National Land Transport Transition Amendment Bill: Final Mandates

NCOP Public Services

06 June 2006
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Meeting report

SELECT COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES

PUBLIC SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
7 June 2006
NATIONAL LAND TRANSPORT TRANSITION AMENDMENT BILL: FINAL MANDATES

Chairperson:
Rev P Moatshe

Documents handed out:
Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga Final Mandates
Western Cape recommendations on B38-2005
North West Final Mandate
Kwazulu Natal – Letter to the Chairperson (see Appendix A)
Amendments Agreed to National Land Transport Transition Amendment Bill (see Appendix B)
National Land Transport Transition Bill B38-2005

SUMMARY
The Committee met in order to hear the provinces' final mandates on the National Land Transport Transition Amendment Bill. Mandates were received from all provinces except Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. The Department responded to the queries raised by stakeholders during the Eastern Cape public hearing. The Western Cape and the Free State delegates were aggrieved that the Department had not included certain recommendations that it had agreed to take on board during the negotiating mandates phase. These were not included in the final proposed amendments.

The Department outlined the three proposed amendments, for which it said there had been consensus at the previous meeting. There was disagreement between the Committee and the Department regarding what recommendations had been agreed to at the previous meeting.

The Chairperson commented that there should be a more efficient system of communication between the Committee and the Department about agreements on proposed amendments during the negotiating mandate phase. A report should be sent to the provinces providing a clear outline of the proposed amendments for final mandate approval. The Department should take the necessary steps to determine exactly the proposed amendments agreed to.

The meeting was adjourned to allow the Department to clarify its stance on each of the Western Cape’s proposals and why certain of them were not viable. After it had provided feedback on these, the Committee agreed to adopt the Bill with the proposed amendments that the Department had bought to the meeting.

MINUTES
Representatives of each province were asked to comment on their final mandates:

Eastern Cape
Ms N Mamise (ANC) commented that in principle the Bill was supported but requested a response to the concerns raised at the public hearing that the province had held on 5 June 2006 (see its Final Mandate for these concerns).

The Department responded that:
• scholar transport was addressed in terms of Section 44 of the principal Act.
• this was a transitional Act with the objective of finalising all transitional issues within a period of five years.
• the maximum waiting period was 90 days, because at times there were unforeseeable delays which were mainly due to capacity problems, therefore the applicant would not necessarily have to wait for the entire 90 days. It was a benchmark and any waiting period after 90 days would be unacceptable.
• on the issue of competition with bakkies and buses, it was attempting to address this at local level with the different operators.

The Free State delegate asked for an indication on how long adaptation and modification would take place, and who would then be responsible for the costing. Further, who was responsible for the modification process when an application for an operating license was made?

The Department responded that due to the high rate of accidents in Kwazulu Natal and the Eastern Cape, the decision had been taken to ban the conveyancing of people by light delivery vans (LDVs), which resulted in a shortage of transport. A pilot project was then launched to create a prototype for adaptation purposes for safe transport in the short term. The Eastern Cape Transport Department and the service provider had entered into a partnership to address this prototype. The Department was giving technical support to the pilot project, which had continued to be operational.

Free State
Mr Van Rooyen stated that the Bill had been considered. It recommended that the word ‘but’ should be deleted in Clause 22(3)(a). The adoption of the Bill was recommended with this amendment.


The Chairperson commented that in terms of the rules, if a province made a recommendation, it had to be supported by the other provinces, and it seemed as though this proposal had not been supported by other provinces.

Mr Van Rooyen recalled that the Department had given the undertaking that the proposed change would be made. He asked for further clarity on what had been done about this.

The Department responded that the final change would have to be made in consultation with the state law advisor.

Gauteng
The Chairperson noted that there was no special delegate or final mandate from Gauteng.

Kwazulu Natal:
The Chairperson read the letter from the Kwazulu Natal Legislature, which stated that the requisite support of 75% required in terms of the Standing Rules of the KZN Legislature for a final voting mandate had not been obtained. Accordingly the province had no voting mandate.

Limpopo
The delegate stated that the province recommended voting in favour of the Bill, and it supported the Bill as it stood.

Mpumalanga
The delegate stated that the province voted in favour of the Bill.

Northern Cape
According to its written mandate, the Bill was generally supported and a request was made that the province should be kept informed thereof. The Chairperson stated that from the wording of the mandate, it implied that the province supported the Bill.

North West
The mandate stated that due consideration had been given to the Bill and that public hearings were held. The province supported the Bill with amendments which were attached. It was noted that an undertaking had been given by the Department to consider all proposed amendments and to incorporate the proposals into the Bill.

The Department responded that an undertaking had been given to address the issues raised. However it was found that some of these proposed amendments were not in the spirit of what was trying to be achieved with the Bill . The Department stated that it would provide written responses and reasons for the support or non-support of certain issues, which had previously been raised.

Mr F Adams (Western Cape, ANC) made it clear that he was unhappy with the Department’s response to the recommendations. At the previous meeting, the Department had undertaken to incorporate the recommendations by the provinces into the proposed amendments. If provinces were unhappy that their recommendations as promised had not been incorporated, this was a serious problem. Written replies could not be given after final mandates. The Department should have answers available that day. He found the Department's response unacceptable.

The Chairperson commented that it was not clear what had been agreed upon and what had not been agreed upon and asked the Department to provide clarity.

Mr H Patel, Director: Planning, Coordination and Evaluation, went through the three changes which had needed to be done. The first change was to Clause 13 amending Section 31 of the Act, introducing another operating licence category for vehicles having fewer than nine passengers. This had been included. The second change was the deletion of Clause 18 amending Section 89 dealing with brakes for long distance services. Thirdly, Clause 22 amending Section 94, dealing with temporary replacement of vehicles, had been changed.

Mr Van Rooyen sought confirmation on whether Section 23 had been amended, since only three amendments had been mentioned by Mr Patel.

The Department responded that the above amendments were in respect of the Western Cape Legislature recommendations.

The Chairperson then clarified to the Department that the concern was whether, in general, the recommendations raised by the provinces in the last meeting had been considered and incorporated into the Bill.

Mr M Mokonyama, Department Chief Director: Integrated Transport Planning, from the Department apologised and stated that the three changes mentioned by Mr Patel had been broadly agreed upon by the Committee. Regarding some of the other issues, either there was no broad consensus by the Committee or the Department had provided an explanation as to why some of these issues could not be changed. The Department had committed to providing assistance to the provinces. There were provinces that had failed to contact the Department for assistance in regard to the public hearings.

In response to a request for clarity on some of these issues, the Department explained the replacing permit would be exactly the same as the old permit. Anything which differed from the old permit would be removed. The replacing permit and the temporary permit would be exactly the same in word and form as the old permit.

Responding to the issue of safety, the Department noted that this would be addressed in the regulations.

Western Cape
Mr Adams said that the Western Cape's Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Development had considered the Bill and reported that it would support the Bill subject to its recommended changes. Some of these recommendations were grammatical in nature and he requested that the state law advisor provide input on whether these would be incorporated.

The Department responded the state law advisor would have to comment on the textual matters.

The Chairperson commented that provinces should take the liberty of checking with other provinces about their support for a particular recommendation or proposed amendment. He noted that there seemed to be general consensus about the Bill. He was confident that Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal would have no substantial problems about adopting the Bill.

Mr G Hoon, the principal state law advisor, went through the wording of the proposed amendments (see document).

Mr Adams stated that an agreement and an undertaking had been made by the Department that the wording they had requested to be changed, would be changed. The Provincial Department had told them that if the changes related to the wording, it would need to be changed by the state law advisor. Whether it was an amendment or merely a wording change, this would have to be agreed upon by the Committee and not left merely to the Department. Provinces were supposed to receive whatever had been included in the negotiating mandates.

A Free State member said that it was expected that written confirmation would be given on what had been agreed to previously in order to forward this to provinces. Provinces were supposed to receive this written confirmation prior to the compiling of final mandates.

A committee member expressed concern that the Bill could not be passed unless there was agreement on the wording of the Bill.

Mr Mokonyama from the Department apologised. He stated that the Committee should provide the Department with clear instructions.

The Chairperson commented that the Committee was required to check every proposal from provinces and must clearly communicate with the Department. The Department also had the duty to check on what the agreement had been. It was clear that there was much uncertainty about what had been agreed upon. The blame lay with both parties.

Mr Adams was aggrieved that there was a departure from the undertaking by the Department that the issues they had raised would be looked at and the wording would be changed by the state law advisor. Neither the Western Cape Legislature nor its Provincial Department had received any feedback from the National Department.

The Chairperson stated that the provinces were supposed to receive what had been concluded during the negotiating mandate phase, before compiling final mandates.

The Department replied that procedurally when provinces met on their negotiating mandates and agreed upon amendments, a report from the Select Committee should indicate this which should then be sent to provinces to assist in compiling final mandates.

Mr Van Rooyen was also unhappy that there the Department had failed to provide a written confirmation on what was agreed upon previously.

Members of the Committee suggested that the Committee should finalise the Bill by going through it clause by clause.

However, the Chairperson suggested that those recommendations that the Western Cape wanted addressed, should be discussed in the meeting. The meeting was adjourned for twenty minutes so that the amendments proposed by the Western Cape could be addressed by the state law advisor.

Meeting reconvenes
Mr Hoon reported back on which were the final amendments that had been agreed upon.
- Clause 1 had a definition change from Municipal Public Transport to Municipal Public Transport Service.
- Clause 13 had the original clause dealing with vehicles carrying fewer than nine persons included.
- Clause 18 was rejected and fell away.
- Clause 22 to omit all the words after vehicle up to and including "exceeded" and substitute "must be equal to that of the vehicle specified in the licence".

Mr Van Rooyen of the Free State stated that he was satisfied with Clause 22's amendment that had been agreed upon.

Mr Adams sought clarity on why the other recommendations by the Western Cape had not been included in the Bill.

Department response to Western Cape recommendations
Mr Mokonyama responded that for Clause 1(a), the definition of association, the thinking of the Department was that this definition needed to be expanded to include not only mini bus taxis into the broader public service transport operations. Therefore the definition should remove minibus taxi-type services include other developing associations such as bus associations. The Committee agreed with the Department.

There was a recommendation that the definition of metered taxis should also be amended to be consistent with other vehicle types as the principal Act did not address the number of passengers in the definition. The Department felt that the definition was sufficient as is and the Committee agreed.

The recommendation about adding the word "service" to "municipal public transport" had been included.

On the recommendation that the new comprehensive regulations on transport planning be published to coincide with the promulgation of the Bill, he said that the Department was currently busy with the drafting and planning of regulations.

On the recommendation that Clause 5(d) refer to "all planning authorities", Mr Mokonyama explained that the MEC had to indicate which planning authorities had to do which type of plans, this was the intention of the Act. This also related to Clause 6(b).

Mr Mokonyama noted that Clause 13(a) had been changed.

However, on the recommendation for Clause 13(b), Mr Mokonyama said that, except for passenger capacity and related issues, the intention of the Department was that the administration of the recapitalisation processes would be dealt with extensively in the regulations.

The Committee agreed with the Department.

Commenting on the recommendation that the term “public transport services” be used instead of “public passenger transport services” in Section 31 of the Act, the Department found that the current definition was sufficient. Mr Hoon added that changing this term would entail going through each section of the Act. The whole Act would have to be gone through carefully, as some sections would have to be changed and others not, depending on the context in which the term was used. He therefore suggested that the wording should be left as it was.

Mr Makonyana stated that consistency should be looked at carefully. There was no other intended meaning. It referred to mechanical modifications made to LDVs in order to transport passengers. The LDVs can be modified and used as public transport. However, with the agreement of the Committee, the word "passenger" could be removed

Mr Adams suggested that since the proposed recommendation was not a fundamental change, it should be left as "public transport services".

In terms of the recommendation to Clause 15(b), Mr Makonyana stated that the word ‘acquire’ was different from the word ‘operation’ in that context. The acquisition of a vehicle was different to the operation of a vehicle. If the intention of acquiring a vehicle is to obtain an operating licence, then the section would apply. There was the problem of where people acquired vehicles and did not obtain the operating licence, and become illegal operators. Therefore they would first have to make an application.

The recommendation about Clause 18 had been agreed to

On the recommendation for Clause 19, Mr Makonyana said that the original operating licence should reflect in word and form the replacing operating licence, and that the replacing operating licence can reflect 20% more than passenger capacity than reflected on the old permit. The Department is saying that the old operating license should not change and should apply to all transport services.

On the recommendation to Clause 20, the Department said that there were concerns if municipalities were also to determine fares. Fares were determined at the level of the province. If there were numerous municipalities involved this would cause conflict. There was a need of uniformity.

With regard to Clause 22, it was agreed to omit all the words after vehicle up to and including "exceeded" and substitute "must be equal to that of the vehicle specified in the licence".

The Chairperson read the motion to adopt the Bill with the amendments set out and the provinces agreed to this.

Meeting adjourned

Appendix A
LETTER FROM KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT
6 June 2006

TO : CHAIRPERSON, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES

NO FINAL MANDATE

PROVINCE: KAWZULU-NATAL
BILL: NATIONAL LAND TRANSPORT TRANSITION AMENDMENT BILL [B38-2005]

PROVINCIAL PROCESS

Provincial Portfolio Committee/s : Transport Portfolio Committee

Portfolio Committee meeting date/s: Tuesday, the 06th of JUNE 2006

Provincial NCOP meeting date/s Consultation: Tuesday the 06th of JUNE 2006 Parliamentary Legal Advisors

NO VOTING MANDATE OF THE KWAZULU-NATAL PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE:

The Provincial Standing Committee on National Council of Provinces Matters met today. Tuesday the 06 of June 2006 on determination of a Final Voting, Mandate. The requisite support of 75% required in terms of the Standing Rules of the KZN Legislature for a Final Voting Mandate was not obtained. In terms of the Standing Rules the matter would have to be referred to the House for a Final Mandate. Accordingly the Province has no voting mandate.

Kindly note there is no delegation to attend.

Mrs L G Ngcobo
CHAIRPERSON : KWAZULU-NATAL

_________________________________________________

Appendix B
AMENDMENTS AGREED TO NATIONAL LAND TRANSPORT TRANSITION AMENDMENT BILL [B38-2005
]


CLAUSE 1

1. On page 3, in line 14, after the first "transport" to insert "service".


CLAUSE 13


1. On page 7, from line 3, to omit paragraph (a) and to substitute:


(a) fewer than nine, excluding the driver; or


(b) 11 to 16 seated persons. including the driver: or


CLAUSE 18

Clause rejected.


CLAUSE 22

1. On page 9, from line 32, to omit all the words after "vehicle" up to and included in line 38 and to substitute:

must be equal to that of the vehicle specified in the relevant operating licence

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