National Land Transport Transition Bill: voting; SATACO withdrawal

NCOP Public Services

11 April 2000
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


11 April 2000

Documents handed out:
Written final mandates by provinces
National Land Transport Transition Bill
Road Traffic Management Corporation Amendment Bill (See Appendix 1)
Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Third Amendment Bill (See Appendix 2)

Relevant Document
Amendments Agreed to on National Land Transport Transitional Bill

The National Land Transport Transition Bill was passed with amendments. Of the seven provinces present, all were in favour of the National Land Transport Transition Bill, though Free State conditionally supports the Bill. The committee went through the Road Traffic Management Corporation Amendment Bill and the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Third Amendment Bill. As they have not yet been certified by the law advisors, no voting took place on these Bills.

The Ministry had been meeting with SATACO all week since their withdrawal from the recapitalisation process. Their proposed amendments to the National Land Transport Transition Bill are being considered.

National Land Transport Transition Bill

The Chairperson, Ms Majodina, commented that there was a tendency to confuse the taxi recapitalisation process with the Bill. She asked members to note that the two were separate and that the recapitalisation process was ongoing and not part of the Bill.

Northern Cape and Gauteng had no delegate present to vote on the NLTT Bill. Ms Nothnagel and Mr Dingle represented the Department of Transport. There was an apology from Mr Harvey. All seven provinces are in favour of the NLTT Bill. The Free State conditionally supports the Bill. The Road Traffic Bill and the Offences Bill have not yet been certified by the law advisors and no votes were recorded on the Bills.

Eastern Cape
Mr Mahlalo said that subsequent to the last joint meeting an analysis had been done of the proposed amendments by legal advisors. They supported the proposed amendments except for the following, which were rejected:
Amendment 13 on Clause 30(1)
The province thought this amendment unnecessary. As a matter of procedure the authority of the MEC for Transport would be undermined if the MEC for Finance were required to approve his appointments to the permission boards. They feel that normal budgetary procedures must be followed.

Ms Nothnagel, speaking for the Department, foresaw no problems if the amendment was left out of the Bill.

Amendment 15 on Clause 31(1)
Their view was that these amendments concerned the taxi recapitalisation programme. The Ministry of Trade and Industry is involved in a guiding capacity while the Ministry of Transport has primary responsibility for the programme. He said that while the Constitutional principle of cooperative government should be upheld the Minister of Transport should not need permission from Trade and Industry to restrict such old-style vehicles because this would undermine the Minister’s responsibility.

Ms Nothnagel said the reason for the rider,"unless the Minister provides otherwise by notice in the Government Gazette, in consultation with the MECs and the Minister of Trade and Industry in the national sphere of government", in subsection S31 (1), was to make provisions for certain circumstances in rural areas where a particular type of vehicle might be required. Such circumstances might not arise throughout the country. Only subsections (a)-(d) in Section 31 referred to recapitalisation vehicles.

Mr Dingle, for the Department, added that this was a drastic provision but if something unforeseeable were to happen it would be an escape clause.

Mr Mahlalo said that while provision should be made for consultation it should not necessarily include agreement with Trade and Industry.

Northern Cape
The delegate was absent but, according to their document, there were no changes to their mandate, they agreed with the Bill.

Mr Maloyi (ANC) presented an unchanged final mandate in support of the Bill.

There was no delegate present for Gauteng.

Mr Raju (DP) said his province supported the Bill.

Mr Mkaliphi (ANC) gave his province’s support for the Bill. Their mandate remains unchanged.

Free State
Mr Marais (ANC) said that their province disagreed with some of the proposed amendments. They were in agreement with the Eastern Cape’s views on Clause 30. The province also found Section 101(2) of the Bill problematic. Mr Marais said the subsection must be deleted because it is not part of the functions of the MEC.

Ms Nothnagel agreed with Mr Marais, saying this subsection is a duplication and could be removed.

The province also disagreed with proposed amendment 16 of Section 31(1). He said that legislation should only be amended by Parliament. The Minister cannot amend legislation by means of regulations, that is, secondary legislation. Amendments must stem from principles and policy. The province was principally opposed to the Minister being allowed to make new amendments. If the Minister was permitted to amend by regulations, a new provision would have to be drafted by the Department.

Mr Marais said that the Bill was not completely compatible with the Open Democracy Bill or the Access to Information Act. In this respect he referred to Section 6(6) and (7) of the Bill which states that a Minister can refuse to disclose information in certain instances.

Mr Dingle said that Registrars and MECs would be bound by the Open Democracy Act itself and therefore there was no need to amend this Bill. The legal advisor for the Eastern Cape agreed with Mr Dingle saying that the rights in the Open Democracy Act would be implemented through that Act itself. Mr Marais was satisfied with the answer.

Mr Marais noted that in Amendment 37 on Clause 128A(2) a bus was described as a vehicle carrying 35 persons or more while Clause 31(c) and (d) described a vehicle taking from 35 to 46 passengers. He pointed out the inconsistency between these sections.

Mr Dingle replied that after the dates referred to in Section 31 any vehicle carrying more than 35 persons would be classed as a bus.

Western Province
The province gave their verbal support for the Bill in the absence of a written mandate.

Northern Province
The province gave their verbal support for the Bill in the absence of a written mandate.

Representations by SALGA (South African Local Government Association)
Ms Surty said that the unfunded mandates remained a concern to SALGA but generally they agreed with the amendments. The clauses that cause concern are Clause 4(1) and Clause 15(1)(b). They still felt that if ‘may’ was retained instead of inserting ‘must’ it could result in unfunded mandates. They also agreed with Clause 40A(1) although the phrase ‘beyond their control’ should be clarified, it was too wide.

Ms Nothnagel said they would try to clarify particular circumstances in the Bill.
In response to SALGA’s concerns about unfunded mandates, she said that ‘must’ could not be inserted as they had suggested. The only mandatory function of local government is planning but this was also regarded as a constitutional function. Subsidisation of bus and rail would only be required once the local authority elected to become a transport authority and this in itself is a voluntary process. Once they have elected to become a transport authority, then the six functions listed in Part 5 Section 10 (13)(a) become mandatory functions. At the same time the devolution of funds will begin.

Ms Surty emphasised that should the municipality decide to go that route the onus should be on the Finance Ministry to provide the funds. Ms Nothnagel said she would make recommendations to the Minister of Transport.

The recapitalisation process and SATACO’s withdrawal
Ms Nothnagel assured members that the Minister had been in meetings with SATACO (South African Taxi Council) all week. Regarding the National Land Transport Transition Bill, Bill SATACO had requested three amendments:
- ‘Permissions’ had to be replaced by the term ‘public transport operating licenses’ or ‘operating licenses’ in short. The term ‘permission’ had negative connotations in the wider taxi industry. According to Ms Nothnagel, this was not a major problem for the Department because the intention and the meaning behind the ‘permission’ and the ‘permission strategy’ would not change.
- that the Minister, in consultation with the MEC, publish regulations stating the amount of compensation.
- similarly, in consultation with the MEC, the Minister must publish regulations on the manner of the rationalisation process.

Mr Suka (Eastern Cape ANC) asked what negative connotations were attached to the term ‘permission’? Ms Nothnagel said that in the broader taxi industry it was thought to suggest that the Department was encroaching on various aspects of the industry, for instance, on long-life permits.

Mr Mkhaliphi (Mpumalanga ANC) said that it was more a case of interpretation. The taxi industry’s view that the permission system will give too much power to the Department was subjective.

Mr Marais asked how the rationalisation process would affect the provinces. Ms Nothnagel said that rationalisation was done in terms of the Planning Section, included in the National Section of the Bill. The Minister would issue regulations on planning decisions and there would be specific regulations on rationalisation.

Voting on the Bill
The members were then asked to vote on the Bill. The provinces present; Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Free State and the North- West agreed to accept it. Mr Marais, delegate from the Free State said the province was supporting the Bill provisionally if the amendments were done as proposed. The motion of desirability on the amended Bill (a Section 76 Bill) was passed.

Mr Dingle asked members whether they found it acceptable that different sections be brought into effect on different dates. Mr Marais said this should be legislated on and the Department acknowledged that they were working on this.

Road Traffic Management Corporation Amendment Bill
Mr Thabo from the Department of Transport went through the draft bill before responding to comments from members.

The Chairperson, Ms Majodina, referred to Section 15(3) and Section 19(3) on the requirements for appointment as chief executive officer and manager of the Corporation, respectively. She commented that the amendments would have the effect that these requirements would not be as strict.

Dr Nel (Free State NNP) asked what the object was of the amendments and the new criteria? Mr Thabo felt the Bill was long overdue. He said that the requirements referred to in Sections 15 and 19 were usually not part of legislation. Secondly, he felt that the new requirements were more flexible.

Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Third Amendment Bill
The committee went through the draft Bill. Mr Marais (Free State ANC) asked whether the criteria determined by the Minister for appointments to posts, proposed for insertion into Section 8, Section 9 and Section 10 could not be replaced by the all encompassing phrase, ‘fit and proper person’. Mr Thabo said that Mr Marais’s suggestion would be considered although a more legal term was required.

These two Bills were not voted on because they have not been certified by the law advisors yet but this could happen within the next day or two. The NLTT Bill will be voted on by the NCOP on 13 April 2000.


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