitation.
Mr Sibande asked what was on the agenda for the said date of the launch.
The Chairperson replied that the Committee would be engaging with CPRTA, RAF and PRASA.
Mr Sibande said that PRASA would most likely send in apologies for inability to attend the Committee meeting, since it had to be at the launch as well. He therefore proposed that the invitation should be honoured.
Mr De Freitas said the budget hearing has been scheduled for 23 May 2017, and the Committee needs to have completed all the hearings and prepared reports before the said date. He proposed that the Committee meeting for Tuesday should be held, while arrangements could be made for an oversight visit to the see the trains at a later date.
The Chairperson also noted that there was insufficient time to engage with the parastatals. She already informed the Acting Group CEO that the Committee expected him to divide his officials into those who would attend the launch and those who would attend the Committee meeting. She proposed that one or two members of the Committee should be assigned to represent the Committee at the launch.
Mr Sibande said the timing of launch was impromptu. The key challenge was the finalisation of the processes before the Committee, which should be completed before the budget debate. He proposed that the debate around the attendance of the launch should be set aside since there was no certainty as to the number of Members that would be available at the Tuesday meeting, in order to form a quorum. If there was certainty as to the numbers that would be present, he would have agreed to the Chairperson’s proposal to send representatives from the Committee to attend the launch.
Mr De Freitas urged Members to ensure that a quorum was formed on Tuesday. In his opinion, the launch would be merely a launch; whereas a proper oversight would be a better option for the Committee to ask questions, interrogate, and engage properly with the entity in charge.
Mr Ramatlakane remarked that if the meeting on Tuesday would be for hearing presentations from entities, not all members have to present according to the rules. The rules provide that the least number of members that should present at such meeting is four. The argument made by other Members, which was based on the uncertainty of having four members at the meeting on Tuesday, was unrealistic.
He however, accepted the Chairperson’s ruling to be one of the Members that would attend the launch on behalf of the Committee.
Mr Hunsinger noted that six Members were in attendance at the current meeting. He would be present at the meeting on Tuesday and other Members could attend the launch as suggested.
The Chairperson ruled that Mr Ramatlakane and Mr Mulaudzi would attend the launch on behalf of the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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