AARTO/RTMC/Road to Safety Programme, Taxi Recapitalisation Progress Report, Ports Policy and Rail Safety Regulation: briefing by

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11 September 2001
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


11 September 2001

Chairperson: Mr JP Cronin

Documents handed out
Draft Committee Programme
Mobilization of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) to be created under the Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act
Draft National Commercial Ports Policy
South African Civil Aviation Authority Act
Major Current Initiatives (See Appendix)

The Minister updated the Committee about the Department’s programmes speaking at length about the taxi recapitalisation. In making his presentation, the Minister expressed confidence that his Department was coping although "there was a long way to go."

The following were various heads of the Department that accompanied the Minister: Mr S Sokhotu, Director General, Mr S Khumalo, Deputy Director General, Mr J Makokoane, Deputy Director General: Policy and Strategies, Ms A Nothnagel, Mr H van Tonder, Mr N Letebele, Parliamentary Officer, Mr LN Mangcu, Manager: Road Traffic Operations, Policy and Information Management, and Professor M Rwelemira, Special Advisor to the Minister.

In his opening remarks, the Minister noted that the Department had to adjust to the way it worked with provinces through better interaction and that they were trying to do that through the MINMEC meetings, which the Minister holds with Transport MECs at least five times a year. The Transport MECs had to supply him with information about what they were doing.

Bicycle Programme
It was clear to the Ministry that bicycles can play an important part in improving mobility for people who do not have transport especially in rural and peri-urban areas. Pilot projects were planned at local government level and the Department expects local governments and NGOs to play a role in educating people about the advantages of using bicycles. The project requires "low inputs" and could be a source of income for the people in those areas. As the result of this programme, the Minister has been invited to the Netherlands, Washington and Scotland to talk about this project.

Agreement between South Africa and the Scandinavian Countries
In terms of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, every effort would be made to promote air services between South Africa and the Scandinavian countries. South Africa has 102 air service agreements of which 51 were operational.

The Minister noted that air service providers could not be compelled to take advantage of these agreements. For instance, South Africa and the United States have an Air Service Agreement but there are no American airline flights to South Africa.

Providing these services results in losses for service providers and obviously no service provider can operate at a loss. South Africa has moved away from the period where there was total protection of its airlines services. At the moment he was concerned that there were many people who cannot get flights from countries such as the United Kingdom and they have taken up this matter with the British government.

The Minister said he had been informed that South African Airways was running at a loss which was unacceptable "unless the State has to subsidise the airline which was no longer possible."

Yamoussouko Agreement
Currently government was implementing the Yamoussouko Agreement, which provides for the opening of the skies on the African continent. He said the planning stage was envisaging six hubs on the continent with Johannesburg being one of the hubs serving the Southern African region.

The Minister said the reason for the hubs is to enable travelers to travel from one hub to another without having to travel via Europe. Currently travelers traveling from one corner of the African continent to another had to connect via Europe before proceeding to their final destination.

The Department’s priorities
The Minister said the role of transport has to be driven nationally but with the cooperation of both the provincial and local governments. His Department has identified a number of areas which form part of the transport task:
- the implementation of Presidential Projects
- the integrated and sustainable rural development programmes,
- to facilitate a greater shift from road to rail while recognizing the importance of both modes of transportation,
- overloading on the South African roads,
- Road Safety issues particularly pedestrian safety,
- transport services

With regard to rural development, the provision of non-motorized transportation in the form of the bicycle programme is being promoted by the Department.

On the shift from rail to road the Minister said they need a multifaceted strategy to make rail transportation more accessible, efficient and more comfortable.

He said overloading was profitable because the fines imposed on operators do not make a dent on the profit the operator makes from overloading. He conceded that a solution was not possible overnight but that the Department was working on an action plan to identify possible steps to address the situation. He said they were also looking at the way transported hazardous substances are packed, labeled and stored so that there could be uniformity of compliance.

The Department was looking at the special needs of transport for people with disabilities and it was fascinated by some of the buses in Johannesburg which have facilities for disabled people. He said the manufacturing of vehicles especially under the taxi recapitalisation programme would have to cater for such passengers.

Maritime Transport
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) was responsible for safety and pollution at sea. Sea rescue efforts were organized by SAMSA through the National Sea Rescue Institution (NSRI) and that they were cooperating with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to ensure that there are adequate services around the Southern Africa region coastline for sea rescues and pollution disasters.

SADC Protocol on Transport
The Minster said that the harmonization of transport in the SADC region was successful in the sense that the road signs throughout the region were uniform.

The Department made a presentation on aviation, airport development, railway transport and its role in the New African Initiative, where the SADC Protocol was included, in July to the Office of the President.


Commercial Ports Policy Document
The Department has completed the drafting of the Commercial Ports Policy Document which has been an inter-departmental initiative and which will be published in a draft form for discussion in Parliament and will be open for public comment as well. The document aims to separate landlord functions from operations.

Rail Services
The Department was currently working on the draft regulations and the implementation programme of the National Land Transition Transport Act which is still subject to approval. Cabinet has approved a Strategic Document 2001- 2005 and details of the document will be made known soon.

Bus Services
Escalating costs are a problem. The Treasury works on a four percent escalating formula whereas real escalating costs were ten percent, which translates into a lot of money. There was interaction between the Department and Treasury to try to find a solution.

Taxi Recapitalisation
The formalisation process was over eighty percent complete and the effect would be that Law Enforcement would be able to separate illegal from legal operators.

An opportunity has been created for people who have been operating illegally to legalize their operations. The legalisation process should be completed by the end of October.

However the Department was having some problems with the National Taxi Drivers’ Association, which the Minister described as a "small organisation representing a few hundred drivers." One of the demands of this unregistered association was that they should be allowed to participate in the taxi recapitalisation process as they were not against recapitalisation.

The other demand was that after working for a number of years as drivers they should be entitled to be promoted to operators and therefore should be able to acquire vehicles. The Department told them that that did not fall under the Department’s jurisdiction since it was an employee-employers concern.

They referred them to the Department of Labour, which assigned the National Productivity Institute to conduct a study of the industry in every province. The South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union was included in this study. The study noted the drivers’ problems as being job security, job opportunities, remuneration, conditions of services, long hours of work, health and pension benefits.

The Minister said these were issues between the employer and the employee, and that the state would ensure that the Basic Conditions of Employment and Employment Equity legislation were observed.

Democratisation of the Taxi Industry
The Minister said the industry has a constitution that has been put in place and that now they were busy setting up provincial taxi councils and below those regional taxi councils.

Currently they were busy with the national constitution and if that process was successful the country was likely to witness a democratically elected leadership of the taxi industry. He said the current process enjoyed overwhelming support.

After the upcoming election of the national taxi council, the Department hopes to meet with the leadership to discuss issues like taxi recapitalisation because Government does not believe in pushing the process "down the throats" of the industry but that it should be done in partnership.

Mr R Ainslie (ANC) wondered why SAA could not arrange charter flights to carry tourists from countries such as the UK to South Africa. He noted that Business class was taking space from the Economy class and wondered if this was not the cause of losses the SAA was incurring.

The Minister replied that a year ago there were less than twenty-six chartered flights coming to South Africa and that that curtain has been removed to allow more chartered flights into South Africa but there was a problem of safety and slot allocation. Senior aviation authorities have to ensure the safety of the skies before more chartered flights can be allowed into South Africa. The Minister said that he would looked into business and economy class issue and advise accordingly.

Mr J Slabbert (IFP) asked when Road Safety Education was going to be implemented.

The Minister responded that the Road Safety Education was already on the cards and that the Western Cape government had launched a pilot programme near Stellenbosch. Its aim is to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths by eighteen percent but this needs to be coupled with influencing road behaviour and greater respect by drivers for other road users. The was lots of work ahead and that was why they were focusing on children and the community in order to influence the change in attitude by road users in general.

Mr S Farrow (DP) asked how Road Safety Education was going to be implemented. Further how was the Department going to tackle the issue of overloading to make sure that the operators feel the pinch when caught and fined?

Mr S Khumalo responded that Road Strategy would involve communities, trade unions, NGOs, and business organisations. Road Safety Education would be launched by both the Ministers of Transport and Education. Road Safety Education would be included in Life Skills Education at schools.

Mr Khumalo said they were looking at a programme of action which would link overloading with the broader issue of road to rail. Apart from overloading reductions, creative incentives are being looked at. Penalties for overloading are to be increased to discourage the practice. The Department was looking at a comprehensive approach.

Mr Farrow (DP) commented that promises of implementing the regulations were not enough and that the public expects them to be implemented now.

The Minister responded that state law enforcement was implementing regulations such as the suspension and confiscation of a driver’s licence.

Mr G Schneemann (ANC) wondered why a smaller rail terminuses could not be used to cut down on road use. He observed that road rage shows a total disregard for law and people and wondered how it could that be curbed. On the demands of the taxi driver association, he wondered how drivers could be assisted in other ways other than becoming operators. He noted that at airports, there was a drop in services particularly at security check points where long queues were common.

The Minister said that no work had been done with regard to smaller rail terminuses but he said he would indicate to local municipality structures and transport authorities to look at the matter.
He commented that road rage has two different features, the normal road rage and in the case of South Africa, violent rage. This second feature was complicated by the fact that South Africa has a culture of violence and intolerance which has been a way of life for many decades. This was exacerbated by the high rates of domestic violence. Workers are bossed around at work and when he goes home he takes it out on his family. There was a need for a national crusade on this.

The Minister said the taxi recapitalisation was part of the programme to transform the taxi industry into a huge, secure industry operating at many different levels including the selling of materials. This would provide many alternative opportunities to members of the drivers’ association.

Dr W Odendaal (NNP) asked the Minister why should the taxi associations belong to one organistion and what can be done to avert corruption and bribery when it comes to the issuing of driver’s licences?

The Minister responded that they do not have to belong to one organisation. He said currently there were 3 – 4 000 taxi associations around the country many of which arose through "an enterprising individual" who formed an association and compelled those who wanted to operate from a particular rank to join the association. However many of these associations were not democratic organisations and the reason for intervention by the state was because of the conflict and violence that has been taking place in the industry.

The Minister felt that if these associations were placed under a local authority this would ensure that there was proper management and the reason for conflict and violence would fade away.
For these reasons, they have embarked upon a process of persuading associations to be democratic by drafting a simple constitution, providing for annual general meetings, the appointment of the executive, the removal of the executive, and so on.

The Minister said most of these associations have adopted this constitution. For instance, in the Eastern Cape where there are five regions, each region would elect its own regional council and these regional councils would then elect a provincial council.

The Department is also seeking to separate issues of governance from economic issues. On economic issues, associations can form whatever companies they want but the Department did want to restore proper governance.

The Minister emphasized that these associations were free to belong to whatever organisation they choose and yet at the same time they were free to become part of the unified movement because there would be one united taxi industry to facilitate consultation between the industry and the state.

Mr L Mangcu (Department) added that acquiring a driver’s licence would be computerized to avoid bribery. He said since forming a Private-Public Partnership, they have seen a reduction in the number of reported cases of fraud and corruption.

The meeting was adjourned.

TRANSPORT 1994 - 2001

3. SAFER ROADS I: Arrive Alive, The RTIA and the RTMC


To get to the position in which we find ourselves today with regard to the
regulation and management of the transport sector as a whole, we have had to
carry through a wide range of fundamental reforms to the institutional
framework within which the transport economy functions.
First of all, in the Transport White Paper of 1996, we had to fundamentally
reorientate government's goals for the transport sector to bring them into
line with the values of our new democracy. The Vision for the South African
transport system that was spelt out in that document has continued to
provide the framework for all subsequent policy developments and
institutional reforms. It is:
"To provide safe, reliable, effective, efficient and fully
integrated transport operations and infrastructure that will best meet the
needs of freight and passenger customers at improving levels of service and
cost in a fashion that supports government strategies for economic and
social development whilst being environmentally and economically
In order to achieve this vision, it was realised that government would have
to completely re-think its approach to the management of transport in South
Africa. The basic shift of emphasis required was also captured in the 1996
White Paper.
"In the past, Government's dominant role has been as a
regulator of bureaucratic detail, a provider of infrastructure and a
transport operator, but it has been weak in policy formulation and in
strategic planning.
Government intends to reverse this legacy, and to focus on
policy and strategy formulation, which is its prime role, and on substantive
regulation, which is its responsibility, with a reduced direct involvement
in operations and in the provision of infrastructure and services, to allow
for a more competitive environment. Government will emphasise strategic
planning and bring together key players in broader national strategies than
could be achieved by any single player.
Government will retain the regulatory role to ensure
unbiased regulation of safety and quality in general, to control market
access for transport operators where this is necessary, and to prohibit
excessive tariffs in the case of monopolies. This will need a national
government machine which is smaller, more focussed and more skilled, and
which can regulate more complex relationships with operators."
And finally, the White Paper pointed out that:
"Public policy making is carried out at various levels of
government.[...] Because of this, transport institutional policy needs to
address arrangements for the relationships between various spheres of
government as well as the structure for non-government or statutory bodies."
The practical results of these key shifts of emphasis are now well
* The NdoT has scaled down its staff component from over 1000
employees to around 250;
* Four new arms length regulatory Agencies were created and
have been functioning well for the past three years:
* The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL);
* The South African Maritime Safety Agency (SAMSA);
* The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA);
* The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA).
* In May 1999, a 20-year strategic framework for transport was
published, under the title Moving South Africa - The Action Agenda. Many of
the concrete policy initiatives that have developed since then - in the
areas of safety regulation, transport planning, rail and ports
restructuring, urban and rural corridor developments etc - derive directly
from the vision of the White Paper and the analyses and scenario-sketches of
Moving South Africa.
* The Agencies have opened South Africa up to full
participation in international regulatory bodies such as ICAO, the IMO and
PIARC and have played a major role in new policy formulation activities in
areas such as international search and rescue agreements and the Yamassoukro
Declaration on Open Skies for Africa.
* Both the Agencies and the transport parastatals and
statutory bodies (ACSA, the ATNS and the RAF) have all gone through major
internal transformation processes to ensure representivity from the
leadership level downwards, and the parastatals in particular have to take
the lead in providing training and capacity building programmes for our
regional neighbours.
* Road safety has become a demonstration area for coordinated
and collaborative governance linking together the national, provincial and
local spheres, both through Arrive Alive and the new framework proposed by
The Road to Safety, 2001-2005.
A number of the key delivery achievements that have flowed
from the restructuring process and the freeing up of energies through
strategic public-private partnerships can be listed:
-- The Maputo development corridor, the N3 road
project, the N4 Platinum Highway and the Lubombo SDI road project.
-- The all-round gains to the economy and our people
that have flowed, and are continuing to flow, from these concession
-- 1300 kilometres of road are being upgraded,
rehabilitated and maintained by these funds;
-- 6 860 direct jobs have been created, with
salaries amounting to R321 million;
-- Approximately 17 000 people have been
trained in skills varying from basic life and business skills to relatively
complex construction skills - to a total value of R12.6 million;
-- Some 530 SMMEs have been developed.
Contracts to a total value of R207.7 million have been awarded for design
and construction work, while R113.4 million has been awarded for operation
and maintenance contracts.
-- At the top end of the empowerment scale,
three very large contracts have been awarded: one, for seven sections of
road construction valued at R31.6 million has gone to the Vulakabusha joint
venture, while another, for bulk diesel and bitumen supply has gone to the
empowerment group TEPCO at a value of R16.1 million.
-- The largest of the three, however, is a
R38.6 million contract for the building of the Maputo and Moamba toll
plazas, the Nelspruit Maintenance Centre and the TRAC offices in Nelspruit.
The contractor, GMF, is a joint venture between two SMMEs - one South
African and one Mozambican.
-- On non-concession projects, not only on national but
on provincial roads where assistance has been requested by MECs, major
employment and training successes have been registered:
-- 6 400 jobs have been created at a salary
value of R86.2 million;
-- SMME contracts have been awarded to the
value of R101.5 million in design and construction and to the value of R19.6
million in operations and maintenance;
-- 31 contracts to a value of R135.8 million
have been awarded for rehabilitation, improvement and new facilities; and
-- 6 000 people have been trained at a cost of
R3.6 million.
-- Large-scale infrastructure investments and job
creation programmes have also been going ahead in the framework of the
government's poverty alleviation programme:
-- In the 1999/2000 financial year we allocated
R100 million to the Eastern Cape and Northern Province. This was used to
complete 55 engineering projects, mainly focussed on re-gravelling rural
roads, building drainage systems and carrying out minor bridge works.
-- The R50 million invested in the Northern
Province resulted in the upgrading 233.3 km of gravel roads and the
completion of 104 drainage structures. Over a 24-month period 5 193 jobs
were created, with 1 543 woman participating in the various projects.
-- The other R50 million invested in the
Eastern Cape was used to upgrade 634 km of gravel roads and construct 6 new
bridges. 4 138 people were employed, including 1 802 women.
-- For the year 2001/2002 a further R94 million
has been allocated. The funds have been divided between national and
provincial government and projects will be carried out in the Western Cape,
KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and the Northern Province.
-- The national projects will focus on roadside
facilities to accommodate pedestrians, non-motorised vehicles and long
distance travellers. Infrastructure such as off-ramps to taxi and bus bays,
pedestrian crossings, passenger shelters and safe trading facilities are
planned. This will boost economic activity and promote safety and comfort.
Provincial projects will continue to focus on upgrading rural access roads
and minor bridge construction.
-- The KZN Department of Transport's has
developed an innovative household-based infrastructure project called
Zibambele - Doing it for Ourselves. This is a rural poverty relief scheme
that has allocated some R200 million for access road maintenance to some of
the most destitute households in the deep rural areas of the province,
mainly headed by women.
-- Building on this foundation - and with the
help of SANRAL - Zibambele has been augmented by a 4-stage emergent
entrepreneur's programme. The combined programme ensures that there is a
direct line of development from basic poverty relief through to more
sophisticated upgrade and construction work. Work of this kind is a critical
lever for rural development in that it opens up whole areas of the
hinterland previously isolated from schools, clinics, social services and
market access.
-- There have been spectacular improvements at airports
such as Johannesburg International, Cape Town International, Durban
International (now nearing completion) and a number of smaller airports.
The issue of King Shaka Airport is also being addressed.
-- A tender to the value of nearly R400 million has
been awarded for upgrading Metrorail rolling stock and signalling equipment.
176 Metrorail coaches are to be upgraded to come on line from July 2001 to
the end of 2002, and there are currently 15 projects under way to upgrade
signalling systems at various places.
-- Under the Department of Public Enterprises, 200
locomotives are to be upgraded. 35 of them will be delivered this year.
-- Johannesburg's Park Station has seen a major upgrade
and across South Africa 72 other station upgrades have been completed at a
cost of R532 million. A further 14 upgrade projects are currently in
progress, at a cost of R142 million. In addition, there are now 73 modal
interchanges in operation nationwide.
-- Despite these improvements, the last year has seen
an unacceptable number of serious rail station incidents and train crashes,
that have caused loss of life, injury and grief to passengers and their
families. My first response to these tragedies was to ensure the
establishment of full Judicial Commissions of Inquiry to determine their
immediate causes and pinpoint the system failings that gave rise to them.
However, I had already instructed my Department some time ago to produce a
plan for the creation of a Rail Safety Regulator for South Africa, whose
role would be to effectively monitor and manage all areas of rail safety
risk, independently from the operators of rail services. This work has now
been completed and draft legislation prepared. I will be submitting the Bill
to Cabinet in the upcoming Parliamentary session.
-- On the side of South Africa's ports development and
-- Over the past year very significant
upgrading has been going forward at all our commercial ports. Portnet
(under the DPE) is investing over R3 billion in this process. Richards Bay
is flourishing. Durban is due for a massive upgrade. Coega development is
taking off.
-- To facilitate greater efficiency and
productivity, government has resolved to separate the landlord function of
Portnet from operations. This function will reside in a special entity,
while at the same time great scope will emerge for the private sector to
become involved in competitive tendering for port operations. To ensure that
these changes are managed rationally and safely, my Department is currently
finalising a comprehensive Commercial Ports Policy document.
3. SAFER ROADS I: Arrive Alive, The RTIA and the RTMC
Since the launch of Arrive Alive as the lead campaign for
the promotion and enforcement of road safety and road-user responsibility in
South Africa, road fatalities have fallen by an average 7.4% over each of
its first four phases. At least 270 lives have been saved each year since
the start of Arrive Alive, at a cost saving to the economy of over R450
But much more needs to be done. We are therefore in the
process of expanding the focus of Arrive Alive beyond traffic
law-enforcement and traffic safety communication to include:
* traffic engineering;
* adequacy of road signage;
* traffic calming measures; and
* dedicated pedestrian safety programmes.
All this will be backed up by improved adjudication,
including much greater use of roadside courts. But the most important shift
has been from a "holiday periods only" approach to a planned and coordinated
year-round enforcement and adjudication programme, carried out jointly by
provincial and local authorities.

In support of this reorientation of Arrive Alive, I am
pleased to confirm today that the final preparatory steps are now being
taken for the establishment later this year of the Road Traffic Infringement
Agency. This will put in place an effective, efficient and streamlined fine
processing and collection system that will take routine traffic offences out
of our over-stretched court system, create "quick pay" incentives for prompt
fine payment and eliminate fine evasion through the power the Act confers on
the Agency to attach defaulters' property.
We are also fully prepared for the launch of the Road
Traffic Management Corporation, which will take place as soon as we have
prepared the new municipal authorities for their devolved traffic management
functions. The RTMC will give South Africa the unified body it needs to
overcome the current fragmentation of traffic management and policing across
hundreds of provincial and local jurisdictions; and it will bring a new
professional coherence and improved morale into the entire system.
* The Road to Safety 2001-2005 is a comprehensive strategy
aimed at attacking the underlying causes of crashes and deaths on our roads.

* It has identified the six key problem areas that contribute
to the carnage on South Africa's roads. They areas follows:
1. Many drivers on our roads aren't licensed,
can't drive properly or won't drive responsibly: speeding, moving violations
and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are still very serious
2. Many vehicles are unfit for the road.
3. There is extensive fraud and corruption in
the driver training and licence testing system and in the vehicle testing
and registration system.
4. Poor fleet maintenance and systematic
overloading are widespread in road freight and public passenger transport.
5. There are serious disparities in road
conditions nationally; and finally,
6. We have a totally unacceptable rate of
pedestrian casualties
* What does The Road to Safety do to address these problems?
* It looks hard at systems and structures;
* It proposes a set of fundamental reform
actions backed by targeted investments and public-private sector
* it opens up space wherever possible for
public empowerment and community participation.
* The Road to Safety concentrates its attention systematically
on the three major components of the system:
* the road user;
* the vehicle; and
* the road environment.
I will be releasing The Road to Safety to the public before the
start of the end of year festive season. In the meantime, I will just point
in a very summary way to its main emphases in each of these three areas.
* With regard to road users, the strategy deals with drivers,
pedestrians and public transport passengers:
* Drivers: Here, the main focal points are:
enhancing basic driver competence; eliminating fraud and corruption from the
driver testing and licensing system; and communicating and enforcing
aggressively to build a climate of safe road usage and voluntary law
* Pedestrians: Here, the main focal points
are: completing the roll-out of the road safety action-learning programme in
the school curriculum, from pre-school level to Grade 12; creating active
community-based road safety forums to empower our people to participate
actively in the identification of hazardous pedestrian locations and the
design of low-cost remedial engineering works and traffic calming measures.
* Public transport passengers: Here, the main
focal points are: regulating public transport operators through a strict
Code of Practice governing fleet safety management, professional driver
fitness and working hours; and, secondly, introducing a Passenger's Charter
setting out the minimum safety and service standards passengers can expect
and demand from operators. The Charter will be actionable via company
complaint lines and a National Complaints Hotline overseen by the Department
of Transport and linked to Traffic Police and SAPS command centres.
* With regard to vehicle fitness:
* As part of the consultation process with
operators around the Code of Practice, special attention is already being
given to the examination of key vehicle safety features and new
technologies. These relate to issues such as roll-over protection,
sub-standard parts and spares, tyre safety management devices and top speed
* We will soon be embarking on a major review
and overhaul of the current vehicle testing and registration system. This
will examine the ownership structure of the industry, the testing systems,
manuals and procedures currently in force, the qualifications of examiners
and the location and powers of the Inspectorate.
The overriding aims are to create tight and
unambiguous test procedures, stamp out corruption, ensure efficiency and
create opportunity for new entrants into the market. As the industry
stabilises, the medium term goal is to move towards compulsory periodic
testing for all vehicles over a specified age or kilometrage.
* We have already begun to step up efforts to
curb vehicle overloading, but this is set to become a full-scale
sub-programme of The Road to Safety. We have consulted widely on this issue
with stakeholders and technical experts, and are urgently revising the
current National Overload Control Strategy to formulate a sustainable
long-term approach to funding and operations. This will, amongst other
things, include:
* Getting full provincial commitment
to budgetary allocation within the MTEF framework.
* Implementing a revised operational
strategy for inter-provincial and cross-border monitoring and enforcement
actions, in cooperation with the National Roads Agency.
* Making optimal use of existing
traffic control centres and decommissioning those that are not sustainable.
* Extending the use of pubic-private
partnerships to manage and maintain prioritised traffic control centres and
install and operate weigh-in-motion sensor systems.
* Increasing the deployment of mobile
weighbridges and new weigh-in-motion sensor strips, and developing standards
to secure their evidential viability in court.
* Ensuring that weighbridges are
available for enforcement at all freight terminals and ports.
* Developing a formula for
compensatory fines - i.e. fines charged for the distance / number of
kilometres travelled overloaded.
* Impounding both the overloaded truck
and the goods overloaded.
* Suspension of the operator's license
after 3 counts of overloading.
* Working in partnership with Spoornet
and local government to promote a more responsible attitude to safety and
* With regard to the road environment:
* The overload control measures outlined above
will play a significant role in reducing the maintenance costs currently
incurred through damage to the roads infrastructure. One highly successful
route to date has been the use of the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT)
model for national road infrastructure financing. But we are also developing
important new initiatives to mobilise both domestic and international aid
funding for investment in upgrading and new construction works.
This will begin with a special emphasis on
rural access road improvements in development nodes identified by the
government's Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Strategy (ISRDS). It
will go forward hand in hand with important research work already completed
on planning models for inter-modal rural transport services and will be
aligned with the work of the Local Transport Authorities envisaged in the
National Land Transport Transition Act.
Earlier this year, the President announced a Cabinet
decision to support a shift towards a better balance between road and rail
in both freight and passenger transport. This will be a long-term process,
beginning with actions to level the playing field - making rail transport
more attractive while imposing and enforcing strict controls on road
This will require some or all of the following measures:
-- The development of a road and rail traffic
database that quantifies damage and costs on the road;
-- The development of a model that allows for
accurate internalisation of externalities/hidden costs;
-- The recovery of road usage costs by using
other means (such as license fees) rather than the fuel levy;
-- Actions to harmonise maximum axle-weight
limits and overload control strategies within SADC. This will then need to
be backed up by tighter law enforcement and punitive sanctions for both
freight and public passenger vehicle overloading.
-- The revision of planning guidelines to
facilitate the movement of more freight to rail: Local Transport Authorities
when preparing transport plans will be expected to consider, and where
appropriate promote opportunities for rail connections to existing
manufacturing, distribution and warehousing sites adjacent or close to the
rail network, and to allocate sites suitable for new development that can be
served by rail.
-- Directing funding at proposals that
demonstrably shift passengers and freight from road to rail. This will
ensure that sufficient capacity is available for existing demand or new
-- Investigating the possibility of setting up
a Rail Freight and Passenger Investment Fund/ Grant.
-- Identifying ways to enable Spoornet to
expand its markets and give it the chance to develop the heavy load market
* Creating the right condition for the revival
of rail freight through ease of access to ports, borders and improving
customs and excise;
* Addressing obstacles and bottlenecks to
All this does not mean that we are downgrading the
importance of the road transport sector. We know that it plays a vital
economic and social role in our country, and that many aspects of the
services it offers can never be replaced by rail. But we want a rational
debate that puts the interests of the nation, the economy, the road
infrastructure and the passenger before any sectoral interest.
Cabinet approved the Taxi Recapitalisation Project on 15
September 1999. The project is aimed at replacing 127 000 vehicles in the
minibus taxi fleet with purpose-built public transport vehicles while
simultaneously regulating and empowering the taxi industry, creating job
opportunities, promoting the use of a cost-effective fuel and providing safe
and affordable transport to commuters. This project entails the provision
by Government of a scrapping allowance to taxi operators as an incentive to
surrender their current vehicles and either (a) to purchase a new
"fit-for-purpose" vehicle which is suitable to the South African public
transport environment, or (b) to exit from the taxi industry thereby
addressing the current over-supply.
Cabinet also approved in principle the expenditure relating
to en route enforcement for four years and the provision of permit
compensation and auditing for four years.
Cabinet further approved in principle that the vehicles be
diesel-based and that empowerment opportunities be negotiated with the taxi
Industry. This strategy, which will over time increase the differential
between petrol and diesel prices, will not only benefit the taxi industry,
but address other national issues related to fuel, fiscal revenues and
certain import/export imbalances.
An International Request for Proposals (RFP) for the supply,
financing and insuring of new 18 and 35-seater vehicles was issued to
assemblers on 27th September 1999. The RFP also required the provision of a
maintenance plan and electronic management system.
Bidders were requested to highlight the following issues
specifically in their proposals:
* fastest possible availability of vehicles;
* lowest cost to ensure affordability to taxi
* design and features to ensure maximum safety
* cost-efficient operating economics, including a
diesel engine for cheaper fuel usage; and
* smart-card and tracking technologies to facilitate
taxi operations and regulation.
Specific emphasis was also placed on environmental and
labour considerations as well as to cater for commuters with special needs
(disability). Consortia also have to demonstrate the maximum socio-economic
benefits to South Africa, specifically in terms of job creation (through
maximum local content manufacture), export markets, BEE and SMME development
through, inter alia, value sharing mechanisms for the taxi industry in
consortium arrangements.
The desired solution, both from an industry perspective and
from an implementation point of view, involves providing two types of
vehicles, namely 18 and 35-seaters. The reasons for this include:
* Operator economics - because of the wide range of
distances and densities on different routes, the 18 and 35 seaters
differentiation are essential to maintain optimal economics for taxi
* Taxi customer service issues - waiting times for
customers become too long on lower density routes unless a smaller
(18-seater) vehicle is used
* The rural environment - for which a 35-seater is
most suitable.
* The urban environment - where, certain lower-density
routes, larger vehicles would take longer to fill up to achieve the same
occupancy rates as the smaller 18-seaters. This would result in a lower
level of customer service (i.e. longer waiting time) and lower revenue per
vehicle on some routes as fewer trips could be completed.
The tenders closed on 29th November 1999 and extensive
evaluation was done of the bids. The following short-listed bidders were
announced: AMC, GAZ, TATA, IVECO, Daimler Chrysler and Kwoon Chung.
The Taxi Recapitalisation Project has now advanced to the
stage where negotiations are to be conducted with the 6 selected
short-listed bidders. This is the penultimate phase of the project prior to
the submission of recommended bidders to Cabinet. Cabinet will in due
course be asked to approve one or more of the recommended bidders as
preferred suppliers of purpose built taxis as well as associated services to
the taxi industry.
A comprehensive evaluation of the proposals has, however,
revealed areas for negotiation, which have in turn required the process to
be further elaborated and the initial deadlines to be extended.
Furthermore, the recent developments with regard to the status of the
Interim SATACO and the requirements for a democratic elected unified taxi
representative body, have also impacted on the process.
NTI will now issue instructions to the short listed
companies addressing the issues of concerns in order for them to present a
best and final offer (BAFO). These instructions will include issues such
as the preferred electronic management system (EMS). After receiving the
BAFOs, a negotiation phase will be undertaken by a Negotiation Team
appointed by the Minister of Trade and Industry, under the advice of the
Project Steering Committee. This team will consist of representatives of
Departments of Trade and Industry, Transport, Minerals and Energy and the
National Treasury. The team will engage with the approved bidders with a
view to concluding contracts specifying detailed obligations.

The NdoT sees the essential role of transport in the
Millennium Africa Recovery Programme / New African Initiative as being that
of an opportunity catalyst. From a transport point of view, the key issues
in creating an effectively coordinated African response to global market
challenges are market access, mobility and systems integration. These are
the factors that - in an overall environment of increasingly effective
governance - make sustained economic and social development possible.
My Department will be contributing actively to the practical
realisation of both MAP and SADC developmental goals in three major areas:
-- Promoting Safe Skies: This involves ensuring
that adequate safety and upper air space control regimes are in place across
the continent, supported by efficient air traffic and navigational services
and systematic human resource development and capacity building programmes.
-- Promoting efficient and effective aviation
networks: This involves regulating as necessary to make air transport
affordable, creating regional hubs and air carrier alliances and supporting
one another to put in place a high quality African airports network.
-- Promoting efficient and effective maritime
transport services: This involves creating seamless land-sea-air transport
systems, built up within advanced logistical frameworks, supported by
rationalised and integrated search and rescue services and underpinned -
once again - by systematic human resource development and capacity building
-- Promoting rail systems integration: This
involves replacing a colonial rail geography that served primarily
extractive purposes with a strategic corridor-based approach to regional
market integration that standardises rail gauges and promotes public-private
partnerships to mobilise the very large sums of money required for capital
investment in rail infrastructure.

-- Promoting road systems development and
infrastructure maintenance: Within the context of the SADC Protocol on
Transport, Communications and Meteorology, a great deal of work has already
been done to introduce commercial management practices in the member states'
national roads sectors, to harmonise driver licensing, route numbering, road
signage and overload management, and to introduce transparent road funding
systems incorporating the user-pays principle. Common understandings are
coming into place to cover such issues of mutual concern as:
* fuel levies (designated as road charges);
* vehicle licence fees;
* road tolls;
* abnormal and awkward loads;
* weight-distance type charges;
* streamlined and efficient passport control
and customs posts;
* cross-border user charges; and
* entry fees payable by foreign-registered
All of these initiatives must, however, increasingly
be developed and promoted at the wider African level to create the levels of
efficiency and cooperation upon which the vision of a regenerated African
economy depends.


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