Question NW3578 to the Minister of Transport

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12 October 2015 - NW3578

3578Mr M S F de Freitas to ask the Minister of Transport

(a) When was the Midterm Road Safety Country Report (i) published and (ii) made public, (b) what are the key elements that come out of the specified report, (c) what (i) solutions and (ii) recommendations were made in the specified report, (d) what is her department doing to implement the specified recommendations and (e) what are the time frames?


The Minister of Transport

(a) (i) The Midterm Road Safety Country Report has not been published, as it is in the process of

review and consultations are being finalised.

(ii) The Midterm Road Safety Country Report will be available after it has been finalised.

(b) The key elements are included in the Midterm Road Safety Country report, which is currently being finalised.

(c) The Midterm Road Safety Country Report, when finalised, will contain the:

     (i) solutions and

     (ii) recommendations

(d) Details regarding the implementation of the specified recommendations of the Midterm Road Safety Country report will be available once the report has been finalised.

(e) The timeframes for the implementation of the specified recommendations of the Midterm Road Safety Country report will form part of the report.




The Midterm Road Safety Country Report has not yet been published or made public. At this stage, the report is still under review by the Department’s leadership.

The key elements contained in the UN Global Plan are the Pillars which have fixed Activities as supplied by the UN, which all countries must speak to. They are as follows:

Pillar 1: Road Safety Management


   (a) Lead Agency,

   (b) National Road Safety Strategy,

   (c) Setting of Targets,

   (d) Funding, and

  (e) Data Management.

Pillar 2: Safer Roads and Mobility


a) Road Safety ownership and accountability among key authorities, road engineers and urban planners,

b) Sustainable Urban Planning, Transport Demand and Land Use Management,

c) Infrastructure Management,

d) New Infrastructure Development,

e) Capacity Building, and

f) Research and Development

Pillar 3: Safer Vehicles


a) Vehicle Safety Regulations,

b) Vehicle Requirements and Standards,

c) New Car Safety Assessment Programme,

d) Encourage Universal deployment of Crash Avoidance Technologies, and

e) Fiscal and other Incentives for Motor Vehicles.

Pillar 4: Safer Road Users


a) Prevention Interventions,

b) Road Safety Educational Awareness Programs and Campaigns,

c) Road Safety Education Programmes,

d) Set and Seek compliance with speed limits,

e) Set and seek compliance with child restraint and seatbelts,

f) Set and seek compliance with standards and rules for motorcycle helmets,

g) Set and seek compliance with Transport, Occupational Health and safety laws, and

h) Establishment of Graduated Driver licensing.

Pillar 5: Post Crash Response


a) Pre-Hospital Care,

b) Hospital Trauma Care Systems,

c) Rehabilitation Programmes,

d) Introduction of Road User Insurance Scheme,

e) Crash Investigation Management and Claim Settlement,

f) Employment of People with Disabilities,

g) Research and Development, and

h) Incident Response

Solutions are as follows:

Pillar 1: Road Safety Management

a) Lead Agency:

The National Department Transport as a coordinating body through its entities established the Road Traffic Management Corporation in terms of the RTMC Act (Act 20 of 1999) as a lead agency on traffic and road safety matters. The RTMC together with provinces, local authorities and transport entities have established coordination and facilitation structures that identify key strategic delivery programmes for road safety and law enforcement, coordinate the implementation of the programmes and monitors and evaluate progress against the key strategic delivery areas across all the three spheres of government.

b) National Road Safety Strategy:

The National Road Safety Strategy 2006 Onwards was developed and approved. The latter document remains the official government document to date. The document was developed on the premise of the 4 Es’. There is work currently under way to review the national road safety strategy. The road policy is nearing its conclusion from the 1996 White Paper on Transport. This is where the road safety policy was alluded to.

c) Setting of Targets:

Taking into perspective the percentage variance of the number of motorized vehicles on our roads back in 2012 compared to current, there is a remarkable increase. Zooming closer to the recent years, as recent as 2012, there is a notable distinct rise from 7 714 924 to 10 249 504 in 2014. That alone tells a story, that the road infrastructure developed back in the day cannot keep up with the increase of vehicles hence firstly, infrastructural development remains a priority in the country and secondly, when looking at targets, cognisance should be paid to the fact that targets that are set annually of decreasing road carnage should take into account that there would have been more cars on the road each year.

South Africa’s targets have been set, and measures are in place to achieve the targets. The targets are outlined in the consolidated National Department of Transport Strategic Plan (Year to Year) and Annual Performance Plan (Financial year) which captures the key delivery areas for all transport departments and entities.

d) Funding

The National Treasury allocates budget to the Department of Transport and Entities. The budget allocation focuses on the key delivery areas of Transport namely roads infrastructure (dealt with under Pillar 2), road safety and law enforcement programmes (dealt with under Pillar 4) and Road Accident funding (dealt with under Pillar 5). Currently road safety is under-resourced. However, discussions at Cabinet level will address this challenge.

e) Data Management

South Africa uses a multi-pronged method of collecting statistics with the South African Police Services (SAPS) being the first to arrive at the scene of the crash. The Department of Health with its paramedics serves as another source for the country’s statistics supported by other State organs such as the Metro Traffic, Provincial Traffic Authorities and some of the transport entities.

Pillar 2: Safer Roads and Mobility

a) Road Safety ownership and accountability among key authorities, road engineers and urban planners

The proper planning and design of infrastructure development is critical to road safety. A strong need has been established for road authorities to identify and understand road safety risk on a road network level. A network level road assessment tool, called Netsafe© has been developed. This tool identifies high risk portions of roads, similar to iRAP, and uses video analytics of road features plus road operational components such as operating speeds to calculate a Road Safety Risk Index for uniform sections for the primary road network. This network assessment tool has been applied to approximately 20 000 km of hazardous locations in South Africa's primary road network. A series of workshops are being conducted throughout the country to further implement appropriate remedial measures at high priority locations identified through Netsafe©.

b) Sustainable Urban Planning, Transport Demand and Land Use Management

The country has got a plan to reduce congestion in urban areas by introducing facilities that are accommodating a number of people in a mode of transport. This is where transport systems interface hence reducing congestion and confusion in the urban areas.

c) Integrated Public Transport Network: Investment in public transport is paramount, in creating safer mobility for all road users. The country has put in place a plan to reduce congestion in urban areas by introducing facilities that are accommodating the number of people in a single transport and provide an alternative mode of transport such as ‘bus rapid transit’ system; e.g. Rea vaya, My Citi as well as a mode such as Gautrain. The country has also created dedicated lanes dealing with mass movers to reduce congestion and promote road safety. In the metros in particular, pedestrian lanes and cyclists lanes have been developed to separate vehicle traffic and pedestrians from vehicle traffic thus creating safety on the urban areas.

d) Infrastructure Maintenance

South Africa has 750 000km of roads and they have different levels. There are some exceptionally good roads in the country and poor roads too. They are graded from good, fair, poor and very poor. There is an on-going maintenance of roads taking place across the year in different parts of the country to improve the state of our roads. There are also many active community development programmes throughout the country which provide for the delivery of footpaths, sidewalk and pedestrian bridges. And these come at a high cost to the country. We also note the maintenance backlog of about 37% which will be cleared at a cost of approximately R197 billion.

e) New Infrastructure Development

In relation to road safety the fact is that the road connectivity within the country is still a challenge, linking the communities particularly the previously disadvantageous communities is a challenge. People walk on average more than 10km to reach a public transport facility. It is always an expensive exercise to build a new network to link the communities. This country is one of the mountainous countries with deep valleys and rivers to be crossed. These rivers need to be crossed through bridges that are very expensive to build. These previously disadvantaged communities need to be linked through thousands of kilometres which are expensive to build. We continue as a country to build well-engineered safe roads addressing the backlog that we have as a country which is to link communities and make trade easier for the country.

f) Capacity Building

In line with the National Development Plan (NDP) under chapter 4 there is commitment by government to strengthen institutional capacity for road traffic.

Furthermore, there is a review and publication of the South African Road Safety Audit Manual (SARSAM) which is a significant step towards inculcating the culture of road safety ownership and accountability amongst road authorities, by ensuring that a standard guideline is available for consistent undertaking of Road Safety Audits. Road Safety Audits and the associated training of the Audit Engineers not only addresses the need to conduct Road Safety Impacts of new infrastructure projects, but also trains Engineers to incorporate road safety in all aspects of infrastructure maintenance and provision. This is seen as a significant road safety capacity development. The Department through its entity SANRAL has developed and implemented accredited 5 day Road Safety Audit Courses across the country, and have trained approximately 200 Road Safety Auditors to date. Efforts are underway to make it mandatory for road authorities to report on an annual basis on the status of road safety of their respective road networks, and this must be done in accordance with the Road Safety Audit Manual.

Various Road Authorities have hazardous location programmes for example has a pedestrian hazardous location programme which has a minimum target of identifying, investigating and implementing remedial measures.

The National Department of Transport is collaborating with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in implementing safer roads particularly around schools and build-up areas and private sectors.

g) Research and Development

There are various research programmes underway to better understand specific road safety issues facing South African. The country works close with some of the research bodies such as CSIR, Department of Health, Department of Basic Education and SABS. Together with the Department of Basic Education we have introduced a new generation of drivers through the use of a Learner Licence. Regular regional and national road safety workshops, seminars and conferences are convened to share best practice case studies with other road authorities and road safety practitioners. It is important to continue to elevate the role that infrastructure can play reducing the risk of a serious injury or death when a crash does occur.

Pillar 3: Safer Vehicles

a) Vehicle Safety Regulations

SADC Standards have been developed in line with South African Standards. Member states are encouraged to streamline and develop national legislative frameworks that should allow for the incorporation of harmonised motor vehicle Standards into their national legislation. South Africa is a contracting party to WP29 and has been requested by the UN, as a role player in the SADC region, to encourage SADC counterparts to attend WP29 as individual states or as a regional body. SABS has published a large number of standards in conjunction with the UN ECE, many of which are called up in our legislation.

b) Vehicle Requirements and Standards

It is a requirement that new vehicles entering the SA market comply with seatbelts and anchorage requirements as well as specific crash test requirements, including other safety related aspects. The development of the relevant standards takes place in conjunction with NAAMSA and the NRCS. South Africa is noting the progress of the UN regulations on intelligent transport systems that enhance vehicle safety.

c) New Car Safety Assessment Programme

New vehicles entering SA must comply with the South African compulsory specification for motor vehicles. These specifications are based on UN regulations and are revised as and when necessary. New vehicles entering the SA market are inherently safe, further advancement in safety could be mandated through internal policies and procedures.

d) Encourage universal deployment of crash avoidance technologies

The South African compulsory motor vehicle specifications are in the process of being revised to include various advanced safety requirements which will be implemented in 2016. South Africa leads the world in the fitment of retro-reflective contour marking for vehicles.

e) Fiscal and other incentives for motor vehicle

South Africa in consideration of safety features, has barred the importation of used vehicles with the view to maintain UN safety standards.

Pillar 4: Safer Road Users

i) Prevention Interventions

Over the years South Africa has implemented several programmes that support or focus on the reduction of road safety risk factors, namely but not limited to:

a) The Railway Level Crossing Unit: The aim of the programme is to ensure safety at railway level crossings. The implementation resulted in the establishment of such level crossing units in high incident zones across 3 provinces, in collaboration with Transnet.

b) Enhancement of compliance: The introduction of the AARTO Act that promotes road traffic quality by providing for a scheme to discourage road traffic contraventions and to facilitate the adjudication of road traffic infringements.

c) Strategic Law Enforcement: The National Rolling Enforcement Plan is a consolidated programme by the Traffic Authorities throughout the country and offers a centralised reporting and monitoring framework.

d) Fighting Fraud and Corruption: The establishment of the National Traffic Anti-Fraud and Corruption Unit within the RTMC to combat acts of fraud and corruption by collaborating with other law enforcement agencies has resulted in several prosecutions for unlawful acts across the traffic environment.

e) Law Enforcement in SADC: The Cross Border Road Transport Agency is mandated to facilitate unimpeded movement of passengers and goods within the SADC region. Since 2013 the Agency has hosted several member states as part of its exchange programmes trail some of which are Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique. In all these activities the Agency sponsored solid support in both regional and national road safety programmes.

ii) Road Safety Educational Awareness Programs and Campaigns

The achievements of road safety awareness campaigns is informed by an integrated and intensified approach to road safety awareness activities targeting cyclists, pedestrians, passengers and drivers through the pooling of traffic management resources across the various levels of Government through the implementation of the 365 day road safety programme. The following awareness campaigns were undertaken:

a) Child Restraint Campaign: It aims at educating communities on the child restrain regulation and child car seats are being distributed in strategic areas.

b) The “Get there. No Regrets” Campaign: it was a multi-pronged media campaign targeting different road users.

c) Cheki-iCoast: An imaginative campaign to promote roads safety among younger audiences on campuses and schools

ii) Road Safety Educational Programmes

a) Junior Traffic Training Centres/Mats Programme: aims to teach and instil safer road conduct to children in a safer, miniature simulated road environment.

b) Scholar Patrol: The programme is one of the longest existing road safety projects and it ensures the safe crossing of learners to and from school by learners under adult supervision. The number of scholar patrols operational nationwide are 1480.

c) Safe Kids Walk this Way: Project creates a safe environment for kids to operate in thereby contributing to the reduction in pedestrian fatalities and injuries. This project has been rolled out in all Provinces.

d) Road Safety Schools Debates: The programme is directed at secondary / high school learners in grades 10 and 11 and is conducted in line with the World Schools Style of Debating adapted for the purposes of imparting road safety knowledge amongst peers.

e) Participatory Educational Techniques (P.E.T) Programme: The program is aimed at encouraging high school learners to identify road safety challenges in their communities and being part of developing and implementing sustainable solutions that will positively contribute to safer road users and roads.

f) Professional Drivers’ Awareness: The programme assesses the road safety competencies (skills and knowledge) of heavy vehicle drivers. South Africa is a member of the Union Internationale des Chauffeurs Routiers (UICR) a world body which coordinates the interest of professional drivers worldwide.

g) Road Safety Education in Curriculum: The back to basics approach of government to inculcate a culture of road safety at a young age has resulted in the mandatory implementation of road safety at primary schools as part of life skills.

h) Scholar Transport: The programme aims at addressing the problem of scholar transport safety, the implementation of the Shova Kalula programme is part of a low cost mobility solution to improve rural accessibility and urban mobility “by cycling” to basic services including educational centres. It is directed to learners who walk more than 3 up to 5km to schools, youth and farm labourers.

i) Cross-Alive Road Safety Programme: The aim of the programme is to address challenges such as:

• Safety of scholar transport

• Cycling and helmets

• Child restraint and safety belts

• Distracted walking

iv) Set and seek compliance with speed limits

The deployment of Average Speed over Distance (ASOD) on approximately 700 km of National and Provincial Routes, namely N3, N1, N2, R27 and R61.

v) Set and seek compliance with drink-driving

Review of standardisation in relation to equipment used in the ascertaining and prosecution of alcohol contents in the driver blood specimen.

vi) Set and Seek compliance with child restraint and seatbelts

Regulations were amended to require a driver of a motor vehicle operated on a public road to ensure that an infant traveling in such a motor vehicle is seated on an appropriate child restraint.

vii) Set and Seek compliance with standards and rules for motorcycle helmets

The country has a legislation that prescribes minimum standards for wearing helmets on motorcycles and bicycles.

viii) Set and Seek compliance with Transport, occupational health and safety laws

Requirements were set that require that public transport be fitted with speed governors, to ensure that the set speed is not exceeded.

ix) Establishment of Graduated Driver Licensing

A learner license programme has been implemented targeting Grade 12 and Final year tertiary students. This programme provides learners and youth with theoretical and practical knowledge, based on the rules of the road. It is a computer- based programme that also uses simulators for practical driving lessons.

Pillar 5: Post-Crash Care

a) Pre Hospital Care

The country’s post-crash care programme including the pre-hospital care systems place an emphasis on pre-empting and prevention of road fatalities and disabilities. The entity of the Department, the Road Accident Fund is mandated to provide cover to all road users within the borders of South Africa. A single medical tariff under the Road Accident Fund (RAF) ensures equitable access to emergency medical treatment as per set tariff to all victims of crashes. The Department is working through RAF to secure a single emergency hotline, in partnership with the South African Private Ambulance Emergency Services Association (SAPAESA).

i) Foster partnerships with public and private healthcare sector – ongoing

  1. The Department of Health has engaged with the Department of Communication into the single nationwide telephone number – redirected to the Department of Telecommunications
  2. ii) Hospital Trauma Care Systems

Through the RAF Act, government’s crash care system starts from providing emergency care cover from the scene of the crash, transportation to hospital, the cost for hospital treatment, as well as victim reintegration and rehabilitation as part of the post recovery treatment interventions. South Africa’s public and private healthcare services provides for a hospital trauma care through the hospital emergency centres. Following a crash and the related trauma, the Department with its entity RAF, through the healthcare sector provides post-crash response as follows:

i) Immediate phase: Emergency medical care

ii) Therapeutic phase: Medical care to treat and stabilize

iii) Rehabilitation phase: Medical and non-medical assistance and support

RAF in collaboration with civil society identifies hospitals with poor trauma care units and systems with the objective of providing funding to improve conditions of care in the SA trauma units.

c) Rehabilitation Programme

The Department through RAF provides a compulsory cover to all road crash victims for medical, loss of support, loss of income, general damages and funeral costs. This helps provide a social and economic safety net for road crash victims and their families who are in need of rehabilitation, trauma care, and psychological counselling. The Department through RAF further provides for social reintegration of road crash victims through dedicated case management, home-based care, counselling as well as provide for past, current, and future medical undertaking expenses.

d) Introduction of Road User Insurance Schemes

South Africa as a country doesn’t have a compulsory third party insurance cover for road users. The South African Insurance Association is currently in pursuit of government approval towards legislating a compulsory third party cover for road users.

e) Crash Investigation Management and Claims Settlement

The RAF is mandated to identify the wrongdoer through a fault-based road accident compensation system aimed at compensating road crash deaths and injuries. The country currently uses a fault-based system to compensate for road crash victims. The RAF uphold an objective determination of the claim through courts and provision of medical cover and legal experts In terms of the RSA constitution everyone has the right to a lawyer and a free and fair hearing through the Legal Aid Board and SA court system. The country is investing in capacity building within the traffic environment by training on crash investigation and management of dangerous goods. All major crashes as per the set out criteria are investigated to determine cause and prevention of these crashes as well as the monitoring of the implementation of the recommendations.

f) Employment of People with disabilities

South Africa through the National Department of Labour, champions various legislations pertaining to the employment of people with disabilities. These legislations include the Employment Equity Act, which in turn, falls within the domain of the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA). Chapter 2 of the RSA Constitution provides that there should be no discrimination of the basis of disability, gender, race and age.

g) Research and Development

Investment in research remains a focal point to ensure effective and efficient utilisation of the resources of existing institutes and research bodies. The establishment of relationships with research bodies and the academia to has resulted in the formation of various relationships with medical and specialist organisations focusing on rehabilitating victims of road trauma. The 2014/15 financial year saw government, through the Road Accident Fund, partnering with the South African Spinal Injury Association with the aim of encouraging and contributing to resourcing research and development aimed at improving the treatment of spinal injuries.

h) Incident Response

The entire national road network has incident management systems in place to ensure the optimal coordinated response to incidents. Initiatives are under way to legislate and roll out incident management systems on all major routes in South Africa, including an expanded network. The Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is being used to manage freeway operations. Freeway Management Systems (FMS) have already been deployed in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape and are being expanded and enhanced to ensure an even more efficient and coordinated response to incidents.

The recommendations as notified by the Department and all the key stakeholders who participated in the drafting of the UN Mid-Term Country report are as follow:

South Africa is aware that there is still a lot of work to be done to reduce not only the crash and fatality rates in terms of road traffic deaths per population, or deaths per the number of registered vehicles or the distance travelled, but also in terms of real straight figures.

Road crashes are amongst the main causes of death in South Africa. They have serious ramifications to the economy; the emergency and health cost along with lost economic output is significant. The estimated cost of road crashes is estimated at billions of rands per annum.

Our continued commitment to the reduction of road fatalities by 50% as outlined in the Decade of Action for road safety will see a drastic shift in the implementation of various provisions and models for the acceleration and implementation of sustainable road safety programmes.

Key to these is an increase in educational road safety programmes to ensure our road users know how to stay safe, and keep others around them safe mainly the changed behaviour and attitudes of our road users and that will be supported by intensified law enforcement to deal with those who put other road user lives in danger. Eventually, we want to see a culture of voluntary compliance in South Africa and we will get there.

As a recommendation going forward post 2015, the multidisciplinary approach will be undertaken in order to create a safer road environment by fostering partnerships and increasing the participation of all strata of society to enable the drastic reduction in the number of road fatalities. Road safety is in every citizen’s interest and given that safety starts with an individual road user itself, whether motorist, passenger or pedestrian, the involvement of the entire civil society on an on-going basis can never be overstated. The fight against road crashes is yet to be won, and we envision a future where our people feel safe and secure on our roads.

The Department with its Roads entities developed the 365 Days Road Safety Programme which is in line with the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The 365 Days Road Safety Programme consists of 5 Pillars and it also focuses on the 4E’s (Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Evaluation). The 365 Days Road Safety Programme ensure that road safety takes place at all times through the whole year and not only during the pick seasons, such as the Easter and Festive season.

The 365 Days Road Safety Programme is guided by the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

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