National Land Transport Bill [B51-2008]: final deliberations and adoption

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18 August 2008
Chairperson: Mr J Cronin (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee tabled the changes made to the National Land Transport Bill since the last meeting and discussed the clauses that had been of concern. The Committee expressed that at times the State Law Advisers seemed to have been “a tad creative” and commented that the question of support to and adherence to instructions of the Committee be raised.

Members made further amendments to a number of clauses in the Bill. Most were of a technical or grammatical nature. The Long Title was revised and the three spheres of government were now more precisely defined in the definitions section. Tourists were removed from the Special categories of passengers. The wording in relation to the subsidised service contract was clarified. Stylistic changes were made to clause 2. Clause 11, the new clause drafted following discussions at the previous meeting, was discussed at length and new sub-categories were added. In respect of clause 11, new wording was used to capture more clearly the granting of capacity to the municipalities. Revisions were also made to clause 11(c). Clause 11(6) was clarified. The short title and clause 18 were also amended. The order of appearance of clauses 19 and 18 was reversed. Vehicle standards and specifications were added to clause 24. Further amendments were made to clauses 35, 36 and 51. Clause 45 was amended to include a sub-clause that was unwittingly omitted, dealing with the rights of workers. Clause 57 was altered. In clause 92 the original time period of 7 was changed to 14 days. An insertion was made into clause 90 to include a new sub-clause (3). Members voted to adopt the Bill. They further adopted the Committee report.

Meeting report

National Land Transport Bill: further deliberations
The Chairperson reminded the Committee of the previous meeting, when the Committee had, in principle, settled the final aspects of the legislation. The issues discussed included challenges on the funding issue, how to make the transition to the new dispensation, taking into account the incumbent operators, the inter-governmental relationships and how to define the roles of the different spheres of government. The Committee had then mandated the drafting team to produce a composite page-by-page document with all of the amendments. Usually before amendments came before the Committee they would be passed through to the State Law Advisor. He commented that at times this Office of the State Law Adviser seemed to have become a tad creative, and this issue should be raised, together with other issues around support to the Committee by that office. 

The Committee then proceeded to go through the individual clauses

Long Title
The Chairperson said that the revised long title should read include “to provide for land transport legislation, to further the process of transforming and restructuring the land transport system initiated by the National Land Transport Transition Act, 2000.”

Clause 1
Mr Jits Patel, Acting Chief Director, Integrated Transport Planning, Department of Transport, said that following the discussions the previous day the three spheres of government were now specified. He noted that (a) referred to the national department, (b) to the province, subject to sections 11(6); and (c) the municipality, subject to sections 11(2) and (5).

Special categories of passengers
Mr B Mashile (ANC) asked why tourists were considered part of the special category of passengers.

Mr Derek Powell, Deputy Director-General, Department of Provincial and Local Government, replied that at present the provincial departments for education subsidised scholar services and the definition tied up to concessionary fares. If the wording had remained as previously stated, it could be interpreted as removing the function from the Department of Education. It was felt that tourists were passengers who needed special treatment in certain cases because of the special definition of tourism transport.

The Chairperson said that tourists should be removed from the definition.

Subsidised service contract
Mr Mashile questioned whether the words ‘or for other reasons’ should be included; he felt that the drafters should be more specific.

The Chairperson replied that because a ‘for example’ clause was used, other reasons were added. If the drafters were to remove ‘or for other reasons’ the definition would be too open. Therefore he suggested that it should read; “or where services are subsidised for other reasons, for example to encourage public transport usage, relieve traffic congestion or support land uses and transport integration.”

Clause 2
The Chairperson said that the word ‘final’ should be removed, so that the phrase read  “to provide for land transport legislation to complete the process of transforming and restructuring the land transport system initiated by the Transition Act;”

Adv P Swart (DA) noted that the word ‘policy’ was repeated in both (b) and (c).

The Chairperson suggested that (c) should then read, “to prescribe national principles, requirements, guidelines, frameworks and national norms and standards that must be applied uniformly in the provinces”.

Clause 11(a) (new clause)
Adv Swart asked what was the rationale for (iv) that assigned functions to the appropriate sphere of government.

The Chairperson replied that the Committee was trying to map out who had responsibility for what in the legislation, but that it ran into constitutional and legal problems. He thought that the Bill should describe what the national functions were.

Mr Powell thought that the drafters could add tourism and inter-provincial transport into the section as part of the national functions. He suggested that there be two new additions.

The Chairperson suggested that there should be a new (ix) dealing with regulation of tourism transport, and (x) dealing with regulation of inter-provincial road transport.

Mr E Lucas (IFP) noted that the Committee had flagged a previous issue regarding tourism and asked if the same procedure should be followed.

The Chairperson replied that the Committee should not flag too many issues. It was necessary simply to ensure that the regulation of tourism transport and inter-provincial road transport were national competencies. 

Clause 11(b)
The Chairperson suggested a revision to Clause 11(b)(i) so that it now read; “the formulation of provincial transport policy and strategy within the framework of national policy and strategy;”

Mr Mashile was concerned that either of the national or provincial spheres of government could be responsible for capacitating the municipality. At present each sphere would claim that the other was responsible for capacity.

Mr Powell replied that the Constitution allowed both national and provincial to capacitate municipalities.

Mr Mashile reiterated that was he was not sure that the section covered the proper capacity for the transport function for municipalities.

Mr Patel responded that the intention was that the provinces would capacitate municipalities within their jurisdiction and the role of the national sphere would be to capacitate across all provinces.

The Chairperson responded that the provinces should be proactive.

Mr Mashile asked if there was a way to ensure more clearly in the clause that there would be capacity given for the municipality by the province.

Mr M Moss (ANC) explained that the provinces should not defer their responsibility for municipalities to the national sphere, and that point should come through in the legislation.

The Chairperson responded that according to the Constitution, capacitation of municipalities was the joint responsibility of provinces and national.

The Chairperson clarified that the clause read; ”ensuring that municipalities that need capacity and resources are capacitated to perform their land transport functions”.

Clause 11(c)
Mr Powell said that Clause 11(c), another new clause, would be phrased as “considering the needs of special categories of passengers in planning and providing public transport infrastructure, facilities and services to meet their needs, in so far as possible by the system provided for mainstream public transport.”

Mr Moss asked why the Bill should use the word “considering”.

The Chairperson suggested that that clause be revised then to read: “ensuring provisions for the needs of special categories of passengers in planning and providing public transport infrastructure, facilities and services to meet them, in so far as possible by the system provided for mainstream public transport.”

Mr Powell noted that in sub clause (xvii) the wording should read: “contemplated in paragraph (iv)”. He also suggested that “and other rail-related functions if such functions have been assigned to the relevant municipality or municipalities”, be deleted.

Mr Mashile asked if the wording should include management measures as well.

The Chairperson revised (xix) so that it read; “introducing, establishing, or assisting in, or encouraging and facilitating the establishment of integrated ticketing systems, the managing thereof, including the determining of measures for the regulation and control of revenue-sharing among operators involved in those systems.”

Mr Mashile wanted to revise (xx) so that it would start “subject to standards set by the Minister under section 5(5), if any, set standards for interoperability between fare collections and ticketing systems in its area…”

The Chairperson revised (xxiii) to read: “determining concessionary fares for special categories of passengers as prescribed matters”

Clause 11(6)
The Chairperson suggested revised wording for this clause so that it read; “Where a province is performing a function contemplated in subsection (1)(a) on the date of the commencement of this Act, it must continue performing that function, subject to Section 25 and any other provision of the National Public Transport Regulator Act, unless that function is assigned to a municipality by the Minister in terms of this Act.” 

Clause 17
The Chairperson revised the short title to read:  “Establishment of a division for an operating licensing function and arrangement of administration of certain municipalities.” The clause was further revised as follows: “(b) ensure such division must consist of dedicated officials of the municipality, appointed either on a full-time or part-time basis by virtue of their specialised knowledge, training or experience in public transport or related matters.” The current subclause (3) then became (2); the current (4) became (3); and the current (b) became (4).

Clause 18
The Chairperson revised the title; “Adjacent municipality”.

Mr Mashile noted that the use of the word “must” in clause (18)(1), should be changed to “may”. This portion would then read: “Where there are significant transport movements between two or more adjacent municipalities, they may establish an inter-municipality forum in terms of section 28 of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act, 2005 (Act No. 13 of 2005) to co-ordinate their functions in terms of this Act and to ensure that their integrated transport plans take account of such movements.”

Clause 19
Adv Swart noted that the position of the clauses should change, as it seemed inverted according to the content.

The Chairperson concurred and the numbers were changed, the previous Clause 18 then becoming Clause 19, and the previous Clause 19 would then be Clause 18.

Clause 24
Mr Patel noted that the clause should be revised to reflect the word “designated”.

Mr Lucas was concerned by the fact that the Committee might focussing on a small area within a large industry, and said that impartiality had to be maintained.

The Chairperson assured him that accreditation would be given to those who had successfully passed accreditation to become vehicle inspectors and tour guides. They needed an understanding of standards.

The Chairperson then added a new (f) to deal with vehicle standards and specifications.

Clause 35
Mr Powell noted that subclause (c) should refer to “user charges collected in terms of section 27”.

Clause 36
Mr Powell noted that there was another revision as in clause 36(b), “traffic” would be replaced with “movement of passengers”.

Clause 51
Mr Powell recommended that clause 51(2) should omit the word “and”. 

Clause 45
Mr Patel mentioned that in the process of drafting this clause the rights of workers were unwittingly omitted.

Mr Powell suggested an insertion of a sub-clause (4) that would read: “in applying this section the contracting authority must give due regard to the rights of workers employed by operators in terms of the contracts of contemplated in subsection 1”.

Clause 57
Mr Powell suggested a revision for the clause, so that sub-clause (a) would read:  “the permit must be cancelled and an operating license issued by the relevant authority for the vehicle specific to the contract, where appropriate, in consultation with relevant planning authorities”,

Clause 92
Mr Mashile asked if seven days was too short a time. He enquired whether, if the operator were to make a submission for cancellation, this would be done immediately. If not, then that seven-day period would be too short.

The Chairperson revised the clause, to read “within fourteen days”.

Clause 90
The Chairperson suggested an insertion into Clause 90; inserted after line 10, as a new sub-clause (3), reading:  “such accreditation may specify classes of vehicles or maximum number of vehicles operated”.

Voting on the Bill
The Chairperson read out the motion of desirability.

Members accepted the Motion of Desirability.

The Chairperson then put the Bill to the vote.

Members noted that they wished to adopt the Bill, with all the amendments accepted by the Portfolio Committee. A “clean” new version of the Bill would then be requested. 

The Committee adopted its report.

Adv Swart asked the Committee to note his abstention, saying that the representative for the DA was not present at the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned.


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