Committee Programme & Committee Reports

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27 September 2022
Chairperson: Mr M Zwane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video (Part 1)

Video (Part 2)

Tabled Committee Reports

In a virtual meeting, the Committee met to consider and adopt outstanding reports, minutes of proceedings, the draft committee programme for the fourth term and an internal report on the Committee’s activities during the 2021/22 financial year. Members raised minor amendments to the reports. All reports and minutes of proceedings were adopted. The Committee also discussed an alleged report of a routine aviation inspection that had made significant security findings. A Member alleged that the Minister and Deputy Minister were withholding the report.

Meeting report

Mr C Hunsinger (DA) mentioned an alleged report on a routine aviation inspection that had made significant security findings. It was also alleged that the Minister and the Deputy Minister are in possession of the report. He had released a media statement on this. He suggested that the allegations needed to be verified. Why was the report being withheld? The Committee should take the necessary measures to see that the report was released so that the findings could be assessed formally by the Committee.

Mr T Mabhena (DA) said he had not received the agenda for the meeting. He asked why the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) was not present, given that the Chairperson had said in a previous meeting that a presentation by ACSA would take place on this date.

The Chairperson said that with ACSA, there needed to be a full house with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chairperson of the Board. However, the CEO and the Chairperson were out of the country and could therefore not attend the meeting. The meeting would be rescheduled.

Mr Mabhena asked if a new date had been confirmed yet.

The Chairperson said a new date would be established towards the end of this meeting.

Mr L Mangcu (ANC) thought that the agenda was very unclear. There was no indication of what outstanding reports or minutes of proceedings would be considered and adopted. He asked for clarity on which Committee Members would attend another meeting on the same day at 11h00. He observed that two reports, including the report on the North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal oversight trip, which had already been presented in the House, were scheduled to be considered in the parliamentary programme in the upcoming weeks.

Mr K Sithole (IFP) asked for clarity on the agenda. He wanted to know what the Committee was dealing with.

Mr P Mey (FF+) also asked for clarity.

The Chairperson clarified that the Committee would be looking at the 2021/22 fourth quarter report, the 2022/23 first quarter report and the outstanding minutes of proceedings on 16 and 20 September 2022.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on the 2021/22 Fourth Quarter Expenditure of the Department of Transport
Adv Alma Nel, Content Adviser, highlighted the observations and recommendations in the report. Observations included gaps between actual expenditure of the Department of Transport (DOT) and service delivery, a need for more checks and balances for the implementation of the scholar transport programme, a need for the DOT to investigate the reasons for the rise in aviation accidents due to insufficient maintenance of the aircraft, the high number of potholes, the insufficiency of Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant (PRMG) allocations to provinces, the continued high vacancy rate and the compensation for employment and goods and services. The recommendations included: the DOT to provide a report on the reasons and remedies to prevent the future underspending on compensation for employment and goods and services, the DOT to ensure that more weighbridges and law enforcement operations are operating effectively, the DOT to submit a report to the Committee on the reason for the rise of aviation accidents, the DOT to improve oversight of the Public Transport Network Grant (PTNG) budget, the DOT to implement more checks and balances, and lastly the DOT to improve monitoring and oversight over PRMGs.

Mr Sithole pointed out that while the observations spoke about potholes, there was no recommendations regarding potholes.

Mr L McDonald (ANC) agreed with Mr Sithole. He moved for the adoption of the report with the addition of a recommendation on potholes.

Adv Nel added a recommendation that the DOT should provide a report on projects undertaken to deal with the elimination of potholes.

The EFF abstained.

The report was adopted.

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on the 2022/23 First Quarter Expenditure of the Department of Transport 
Adv Nel highlighted the Committee’s observations and recommendations. The observations included: the limited progress on Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) capital projects, the DOT’s failure to implement the integrated ticketing system, Mangaung Metro and the City of Cape Town’s struggles to remove taxis from Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) routes, underspending on the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme and the Shova-Kalula programme, the DOT’s apparent inability to address the vacancy rate, the low achievement of targets in the maritime programme, vandalism of Netreg train station in Cape Town, and that there should be an adequate budget to address the challenges in the aviation programme. The recommendations included: DOT to align performance targets to service delivery, DOT to provide reasons for the under-expenditure in the implementation of IPTNs, DOT to provide a report to the Committee on the way forward once the forensic reports on the IPTNs in Rustenburg and Msunduzi Local Municipalities have been received, DOT to provide a report with reasons for the continued underspending on taxi recapitalisation and the Shova-Kalula programme, the DOT to provide reasons for the slow progress on the maritime transport programme, the Ballast Water Management Bill and the review of the Merchant Shipping Bill.

Mr McDonald moved for the adoption of the report.

Mr Mey seconded the motion for the adoption of the report.

The EFF abstained.

The report was adopted.

Draft Committee programme for the fourth term
The Committee Secretary presented the draft programme. She reported that the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) had requested that its one-on-one meeting with the Chairperson occur two days before the start of the term because of the outstanding PRASA audit. This would affect subsequent meetings. Meetings would now start at 16h00, as discussed with the House, as Members belonged to more than one forum. The Committee would have to see how many entities could be fitted into the available hours. She also recalled that Members had asked the Road Accident Fund (RAF) present to the Committee. If this happened, the Committee may be unable to slot in another entity. The Committee had to decide what entities they wanted to meet with.

The Chairperson mentioned entities such as the RAF, The South African Maritime Safety Agency (SAMSA), PRASA, ACSA, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), and Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS). The drafted programme showed budgetary review and recommendation reports, briefings by different entities, written submissions on the Maritime Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Amendment Bill, public hearings on the Railway Safety Bill and so forth.

Mr Hunsinger asked if the constituency periods were being removed or shortened.

The Committee Secretary replied that it looked like they had been shortened.

Mr Mabhena asked if ACSA could be included in the meeting on 12 October 2022 to conclude this matter.

This was noted and the programme was adopted.

The Committee Secretary reported that the South African Bus Rapid Transport Association (SABRATA) had requested a meeting with the Committee. She also presented dates for public hearings in all nine provinces on the Railway Safety Bill. These hearings would take place from November 2022 until March 2023.

The Chairperson read the letter received from SABRATA. Together with the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and the National Taxi Association (NTA), it wanted to discuss the implementation and impact of section 41 of the National Land Transport Act. He said the entity should be slotted into a convenient date and time.

Mr Hunsinger pointed out that Section 41 of the NLTA has already been adopted in its current form by Parliament. There would be no benefit for SABRATA to have a discussion with the Committee, because it would not change anything. This should be communicated to the Association and it should be directed to the office of the President.

Mr Mangcu wanted to know what entities were affiliated with SABRATA.

The Chairperson said entities such as Pio Trans, Kidrogen and Busmark are affiliated with SABRATA. He agreed that a letter would be written to SABRATA on this issue.

Mr McDonald said there are issues with ACSA but was happy to adopt the programme.

Draft report on Committee activities undertaken during 2021/22 financial year
The Committee Secretary said that this report would not be formally published. Its purpose was to help with legacy reports indicating challenges and highlights of the Committee's work.

Adv Nel went through the report. Challenges included loadshedding, COVID-19 and riots. However, meetings continued via the Zoom platform. All minutes and reports were adopted on time. The report sets its purposes, objectives, key statistics, stakeholders, briefings, public hearings, and legislation related to the Committee's work.

Mr Hunsinger moved for the adoption of the report.

Mr McDonald seconded the motion.

Ms M Ramadwa (ANC) asked if it would be possible to add to the report at a later date. In that case, she would support the report.

The Chairperson clarified that it was a preliminary report.

Minutes of proceedings
Minutes of the meetings on 16 and 20 September 2022 were adopted.

The matter on aviation inspection
The Chairperson recalled the alleged report that Mr Hunsinger had mentioned at the start of the meeting. He said that this matter should be dealt with.

Mr McDonald said aviation safety is paramount and supported this gesture.

Mr Sithole asked about the contents of the media statement Mr Hunsinger had released.

Mr Hunsinger said that the media statement said that there had been an alleged aviation inspection, the report on which was in the hands of the Minister and Deputy Minister but was being withheld.

Ms Ramadwa said that there should be a meeting to confirm whether the allegations are true.

Mr Mey agreed.

The meeting was adjourned.


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