Hansard: Appropriation Bill : Debate on Budget Vote No 37 - Transport
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 31 May 2011
No summary available.
EPC – COMMITTEE ROOM: E249
Wednesday, 1 June 2011 Take: 87
Debate on Budget Vote No 37 - Transport:
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, hon members, Deputy Minister of Transport, chairperson of the portfolio committee, members of the transport family, ladies and gentleman, transport is a catalyst for economic growth and an engine for job creation in South Africa. Principal modes of transport for people in South Africa are rail and road, with a few people using air transport. Even fewer use the Indian and Atlantic Oceans that surround us and which effectively classify us as a maritime nation.
The provision of reliable, sustainable and safe transportation of people and goods from place to place is critical to the transformation of our country. Typically, an effective, safe public transport system will reduce transport costs, create jobs and income-generating opportunities, and increase the value of real state. Yes, an effective public transport system will increase the quality of life for all our communities.
One of the questions facing our transport sector in South Africa is that of limited funding for transport development and maintenance. It is by no means a South African problem only. This was indicated by US President Barack Obama in his state of the union address earlier this year when he called for greater private sector investment in the provision of road infrastructure. Our shared view is that we must develop the methodologies which encourage private sector participation and investment in the provision of key infrastructure. Alternative funding models also need to be developed for consideration, just as alternative construction materials and construction methodologies need to be researched to enhance value for money.
In this regard, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, held a market engagement conference on 5 April 2011, where we presented the new Rolling Stock programme and the business opportunities emanating from that exercise to the numerous participants. Following this, on 13 and 14 June this year, the Department of Transport will host the International Investment Conference in Cape Town under the theme "Creating winning partnerships through investment". This will provide an opportunity for dialogue between investors and the department in the pursuit of alternative funding streams.
As I deliver my address this afternoon, over 600 buses are making their daily trip of 160km from Tshwane to KwaNdebele. In the morning, they will make the return trip back along the Moloto Corridor. They carry commuters who often leave home at 3:00a.m. and arrive back at 9:00p.m. Government subsidises these commuters to the value of R412 million per annum, which translates into approximately R7 000 per commuter per month. Of interest is that many of these commuters earn less than the subsidised amount per month. Having noted these challenges, the department is currently investigating an alternative and more cost-effective transport network for the Moloto Corridor which is safe, which cuts down travelling time, and will effectively address commuter needs.
Link 1 of the Gautrain Rapid Rail network between Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport was opened in June 2010. Link 2, from Johannesburg to Pretoria, will be opened this month. The completion of the network ushers in a new era in public transportation matching world standards in rapid rail transport. Travelling at 180km/h and taking 38 minutes between Johannesburg and Pretoria, it will set a benchmark for future rail developments in South Africa.
The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, e-tolling and the future tolling of roads has been in the media recently and in many discussion platforms on radio and social networks around the country. However, for the debate and discussion to be constructive, it is important that the aspects are viewed within the appropriate context. In 2007, Cabinet approved the project, after which The SA National Roads Agency Ltd, Sanral, was required to follow with a further proposal, that of Intent to Toll the roads which were part of the project.
Sanral has been allowed to identify potential investors to raise the funds to implement the state-of-the-art system without resorting to the national fiscus for such a large budget. Sanral did this, and implemented Phase One. Funding for the project implementation was obtained through government bonds, and therefore to repay this debt, the Open Road Toll, or e-tolling, system was introduced. Noting the consultative process implemented since 2007 and the various decision makers and role-players on this project, currently, numerous concerns have been raised.
For those hon members who have travelled on the part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme that has been completed, we must agree that we now have a state-of-the-art road network system.
Notwithstanding all this, the need for further consultation to address the concerns of the public was noted. In March, I suspended the implementation of the e-tolling system and established a task team to engage all stakeholders further in pursuit of a conducive and consulted position with regard to e-tolling of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme. The steering committee chaired by the director-general is embarking on extensive public consultation to review the concerns raised. A comprehensive report on the work of the steering committee will be submitted in due course, after which we will have a review.
Transformation of the public transport sector is a fundamental objective we are pursuing. Following numerous meetings and interventions since 2009, it is with great pleasure that I can inform the House today of our progress with regard to the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System. Earlier this year, the taxi industry in Johannesburg became the 66% shareholder in the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System. The implementation and roll-out of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System in the four identified cities is progressing well.
We also wish to take this opportunity to recognise the partnership we have established with the taxi industry over the years. We were part of the establishment of the SA National Taxi Council, Santaco, which was to position the industry for growth into the rest of the transport sector. Santaco turns 10 in September this year. We wish the organisation well in this, its 10th year of productive existence. We look forward to decades and decades of collaboration with Santaco towards the provision of better public transport for all.
It is generally acknowledged that, over the years, the underinvestment in our road infrastructure, together with the age of our roads, has resulted in the degradation of our road network.
More than 75% of our current road network is 20 years old or older. Based on the road design life span of 20 years and the various report indicators, 40% of the provincial road network has reached crisis point due to the limited maintenance that has been done.
After noting the state of our roads as highlighted by various study reports, we launched the S'hamba Sonke programme on 18 April this year in Durban. This programme will see the Department of Transport launching a new road upgrade and maintenance initiative to fix and upgrade the entire secondary road network of South Africa. The programme will create 68 675 new jobs for emerging contractors, and jobs across the country.
The ring-fenced conditional grant will be implemented in the following five key areas: rehabilitating key arterial routes in support of the rural economy through labour intensive projects; prioritising the use of labour-absorptive construction methods; eliminating potholes in our roads; creating access roads to schools and clinics and public social infrastructure; and establishing the Road Asset Management System and introducing the Know Your Network programme. This programme consists of regional engineers in all the provinces monitoring road conditions, including any possible overnight damage, on a daily basis.
The S'hamba Sonke programme has been allocated R22 billion for the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework cycle, with the allocation for 2011-12 being R6,4 billion. Business plans supported by all the MECs have been received from all provinces.
For the 2011-12 financial year, the allocations to provinces are as follows: KwaZulu-Natal, R1,2 billion; the Eastern Cape, R1 billion; Mpumalanga, R1 billion; Limpopo, R934 million; Gauteng, R566 million; the Free State, R447 million; the Western Cape, R411 million; the Northern Cape, R308 million; and North West, R501 million. All provinces will submit a monthly report, and we, in turn, will report to Treasury every three months.
Our passenger rail system has come under serious focus and public scrutiny in the recent past due to two train collisions in Pretoria and Soweto. This public concern about the safety of the rail system is justified and we need to assure the public, through our actions, that we will be able to deliver safe and reliable services moving forward. These systemic failures are primarily due to a combination of old technology, decades of underinvestment, deferred and poor maintenance and the loss of critical skills. The international norm is that a train will fail every 822 days, whilst it stands at an average of every 20 days in our country. This tells a story that requires our urgent intervention and long-term solutions.
We have a bold plan for the railways. Prasa's strategy over the next three years is informed by the demand for a quality rail service, the current performance of the system and Prasa's capital investment.
On 11 May 2011, South Africa participated in the launch of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. We seek to halve road deaths and end the carnage on our roads by 2015. Road deaths affect us all. Worldwide, 1,3 million people are killed annually; 14 000 people are killed and more than 50 000 are injured annually in South Africa.
Every member of society, especially those who have lost their loved ones in road accidents, will become the natural driving force in this programme. Worldwide, as in South Africa, the Decade of Action commits us to develop and enforce legislation on key risk factors, like effective managing and monitoring of speed limits, eliminating drinking and driving, and increasing the use of seatbelts.
All provinces, district municipalities and local municipalities will report monthly on road accidents, indicating the causal factors and the plans to address them. All provinces and districts will report on the implementation of the National Rolling Enforcement Plan. It was agreed by all that at least one million drivers will be stopped per month, 250 000 drivers will be stopped every week, and 45 000 motorists would be stopped each day. Where we do not do it, we have more than 17 000 local, provincial, and national officers, and something must be done so that the business-as-usual in terms of road safety and the lackadaisical approach to road safety comes to an end.
These targets will ensure that, within a period of six months, at least 60% of all motorists will have been checked for compliance with road traffic regulations, for instance, there is the first National Traffic Intervention Unit deployed in high accident areas and hazardous locations.
With regard to traffic management, road safety and traffic management are national, provincial and local government competencies, according to our Constitution. The shared responsibility creates challenges relating to co-ordination, and results in the lack of uniformity in our law enforcement efforts. It was with this in mind that the Road Traffic Management Corporation Act was passed in 1999. The Act established a legal entity chaired by the Minister of Transport with provinces and municipalities as shareholders. Putting the Road Traffic Management Corporation in order has been one of the urgent tasks facing the transport sector, and I am happy to say that we are succeeding in this.
With regard to maritime transport, we currently handle four million tons of cargo. Our maritime agency has identified that we require a total of 36 000 seafarers for deployment at sea. Currently we have 1 800.
One of the key legacies of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in terms of aviation was an investment of R17 billion in airport infrastructure. We are now expected to start the repayment of this investment. The review and improvement of the tariff determination framework will continue so as to ensure effective service delivery within the aviation sector. Airport infrastructure in the provinces will be supported, with the objective of ensuring the provision of adequate and effective infrastructure to promote air transportation of both passengers and goods. Current bilateral agreements that seek to increase tourism will be reviewed to ensure that the intervention plans being indicated will effectively achieve this.
Noting the importance of the transport sector projects, my department took an organisational review to ensure that we could effectively deliver on our mandate. The Department of Transport's key focus areas are improving our road network, public transport, investment in rail infrastructure and services, road safety, and maritime and air transport projects. To ensure that the department's mandate, as indicated, is achieved, an organisational review of the structure was done. The approved new organisational structure reflects a departmental structure based on modes that will elevate the functions of the department from being focused on policy development to being the co-ordination of implementation of the transport sector programmes. This organisational structure will further ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of programme outcomes, and provide single-point accountability.
I wish to thank the Deputy Minister, Mr Jeremy Cronin, for his ongoing partnership and comradeship as we transform the transport sector. I thank the director-general, Mr George Mahlalela, and his team for their hard work and dedication. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the agencies, especially the Chairpersons and CEOs for their dedication to the critical role they play in the delivery and implementation of our agenda. I thank the Transport Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Ms Ruth Bhengu, and the committee for the constructive way in which they engage the department and for the diligent manner in which they conduct oversight on its programmes and projects.
Last but not least, a warm and sincere thank you goes to the transport family for their ongoing, tireless effort at ensuring that we keep South Africa on the move, contributing to making a better life for all. Together we can do more to move people and goods for economic growth and the development of sustainable communities, at the same time transforming the transport sector.
I hereby request the House to approve the Department of Transport Budget of R36 billion for 2011-12. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms N R BHENGU /Robyn/END OF TAKE
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
Ms N R BHENGU: Hon Chairperson, hon members, ladies and gentlemen – the Department of Transport, DoT, received a clean audit report with finding on predetermined objects. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, received a clean audit report with findings. The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency, CBRTA, received a qualified audit report. The Road Transport Management Corporation, RTMC, received an adverse audit report. All other transport entities received a clean audit report.
We commend the department for a clean audit report and want it to improve the findings, so that in future, they do not get any findings. We applaud all transport entities with clean audits, and urge those with qualified reports to refrain from doing things that result with them receiving qualified reports.
I have been tasked by the ANC study group to focus on two issues. The first issue is transport as a tool for social development. The second issue is transport as a tool for economic development. We are debating the budget of the Department of Transport and 13 transport entities, mandated by our Parliament to provide transport related services in South Africa.
Transport services are aimed at providing easy and comfortable movement of people and goods in our country. The services provided should be aligned to job creation, social development, social development and economic development.
We rejoiced the birth of a democratic ANC government in April 1994, and soon faced a gloom side of inheriting a country with uneven levels of development. A country with first world and third world features. That situation still exists.
Correcting these imbalances remains a big challenge. A review of resource allocation informed by backlog would help in reducing these imbalances. Our approach on budget does not only focus on good administration of financial resources.
While we hold the department and transport entities accountable for financial administration to ensure clean audit reports, we also pay attention on how the financial resources and their programmes contribute in correcting the legacy of apartheid government and imbalances that exist in our communities.
We emphasise that we get value for money and do not compromise on that. There is now common understanding on these issues within the transport family. The ANC Study Group on Transport welcomes the resolution of the ANC NEC on reviewing the funding model for local government and deployment of more resources to rural municipalities that have no revenue base.
We can only hope from this end that local government sphere would have interest to allocate enough resources on transport infrastructural development programmes and plan for integrated transport. We raised this issue because it is at local government level where more challenges of a degrading transport infrastructure exist and proper planning for integrated transport infrastructure is required.
Transport is a tool for social development. All communities have a right to access not only public facilities but also access each other. Rivers and mountains should no longer prevent communities across the rivers and beyond the mountains from interacting with each other in this era of science and technology. We should rather use rivers and mountains to link communities.
Rural communities have equal rights to urban communities. They too should have easy access to community facilities. Schools, clinics, sport facilities, churches and other places of worship, pension pay-points, crèches, community halls, tribal authorities are community facilities to which communities should have easy access.
More resources need to be deployed towards upgrading rural road infrastructure to support efforts of rural development and agricultural development [RDAD]. The Department of Transport needs to pay special attention to the issue of equal standards of services for all communities. Tarred roads should not be a preserve of urban rich communities. Provincial roads, district roads and municipal roads should be as good as national roads that are looked after by Sanral.
This brings us to the issue of skills and technology. We have observed unacceptable degrading levels of transport infrastructure even in areas where there has been investment towards maintenance and repairs. Fly-by-night type of contractors in road construction who do not provide quality services and value for public money should be blacklisted by all department of transport in all spheres of government and by all transport entities.
The Portfolio Committee on Transport has engaged the Department of Transport and the Department of Public Works on this issue, with a view of ensuring that there are set standards for road construction and strict quality control.
In addressing this issue of poor quality work, especially on areas of pothole repairs, road rehabilitation and maintenance, the portfolio committee sourced the expertise and knowledge of SA Bureau of Standars, SABS, the Council for Science and Research Institute, CSRI, the Agreement South Africa, ASA, and engaged both the Department of Transport and the Department of Public Works.
We did this to facilitate a situation where the Department of Transport would become more vigilant and ensure that all SABS and Agreement SA approved technologies and products are used to repair our roads.
We therefore urge the Department of Transport to become more hands-on and put quality control systems in place informed by the SABS and Agreement SA, such quality control systems should be used in all spheres of government and be binding to all contractors. Contractors should not be allowed to use products that are not approved by SABS and Agreement SA to repair potholes and rehabilitate our roads.
A lot of public money has been wasted and a lot of damage has been caused on our roads by failure at departmental level to control quality. We commend Comrade Sbu for securing R6 billion to set up the road maintenance fund and S'hamba Sonke Maintenance and Rehabilitation Programme. This programme will create 70 000 jobs this year alone. This would reduce poverty; improve social and economic conditions at community level.
Transport is one of the key pillars for economic development. Investment does not happen where there is no transport infrastructure and reliable transport services. The transport industry also provide many of the needed jobs. The issue of investment in railway transport can therefore no longer be delayed. All countries have a backbone of transport with other modes playing a complementary role. South Africa is not different!
The survey on public transport conducted in 2003 pointed out issues we need to address. These include, not limited to, the need to reduce congestion on our roads; time and cost of travelling; reduced transportation of goods by road; reduced fatal accidents on our roads, and expenditure on the road accident fund; ease congestions in taxi ranks and bus ranks, where people sleep for days waiting for transport during festive season and Easter holidays.
We have also, at length, discussed a number of issues, including, the unrealistic and unsustainable transport subsidies for KwaNdebele bus commuters, that are currently subsidised at R7 000 per month per commuter; investment attraction to underdeveloped areas; the role of transport in reducing informal settlements; new technology and science; unused existing railway infrastructure; use of our mineral resources and job creation in transport manufacturing industry in line with the new growth path; the relationship between science and technology, and transport; and, lastly, global warming.
The recent accident of Metrorail trains is alleged to 85kms speed per hour instead of 30kms speed per hour. Passenger trains in other countries are travelling at a maximum speed of 470kms an hour. We are way behind. All these issues are pointing us to one direction, the railway transportation.
The high standard type of Gautrain should not be the preserve of the rich developed communities. Same standards should be introduced for poor communities at reduced costs. The issue of moving from narrow gauge to standard gauge was long resolved at SADC level. We need no further debate on this issue, only action.
We commend the taxi industry for realising the need for them to become masters of their own destiny and the support the department is giving to them. We thank all members of the boards of transport entities, CEOs and staff members, for standing up to the challenge. Hon Minister and Deputy Minister, we want to thank you for your leadership and humbleness. You are both accessible and create a balance by approaching issues from different perspectives.
We thank the DG and his team for remaining focused with your eyes on the ball. I want to thank, in particular, ANC and DA members of our portfolio committee for consistent participation at portfolio committee level where real work of the committee is hard. Other parties add no value at this level. Cope tried to, and dropped along the way. They only come to debate here to justify their stay in Parliament and support from their constituencies. We can understand why Lionel Richie sings that,
When going gets tough, the tough get going.
The DA tries hard to influence the direction of the Department of Transport, and is usually defeated by the ANC.
They, however, never give up.
So, sang Curtis Mayfield!
The ANC supports the budget. I thank you.
Mr S B FARROW /Mosa/ END OF TAKE
Ms N R BHENGU
Mr S B FARROW: Chairperson, I am very humbled to be part of this debate and as the DA, we see some very positive steps moving towards the budgetary provisions particularly in regards to road maintenance and construction, rail and public transport it may be seen by many as little too late though.
Hansard will show that over 10 years I have been standing on this podium or more and we have called for additional funding in those very three categories, now we seem to see it coming, but it has been a long time. Unfortunately time has taken its toll with inflation and the nature of these increases means you can actually buy less with your money.
If one just has to take road construction and maintenance for instance, this has increased threefold in the last 5 years and despite desperate calls for additional funding for South African National Roads Agency Limited, SANRAL, it seems they all seem satisfied with their budget. However, when funds are inadequate then SANRAL is very quick to hit the international and local finance houses for funds and when that happens Chair we know exactly what happens and you discussed it here today Minister, it is toll roads.
Toll Roads are not new in the country and have a minimum impact on our motorist when once or twice a year we travel down to our destinations on holiday. But when it affects the motorists worse, is when we talk about daily commutation. We need to differentiate between these two; urban commuters travel in their cars because there is no alternative public transport that is either safe or sufficient. So, we need to start separating.
The Gauteng Freeway Project holds no water with me because thousands of Pretoria and Johannesburg motorists will now have to fork out nearly R1000, 00 on average per month to drive to work and back. I trust therefore, in the interests of the Gauteng motoring public that you will not this foolhardy tolling project proceed. An alternative funding is looked at in order to try and ensure that there are adequate funds to meet the loan requirements. The 40/60 split that your department uses for maintenance and construction also needs to be looked at in an entirely different way in light of what I have just said. Right now our greater need is to get existing roads into a reasonable state before embarking on new and upgraded roads construction.
Bitumen is an expensive commodity and its cost rise with the price of oil. Although this is still the best option, I do believe it is cheaper and equally as effective road innovations should be looked at. We, as the portfolio committee, are studying that and looking at various options that are available to our seasonal turn outs.
We commend you for creating the long awaited dedicated road fund and in particular for securing funding of R 22 billion over next 3 years for it. The DA trusts though that now the R22 billion has been established, clear guidelines are put in place, you did mention a few of them, to ensure that the funds allocated are prioritized on the basis of the well researched road classification system similar to what we are using for SANRAL at the moment.
There is an imperative therefore, upon you Minister, to start funding more sustainable choices and alternatives to the road and by putting at the top of your agenda more affordable public transport options.
Rail networks exist across our country, meaning the moraban and the efficiencies of the rail versus road transport are well known. It takes litre of diesel to transport one ton of goods 100 meters compared to the same litre transporting one ton on rail transport for 400 meter. That is something as a starting point to think about and not even allow these continuous road freight products to go which are not naturally products of rail to go onto the road.
I need to be very frank with you Minister, in the last year's debate I referred to your office, and I will get it right this time Deputy Minister as "ANNAS Horribilis", well I don't know how to define this year as from many accounts things have not got better and increased financial demands from your agencies never seems to end. They are slowly becoming a bigger and bigger burden to his department's budget as the year's progress although never intending to be so when initially established.
The two biggest unresolved two agencies needing Intensive Care Unit, ICU, as I call it, are the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, RTIA, different to what you might be saying, as both these agencies have far reaching effects on the countries road safety record and it is a direct impact on the claims that we have against the Road Accident Fund. Both these agencies did not present their strategic plans to the portfolio committee because of their current status that are not mandated. Our portfolio committee in its Budget Report to Parliament has proposed that you consider putting them under your department straight direct administration until certain requirements under their Acts are met and that a measured turnaround strategy has been agreed.
Much of the blame for the RTMC's demise can rest squarely at the feet hon Minister, for it was during his first year in tenure in June 2009 that the misappropriation, corruption and mismanagement of the RTMC became public through the DA. Yet, despite a delay of six months before setting up...[Interjections.] yes, we did bring to the fore of the Minister on many occasions. . . Ministerial Task Team was then set up six months later. After that, it was nearly 17 months before we even receive the report from MS. Phiyega. To me, taking that particular time was already creating a problem because shortly after the presentation I wrote to the Minister proposing some considerations to put before his stakeholders committee in order to resolve the impasse, the suspension of staff and legalities of appointments of the acting Chief Executive Officer, CEO. I also requested that the portfolio committee and we all did in fact Chairperson, a full copy of this report. We still have not seen this report. It was requested at Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, and the Scopa has still not seen this report. So, how can we as parliamentarians be doing our job in terms of accountability? We need to be able to look at some of the issues there.
The RTMC has recently employed 40 traffic officers and this is very questionable, at a cost of R100 million per annum. This is not only an illegal act as I understand it, but a waste of public funds and despite retrospective decision your stakeholders committee has made and I have seen, to authorize this decision it still does not hold water.
Let me explain why. Traffic control is the responsibility of municipalities and Metros, both of these have defined boundaries which give jurisdiction. Roads being patrolled by traffic police run through these wall to wall municipalities and Metros are therefore fully covered by them. They are also duly appointed peace officers Minister, as required under the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 and therefore have powers vested in them by their relevant provinces.
How then Minister, do you expect these newly appointed traffic officers to operate in these areas covered by already accredited traffic cops, it is going to be a war out there and certainly, when they start crossing each others' areas of responsibility. I don't believe enough thought has gone into this decision by your stakeholders committee to approve the appointment of those so called national peace or traffic officers. I don't know whether the RTMC is in fact mandated to do that in its Act. I certainly seems inappropriate and irresponsible to employ these traffic officers knowing that in the 2010 financial year, the RTMC budgeted for a deficit of R194 million. I wonder what your stakeholders committee is going to feel about this when they are going to be held to accountable for that decision under SCOPA.
Section 13 of the RTMC Act also states Minister, if you read it that the stakeholders committee has got to provide this parliament with first with a directive where any change of policy or new policy is adopted. It is clearly a contempt of parliament, Minister, and something that is also becoming a worrying trend in your department. Shareholders committee, I am sorry if I said stakeholders. Anyway, it is a worrying trend.
The RTMC, Minister, needs to go back to basics and if it is to successfully contribute to the National Road Safety initiatives as clearly set out in their founding documents, and then we need to do so.
Various additional Acts were put there like the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences, AARTO, RTIA both of which have become difficult to implement now because of the status of RTMC. A national roll out of the system which we have been talking about for many years and the DA's support of the demerit system is impossible until such time also that we see the reports of the two pilot projects which have not been presented to this parliament. So, we need to be able to establish first of all, whether they were successful or not and take the problems that they had and fix them up. My only impression as I see it at the moment, both the department, the RTMC, RTIA, National Traffic Information System, e-Natis, are in the position are a position were they are not even able to rollout the demerit system and that is not an acceptable situation.
We also see that the relevant Director in your department is failing to ensure the timorous reappointment Boards of Directors. Surely we have a diary; we put it in that these Board of Directors and these agencies are due to be replaced on such and such a day. We advertise we put it into the thing; we bring it to parliament where it should be coming and it is not coming I might add, and then we appoint the relevant Board of Directors because the fact is that those Board of Directors in all those agencies, whether it is not a current board who are operating illegally outside the Act. I think we need to look at that.
The RTMC, Airports Company South Africa, Acsa, and Road Accident Fund, Raf, boards to be able to deal with that. I am sure the Auditor-General will be picking up on some of those issues where decisions have been taken on this matter. We have the National Land Transport Act, NLTA, with particular reference to tourism which needs serious intervention. This matter has been dragged out unnecessary and adds to the frustration of getting things done and adds to the big problem of whether transport is going to drive this economy or not and tourism plays a very big part in that. It is the situation we need to sort out.
Finally let me just talk about another concern relating to the gazetting of regulations. Minister, section 75 of the Road Traffic Act says before the Minister makes any regulations; the Minister must cause a draft of the proposed regulation to be referred to parliament and to be published in the gazette for a minimum four week notice. This is not happening and the disgusting way that the 17th Amendment was put out, I am afraid it holds no water with me because it must have been totally embarrassing to you Minister when you had to go and take that whole regulation amendment back into the public domain to decide whether it is practical or not. Why didn't we do that before and secondly, if we have brought it to this committee here, I can assure you that my chairman would have not left it go without the public scrutinising it first and to ensure that it happened.
The rules of the game Minister are to get your department and agencies working first and only then will your political life fall into place I promise you. You have much at stake Minister and therefore I appeal to you to get transport moving and back on the right track.
Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr D A KGANARE /Mohau / END OF TAKE
Mr S B FARROW
Mr D A KGANARE: Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here, guests in the gallery, hon Bhengu your speech was excellent but you messed it up at the end. Your messed it up by talking about irrelevant things. We don't need permission from the ANC to participate in this debate. The other issue is that the person who participated in this committee is sick, that is why he is not here.
So, I have got to raise this issue and say, it does not make sense for you to boast about how you rail road the DA into decisions, because you never listened to anybody. It does not work, but all the same you will never dictate to us. As Cope, we will never accept dictatorship of the Polokwane pirates.
Chairperson, transport is the lifeblood of our economy. Just think of any product or service that you are using or would like to acquire, and see how many times transport is involved in either its creation or finding its way to your doorstep. It is truly remarkable how far the world of transport has evolved. South Africa has not been left behind, and we are seeing the development of advanced infrastructure over the length and breadth of our great country. Indeed much has been done, but in the same breath, so much, much more needs to be done.
Unfortunately, at the end of last week it was reported that the Gauteng toll road's figure jumped from R6, 22 billion to a whopping R14 billion. This amount excludes the cost of feasibility studies, the design of the toll system and the supply e-tags. The cost of upgrading roads is estimated at over R17 billion.
There seems to be some irregularities regarding the tender and the tender process that awarded the bid to the Electronic Toll Collection Consortium. Chairperson, how can it be that a company can do the initial feasibility studies, costing, engineer the project, be involved in the tender process to operate the toll roads, and be involved in the management and operation of the gantries?
The case in point is Tolplan. Where is the feasibility study done by Tolplan? Why was there no public participation? It must be said that this process was flawed and in a deep way.
Cope agrees with commentators that all information needs to be made public, and a forensic investigation needs to be commissioned. Hon Minister, what is going on at South African National Roads Agency Limited, SANRAL? Chairperson, the provincial and local road infrastructure is collapsing through lack of maintenance. The department has acknowledged this. The department has made available R22 billion over the medium term to address this issue. Yet, according to the Director-General, DG of the department the road funding shortfall sits at R75 billion.
The department's self-proclaimed flagship programme "Sihamba Sonke", will be used to address the issue of provincial and local road infrastructure, a national roll out of massive pothole patching. For the 2011-12, financial year, a massive R6, 4 billion has been allocated towards this programme, supposedly creating 70 000 jobs.
We need to know how the money will be spent and how government intends generating the 70 000 jobs? Where does this figure come from? Chairperson, the dedicated Road Maintenance Funds has been an issue of debate for sometime now. The department needs to report on the so called engagements with the National Treasury. Has a solution to the problem been found?
Chairperson, it seems every time someone speaks on a Budget Vote, we raise the issue of vacant posts. In the 2009-10 year, it was reported that the department had almost 8% vacancy rate. Reasons given were budget constraints. Yet, we continuously see an increase in the compensation to employees of more than inflation. How can this be justified?
To address this issue, we still need details on the initiatives proposed by the department. Where are we with the retention strategy of the department? The administration programme of the department receives R274 million for 2011-12. This translates into a real increase of 6, 7%. The sub-programme office accommodation increases by more than 200% in real terms. I'm asking myself, how is it possible for the annual rental costs to increase by so much?
A recent independent study found that 10% of daily commuters are forced to cancel meetings because of traffic delays. On daily basis 40% of employees are late for work due to traffic jams. Yet, we are still awaiting the national quality audit to determine the exact extent of road maintenance backlogs in the country.
Chairperson, various programmes and sub-programmes are reported to be spending large amounts of its budget on the use of consultants. Surely, the department must have the capacity to perform some of these functions internally. Let me elaborate. Does the department not have the personnel for the development of maritime industry policies? If not, what tasks do the personnel perform and why the need for consultants?
The public transport programme sees an increase from R8, 2 billion in 2010-11, to R9, 6 billion in 2011-12. This translates into an 11, 13% increase in real terms. Yet, we see a 65, 25 decrease in real terms, in the land transport regulation programme. Why do we have this?
Chairperson, in conclusion, public entities operating the auspices of the department need to give account on how they will spend money allocated to them. The department as well as entities under its control needs to give a better account of how they will address the issue of job creation, and what their contribution will be.
Chairperson, there are some people who were making noise about Cope or which Cope? Let me answer you. [Laughter.] There is only one Cope. We acknowledge that there are problems, but we are solving them. We are not like the ANC, when you have got problems, you burn tyres, and you disrupt the whole life of people. When you have got problems, your problems become the problem of the country. Thank you. [Time Expired.]
Mr E J LUCAS / C.I/Eng / END OF TAKE
Mr D A KGANARE
Mr E J LUCAS: Mr Chair, Minister, Deputy Minister, colleagues, the hon Minister recently stated that, and I quote:
As part of South Africa's public transport strategy, we are moving towards high quality integrated mass rapid public transport network which includes rail, air, taxi and bus services.
The public transport strategy aims to accelerate improvements in public transport by establishing integrated rapid public transport networks, which would introduce priority rail corridors and bus rapid transport system. The IFP trust that these goals would be reached sooner rather than later.
Given the state of the roads due to heavy duty freight trucks, it is imperative that our rail network be drastically overhauled. It is encouraging to hear you saying that, there is a bold plan. We have to ensure that our rolling stock is replaced not just refurbished. Rolling stock is at the heart of the rail operations and we dare not allow it to deteriorate at any cost.
The key therefore is to modernisation rather than rehabilitation. Rehabilitation at times exceeds replacement cost. We have to build aero dynamic trains which will result in lower fuel consumption and an increase in speed which will also increase productivity. We have to look at this as a long term socioeconomic investment in line with the objectives of the new growth plan.
Hon Chair, the IFP wishes to encourage the department to ensure that the available capacity, both human resources, especially intellectual capacity are utilised optimally to ensure an effective and efficient delivery process. Projects of this nature require service of only the best professionals and it is therefore vital that the right people are appointed in the right positions, otherwise we are guaranteed for failure.
A further point hon chair is that of the financial management. We have to ensure that we have reliable financial forecasting when planning for these highly financial intensive projects. We further wish to encourage hon Minister and the government, to ensure that the public transport facilities are optimally used for the benefit of all South Africans.
Greater emphasis of synergy between the development of maritime transport regulation and trade regulations is an absolute necessity. We would like to see the maritime transport regulatory framework that compliments customs regulations ensuring an outcome that is responsive to national socioeconomic objectives. The projected growth within the freight logistics programme to establish a transport economic regulator that will respond to the challenges of freight movement is of some consolation in this regard. Minister the road accident fund is in a bad state. Something will have to be done. I think we owe this to the people. There are so many deaths from the road and so many casualties.
I wish to compliment the department with its initiatives to develop both the civil aviation and maritime transport industries as well as skills development, but I wonder if the budget allocation to these particular programmes is sufficient to truly have the desired impact, considering the magnitude of these industries and their long term employment potential.
The IFP is concerned about the introduction of the toll gates which will add to the cost of living. It is also tantamount to high cost of transport and the cost will eventually be passed on to the consumer. May I mention Mr Minister that most of us were very disappointed with the removal of the SAA between Durban and Cape Town I must say it's not very pleasant and I wish we could do something about that? The IFP supports this Budget Vote. I thank you.
THE DEPTUY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT / GG / END OF TAKE
Mr E J LUCAS
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, Minister, chairperson of the portfolio committee, Sis Ruth, hon members, friends and colleagues from the transporting. There was a wonderful headline in yesterday's Business Report and it reminded me of a story that the late Joe Slovo like to tell. Probably, an apocryphal story but any way he liked to tell it.
In 1956 it was the 20thcongress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Its then general secretary, Nikita Khrushchev, launched a very unprecedented attack on the Communist Party during the previous Stalin years. He spoke to a hushed audience of delegates of several hundred-strong and he condemned the Stalin personality cult and he began to uncover some of the horrible crimes that have been committed against Soviet citizens.
Three quarters of the way through his speech an anonymous voice from amongst the delegates called out: "...but where were you, comrade Khrushchev when these crimes were happening?" Khrushchev stopped in his tracks; put his speech down and looked up with a hard glint in his eyes and said: "Who said that?" There was absolute silence in the auditorium. After a minute Khrushchev went back to his speech, gesturing and he said: "Yes, that's where I was, in those years". [Laughter.]
I was reminded of that by the headline of this story in the yesterday's Business Report. Where was everyone at the start of the toll gantry talks? I am referring to the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
The story goes on. To quote briefly from it. . . [Interjections.]
Mr N J J van R KOORNHOF: Where were you? [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I will come to that in a minute.
Who said that? [Laughter.]
This is the Business Report.
Presumably those making the calls for the entire process now to be stopped don't envisage halting the road works .To interrupt the operations will be a logistical nightmare and would extend the period that motorist would've to risk their lives on highways both in poor repaired and under constructions. The time to have raised all of these issues was when the project was first mooted in 2002. Where was everyone then? the consumers, the DA, the trade unions, the transport economists, motorist bodies and others? Why did everyone only wakeup to the implications a few months ahead of the proposed launch?
The Business Report is absolutely correct, although they failed to mention where the journalists are who are now criticising the project, but who, at that time, were praising it to the sky?
The Star, for instance, I remember having enthusiastic double paged spreads about speeches from the Gauteng MEC for Transport and the provincial premier at the time, who is now a member of - I'm not sure - Cope or one of Cope , but anyway you know who am I referring to[Laughter.] Not only were we told that there was going to be a phase one – which is what we now have – but that there would be a phase two and a phase three that was going to turn Gauteng into a world-class city region.
So, where were we? I include myself in that question along with Stewart and Lucas who was little bit unfortunately handled, I thought, by the chair.
We were sitting here in the portfolio committee. We received regular reports. This was not a secrete project. We received regular reports from Nazir Alli about the tolling project for the Gauteng Freeway Improving Project. When you check the Hansard you will probably find Stewart saying a few mild things. He's very mild. I certainly also raised a few questions around whether this was the right priority whether it was not the public transport we needed to look at as a priority rather than tolling and so on.
Frankly, I would have to admit, I was not strong enough for this matter. In many other quarters there were enthusiastic receptions for this particularly from those who are now shouting the loudest about it. Where did this enthusiasm emerging? Probably because we called them freeways, they come for free, while they don't. [Laughter.] One way or another whether is toll or something else, public infrastructure gets paid for by the public.
Well, we can now all throw stones at each other but the fact is that we are sitting with a challenge. I think the first issues to deal with the challenge we've got Minister Ndebele has stepped in very effectively to appoint a task group to look at what we can do. I think he will report soon from the task group. We need to be realistic about this. We are sitting with the near completed phase one Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, Gfip, and R20 billion public debt. There is not a huge amount of manoeuvre for the Minister who was not involved in any of these, let me add it as well. He has inherited all these.
We need to do what uncertainly will look to ameliorative measures but there is not a huge amount of wriggle-room and I think we need to be very honest with the challenge about that. We can throw stones at each other and complain but the most useful thing I think is to try to learn lessons. I want to suggest some lessons that we can learn from this.
The first one is the most basic and at the banal level. It is that as portfolio committee members, as politicians in government, as the public when we are told that a project is going to cost X amount let's make dammn sure that Value Added Tax, VAT, is included. [Laughter.] I say that because this is the second time that I've been encounting this. Hon Farrow will remember that. This is exactly what Gautrain did to us. They said oops! Sorry, it's has gone up as we forgot to include VAT. Now again it's with Gfip. I spoke to Nazir Alli the, CEO, chief executive officer for South African National Roads Agency Limited, SAnral. He said: "that's how we do in my trade, as civil engineers". It's inexcusable. Maybe it should be from the second hand car dealers, but with us should not have this. [Laughter.]
The second lesson is that we need to think clearly about funding models, Minister. I know that's what you're looking at. Tolling of roads is widely used throughout the world. There are many important debates as to whether tolling is the most useful way as part of the broader user principle approach to funding public infrastructure. Clearly, with Gfip tolling there has been an attempt in the original tariffs to provide for some developmental balance by a way of targeted reductions, for example charging less for public transport.
Whether tolling or larger dedicated fuel levy? - because a fuel levy that we got is not going to pay for the roads that we need, maybe we need to increase it - or direct financing out of the budget? What is the best way that sounds? That's a debate that we need to have. There is no single answer either. Different answers are appropriate. Hon Farrow was suggesting that tolling is something different from others and things like that.
At the end of the day we cannot run away from the fact that public infrastructure doesn't come for free.
This leads to the third question, what are the public interest priorities when it comes to transport infrastructure? For instance, what are we seeking to achieve when we expand freeway networks? Very often in this, referring the case with the Gfip, it said that we need to expand our freeways because of growing congestion on the existing network.
Does the ever increasing, widening and building of freeways solve congestion? International experience suggests that very often but most often is doesn't. More freeway lanes alleviate congestion for few years but they simultaneously encourage more townhouse developments, more golf estates and so forth. Within a few years you are back to the same situation that you began with.
Fourth lesson, this is not to say that we should never expand or build freeway networks although we should never toll them when it happens, or that we should never place more, interestingly, introduce congestion charging like that in London or Manchester to discourage car use and to encourage public transport use and so on. This is the fourth lesson. If we use tolling to encourage public transport or an increased switch to rail freight, as we are trying to do, then we had better first provide affordable, accessible and save public transport infrastructure and operations and better rail freight. Ok, obvious but we need to do that.
Fifthly, I'll talk about public interest. Of course the public, now I put my red hat on. It is a diverse social and class reality. In many United States, US, cities an electronic tolling system on freeways may well largely impact upon upper middle class households living in distant green suburbs somewhere out in the countryside.
In this case the tolling is a way of making them pay for their four-by-four to work and to shopping mall lifestyles.
Likewise in Gauteng many of the people that are complaining the loudest about the Gfip programme are precisely those who push hardest for more freeways, more expansions and so on so that we could support their first world lifestyles.
In urban South Africa there is always another reality. Apartheid and also persisting land use pattern have forced - these are people without choice - the great majority of the urban working class and poor into distant, dormitory townships. The question which arises is, why and how they could possibly pay for other people's freeway based first-world lifestyles?
Lastly, the other important lesson is that over the last 17 years a number of major and arguably very poorly considered mega projects on the transport front have emanated from provinces and then when it's clear that the scale of ambition is not going to be met from within provincial budgets they get escalated to national.
Going forward we need to ensure that we have a much for coherent strategic approach to these infrastructure programmes ensuring that national priorities, public transport, rail freight for instance and local challenges like some poor access rural roads are not overwhelmed and financially crowded out by costly provincial projects.
There are many things to be learnt from the Gfip experience and going forward. I hope that we would do it collectively and not just in the spirit of trying to score chip points.
Minister, I believe that in the budget that we are tabling today the work that we have been doing over the last several year as Department of Transport, DOT, you will see that in fact all of these lessons that I've referred to, are precisely the approaches that we are trying to take. We need to prioritise, to face, to integrate different projects appropriately and we need to learn by doing. We are going to make mistakes but let's not just dwell in those mistakes but also learn from them. That's what I'm trying to do now around the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
Let me say a few words about other things. The Public Transport Infrastructure Systems Grants, it's not actually part of our budget as such, but it's a very important part of our work. It goes directly from Treasury to the cities in South Africa but working closely with the Department of Transport and the Treasury.
It's a multibillion multiyear grant which was originally for the World Cup transport basically. Treasury has agreed to sustain it so that we build this integrated rapid public transport network systems in all of our major cities.
Johannesburg, with its Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, system, Rea Vaya has been the star performer in this regard. Rea Vaya has recently won two international awards for its BRT system and its still on its phase one (a) but it's transporting 30 000 passengers every single day.
What's very heartening is the wonderful public support we are getting from the Sowetans in particular for this and also from the taxi sector which had been originally sceptical and which is now very much part of, as the Minister mentioned, shareholders and operators of this publicly regulated but privately operated system.
Cape Town has also now launched the first phase of its BRT, MyCity operation. I'm not going to get electoral here, but maybe a little bit. It's experiencing some inevitable teething problems. It's in its first or second week at the moment.
The new mayor-elect of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille was out of order when she said that this was the first of its kind in South Africa, and it's not. One did appreciate the other point she said in the midst of the election campaign and that is that she wants to prioritise a different route, a trunk out into the south east of the City of Cape Town, which is Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plein and Nyanga. That's where the needs are and that's where the thing is.
Going north as it is to Milnerton, I think the mayor-elect was implying a wrong choice that has been made by the City of Cape Town. I think she is right. I want to assure our colleagues that in the City of Cape Town they will continue to enjoy our support as the department in the spirit of critical co-operative government, but support. Important progress is also being made in a number of other cities.
On the Road Accident Fund there are critical interventions that we are making. Hon Lucas, you'll remember that last year we brought a discussion document about transforming the fund into a no-fault benefit scheme. We are moving rapidly in that direction. We have produced the discussion document which we tabled here in the portfolio committee. We've received comments, we've worked on that and we are going to Cabinet in the next few weeks with the revised version of that. We then hope to draft legislation in the course of this later part of this year and we will come to Parliament early next year to get us into a no-fault system. That's the critical thing.
The problems in the Road Accident Fund have to do with the fact that it is fault based, it's highly litigious, it takes forever for claims to be realised and there are false incentives, pervasive incentives because people are going for big one of the payouts. They are not encouraged to rehabilitate and get back to work as soon as possible. They hold out for the big "zama zama" payout. We've got to change it and we are going to do it.
On the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC, and Road Traffic Authority, RTA, there are structural problems. I correct to do and not to score a chip point but it's a shareholders committee and that the shareholders include all the provincial MECs. It is not just a Minister; it's the shareholders including the MECs from this particular province as well. It's a challenge and we do need to look at it.
The final point, as I'm running out of time, at the end of this year we are hosting Conference of the Parties, Cop, 17 as a country. As the Department of Transport we are very actively involved with our colleagues at the ministerial level.
We are working very closely with our colleagues to develop South Africa's negotiating position, transport worldwide. South Africa is the second culprit when it comes to greenhouse scarce emissions.
The good news for us as South Africans is that all the things that we have to do in any case, public transport, rail freight rather than road freight and all of those other things that we talked about and also mixed income, more compact towns and cities overcoming apartheid geography. All of these things we've to do are precisely, in any case, the things that will contribute to transport diminishing and mitigating its carbon emissions. We have to use hosting of Cop 17 as a way collectively, with the support of the portfolio committee and all of our colleagues from the transport family also, to sustain and add new oomph into the challenge that we all face to really produce qualitative transformation in the transport sector. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Mrs N J NGELE / END OF TAKE
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
Nkskz N J NGELE: Sihlalo weThutyana, [Laughter.] Mphathiswa wezoThutho, sihlalo wekomiti, zindwendwe zethu ezibekekileyo, neNdlu iphela, nibahle nonke.
Let me just take one minute of my time to try and explain on what the Chairperson was saying. In this portfolio committee, we collectively solve our problems, we don't use the approach of lashing at each other, and we use policies and visions of all political parties, that is where the ANC usually knock the other parties, TKO [Laughter] [Applause].and the DA that day went ding-dong and when they recovered from that shock, they joined us in ANC. The small parties like UDM, MF, ACDP and the rest, are usually spectators. Cope tried to join us up to round two, and they fell. The IFP shame, usually participates. That's all.
Out of 22 000 kilometres of rail infrastructure, we only use 7 000 technology in signalling is outdated, our train speed is limited. Transporting of goods is delayed by road congestions. There are usually accidents ranging up to 14 000 people dying every year.
Ndicela nje ukuthi, umntu ongalwaziyo uxinano olubasezindleleni akazi nto. Kwelinye icala iba ziiloli ezinkulu, kwelinye ibe zezinye izithuthi.
It is very difficult to drive these days. The roads are bad because of these trucks; they take time to arrive wherever they go. We welcome the commitment of the government.
Ndifun' ukuthi ndisethamsanqeni kuba ngoku ndiza kuthetha ngoololiwe; ndiza kuhamba ngqo ngesiporo. Ndiza kuthi ndisakuphuma esiporweni ningakhathazeki kuba akukho magosa endlela apha esiporweni. [Kwahlekwa.] Ndiza kusuka ndivuthulule, ndiphinde ndibuyele esiporweni. [Kwahlekwa.]
Ekuncediseni ukulungisa iziporo konyuke izinga loololiwe, sineziporo ezi – ndingowaseMpuma Koloni – Ellis. [Kwahlekwa.] Sineziporo ezininzi, nam ndazalwa zikhona. Uyandibon' ukuba ndingakanani? Azisebenzi.
Goodness knows why.
Kuza kwenzeka ntoni ngezi ziporo zikaloliwe? Nifuna ukuba kwenzeke ntoni? Into esiyifunayo kukuthuthwa ngoololiwe.
It is safe, it is fast, and it is cheap.
Ixabiso esilibhatalayo liza kuba ngcono, kwaye siza kukhawuleza. Sithi ke xa sikhumsha, thina bantu baye esikolweni... [Uwelewele.]
We improve rail from narrow to standard gage.
Utsho urhulumente. Loo nto yenza ukuba impahla ikhawuleze. Impahla yimpahla.
We need speed in rail infrastructure development because that is going to create jobs. It is going to create jobs.
Musani ukundincedisa. [Kwahlekwa.] Iza kuncedisa ngale ndlela ukuze abantu bafumane imisebenzi. Besele nditshilo ukuba iziporo zininzi kakhulu.
You go east, you go west, and you go wherever.
Xa ujongisisa uza kufumana isiporo sikaloliwe sakudala. Nokuba niyazilungisa okanye niyazikhupha nifake ezitsha, into ebalulekileyo kukuba ngokwenza njalo abantu baza kufumana imisebenzi. Abantu baza kufumana imisebenzi ngokukhupha iziporo ezi bafake ezitsha. Yile nto sifuna urhulumente ayenze. [Kwaqhwatywa.] Kukhe kulungiswe ukuze kubekho ubungcono.
In South Africa there's a need to develop an integrated transport infrastructure road. Gravel roads in rural areas.
Uyabona ke nina bezoThutho sele nindazi ukuba ndingumntu weelali.
I'm a rural person and you do these things because most of you don't know about rural areas. Let me tell you,
Nanku umntu uyagula, uhlala apho kungafikeleli mntu; apho kungekho ndlela iyayo. Uza kufumanisa ukuba ilali inkulu kodwa ayikho indlela yokuhamba iimoto eya kule lali. Xa ethe wagula uza kuya njani phaya ezantsi kuhola wendlela okanye, umzekelo, kula ndlela isuka eMthatha iya eNgcobo. Uyamazi ukuba uza kuya kanjani? [Uwelewele.] Siyaya ekiriveni, okwangoku sisasebenzisa izileyi. Niyasazi isileyi, a sledge?
Ukhumbule ukuba lo mntu uyagula. Kuthathwa umatrasi ubekwe phezu kwesileyi, abotshelelwe ukuze kuthi xa kugingxigingxiza angawi. Uyagula, akafuni nokuphathwa, kodwa nantsi indlela iza kumgingxigingxisa. Uyaphi? Uya kwinqwelo yezigulana ehleli phaya ezantsi emlindileyo engenakukwazi ukunyuka okanye uya eklinikhi. Ufika eklinikhi sele egula nangakumbi ngoba sele exhikizeke yonke indawo.
Eklinikhi uza kufika ahlale alindiswe emgceni. Ngelo xesha athe wabe uyafika ngalo kugqirha, ufika kungekho mayeza. Uza kunikwa ntoni? Uza kubuyiselwa ekhaya. Uyakuba unethamsanqa ukuba unikwe iPanado. Uninzi lwabantu lubuyela ekhaya.
Ngokubhekisele kwizikolo, kukho umntwana ofuna ukufunda naphantsi kweyiphi na imeko. Uza kusuka phaya aye esikolweni esikude. Uza kufika nini? Uza kufika enjani? Xa sithetha ke ngeendlela zegrabile nangeendlela zasemakhaya, sithetha izinto ezinjalo. Rhulumente siyacela, khawusibonelele thina bantu basemakhaya ngeendlela nathi sizokufana nabanye abantu. [Kwaqhwatwa.]
Andifuni ukuyibaleka le ndawo yokuba apha ecaleni kwedolophu kukho iindlela, ezintle kunjalo nje; kodwa hayi ezilalini. Kutheni kukho umahluko? Umahluko phakathi kweelali needolophu wenziwa yintoni kanti kuhlala abantu kuzo zonke ezi ndawo. Mphathiswa, uyijonge loo nto.
The agenda of having no good roads in rural areas was of apartheid spatial planning based on racial divides.
Injalo, asinakuyibaleka. Injalo, kwakufuneka kwasekuqaleni sisokolile ukuze sifumane izinto ezisebenzisekayo.
The ANC committed itself in reversing this situation to ensure that all communities have access to quality services.
Iyazama, ndiqinisekile ukuba urhulumente uza kuphumelela ngoba kwangoku sele kukhona nhoko ukubonakala. Ndithetha nje ukhona laa loliwe ebesele engasekho. Ukukhula kwam, Mam'u Njobe, kwakukho uloliwe owayesuka eMthatha esiya eMonti. Andimazi ukuba waphelela phi. Uhleli ithuba elide engekho lo loliwe; wabuya ngoku sele eyi-four coach. Uthath' unyaka maan, uyazithanda laa loliwe. [Kwahlekwa.] Uyazi xa ehamba - linenekazi manditsho. Linenekazi le-four coach kaloliwe. [Kwahlekwa.]
Thina siyi-ANC sithi malunyuke kancinci uhlahlo-lwabiwo-mali lweendawo zasemakhaya, kujongwe okusileleyo kunye nokushokoxeka kwe-bitumen eyenza i-asphalt. Iiprojekthi zokwakha umgaqo ziyacotha, nto leyo yenza izinto zihambe kancinci kugqibele sekuxabisa kakhulu ukwenza indlela.
Siyi-ANC sithi iSebe lezoThutho malisebenzisane nelezaMandla ukulungisa ukuhlelwa kwe-bitumen. Siyi-ANC siyaluxhasa uhlahlo-lwabiwo-mali lwezoThutho. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Ms D E DLAKUDE /UNH (Xh) / /NN (Eng) / END OF TAKE
Mrs N J NGELE
Moh D E DLAKUDE: Mohlomphegi Modulasetulo, mohlomphegi Tona ya tša Dinamelwa, Motlatša Tona, Maloko a Palamente ao a hlomphegago le bahlomphegi ba ba tlilego lehono, madume.
According to the World Bank, more than 1, 17 million people die road crashes around the world every year. About 70% of these deaths occur in developing countries. It is estimated that developing countries lose in the region of $1 billion every year to road accidents.
South Africa is not immune from this unpalatable state of affairs. This brief seeks to establish what the state of road traffic management is in the country, as well as to ascertain whether there are measures in place to curb this worldwide phenomenon and ensure that there is safety on the country's roads.
There are approximately over 7 million licensed drivers and over 8 million registered vehicles in South Africa. Pedestrians account for 50% of road crash fatalities. More than 16 000 people are killed yearly due to road accidents, and this cost the country more than R56 billion annually. It is estimated that if nothing drastic is done to curb this scourge, road crashes will be the second largest cause of deaths by 2020, which is higher than HIV and Aids, and malaria related deaths put together.
Available evidence suggests that the primary risk group, as far as road infringements are concerned are men between 18 and 45 years. Included in this broad group is the high level of public transport and heavy vehicle crashes, as well as noncompliance with driving permits in these categories of drivers. Other contributory factors include, but not limited to driving while a person is intoxicated; lack of compliance in respect of seat belts; speed, vehicles conditions, fraud and corruption.
The vehicle population on the country's roads is increasing every year, posing a peculiar danger to motorists who drive recklessly. While the production numbers are on the increase, the driver's attitudes do not improve. And in most cases, motorists fail to comply with the rules of the road. It was against this backdrop, that two entities were established through the acts of Parliament: The Road Traffic Management Corporation and Cross Border Road Transport Agency. Unfortunately, both entities have enormous challenges and could not optimally fulfil their mandate.
It is a pity though that some of the committee members who claim to have been in Parliament for the past 20 years, and they were part of the establishment of these entities and yet they did nothing to support or make sure that it function effectively.
Out of the two, the CBRTA has improved a lot. It presented an impressive turnaround strategy which indicates that given time, support and adequate financial resources, the CBRTA can fulfil its mandate. It is however important to indicate that the CBRTA can sustain itself by spearheading social and economic development within the SADC region through facilitating unimpeded cross border transport movements. Our view in the portfolio committee is that the CBRATA be given a chance to implement its strategy and also keep a close eye on it as an entity that did not do well for some years.
The RTMC has two challenges; there is a need to review the National Land Transport Act, in order to address its institutional arrangements and its relationship with metro and municipal traffic structures. Another challenge is that of management and governance, which compelled the Minister to intervene and institute and investigation within the entity.
The unfortunate part of this scenario is that it delays the process of transformation at road traffic management level. The Department of Transport presented to the portfolio committee an intervention proposal and the committee concurred with it. The portfolio committee views the Road Traffic Management Corporation very seriously. It recommended on its report to the department that it must consider taking over the operations of the RTMC until such time these challenges are addressed.
Another tool established through the Act of Parliament to curb road crashes is Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences, AARTO. The objective of AARTO is to promote road traffic quality by providing a scheme to discourage road traffic contraventions. There will be little or no attitudinal change unless people are held individually and collectively accountable for their actions.
The implementation of AARTO will provide the following: swiftly adjudication of infringements, enforce penalties, point demerit system, effective policing of offences, provide education and awareness.
Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences was first piloted in Tshwane, on 16 June 16 2008 and later extended to Johannesburg. It was however postponed in 2010 subsequent to representation from various sectors, including certain provinces, municipalities and organised labour. Challenges with communication and educating public on their rights, duties and obligations were also identified during the pilot implementation phase. Other issues of concern were training people to use the system and effective performance of the system when uploading infringement information. It is intended to be rolled out as soon as the challenges are addressed.
On 1 October 2010, the Department of Transport inaugurated the new National Rolling Traffic Law Enforcement Plan, which enables law enforcement officers to stop and check no less than one million vehicles every month. The NRTLEP is a direct intervention to end daily carnage of South Africa's road networks and will become a permanent feature of life in the country. In less than 3 hours on the 14 October 2010, 783 vehicles were stopped and checked in East Landon in the Eastern Cape. Drivers were fined for 438 various traffic offences; 32 vehicles were discontinued from use; 17 public transport vehicles were impounded due to no transport permits, and one stolen motor vehicle was recovered.
Sihlalo Lohlon, ngalokuba khona kwalomtsetfo, Litiko Letekutfutsa likholelwa ekutseni kutiphatsa kahle kwebashayeli, nekuhlonishwa Kwemtsetfo Wetekuphepha Emgwacweni, kutaba ncono.
This major law enforcement drive in South Africa reflects government's commitment to reduce road carnage by half by 2014, in line with the Millennium Development Goal and UN Decade of Action, for Road Safety.
We have though, hon Minister the Aviation Traffic Management. South Africa is doing well in this sector and is recognised all over the world for having the ability to manages air traffic. The process of transforming this sector started in 1995, and we had our first black pilot by the name of Mpho Mamashela. He is one of the many successful people from a poor background.
He played a crucial role of a father and councillor to black crew members who were exposed for the first time to the heavy demands of this sector. Today we have black female CEOs for Airports Company South Africa and South African Airways, Monhla Hlahla and Siza Mzimela. These are the products of our democracy. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about South African Maritime Safety Authority, SAMSA.
It was an unfortunate situation in 1993, when the apartheid government, at the dawn of our democracy, decided to sell all its 57 fleets. It closed opportunities to participate in the transportation of cargo and job opportunities at sea. South African Maritime Safety Authority has colleges that train youth from poor background to participate in this sector. Unfortunately, after completion of their programme, they don't get employment. They are placed on foreign ships which expose them to difficult working conditions.
Ndvuna, kukhona lijaha lelashona kulemikhumbi yalabantfu betive. Kubalulekile, Ndvuna, kutsi hulumende wetfu ayibukisise lendzaba futsi alubuyekete ludzaba lwekutsi sibe nayo yetfu imikhumbi, njengelive.
Chairperson, the unacceptable traffic conditions on South African roads, especially the accidents and casualty rates must not continue. There should be a univocal condemnation of irresponsible road user's behaviour and attitude. All South Africans should join hands and ensure that road safety is everyone's responsibility. The improvement of road user knowledge, skills and attitudes, as well as road traffic management function must be targeted as priority.
The ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you.
Mr M S F DE FREITAS ///tfm///keh(Sep) / END OF TAKE
Ms D E DLAKUDE
Mr M de FREITAS: Chair, the very root of our problems in road safety, deaths and crashes on our roads keeps being ignored whilst expensive, meaningless campaigns that produce no improved results are implemented, and while deaths increase, annually.
For an example, the Department of Transport has repeated what it did previously with Christmas season statistics. It compared last Christmas season's preliminary toll of 1 551 to that of the 2009-10 finalised toll of 1 582. The Department of Transport, DoT, now claims that this figure announced on 26 January 2010 was, in fact, preliminary and that the actual death toll for last year's holiday season was 1 761. Now, where does this figure come from? We've never seen it before and it's never been announced publicly.
These figures are all taken from the DoT directly. The department's own official figures therefore have no credibility. The bottom line is that vehicle accidents cost the South African economy more than R56 billion, annually. I predict that the crashes and deaths on our roads will continue to increase in future unless causes such as those I will highlight today, are addressed.
A number of simple things can be done that will provide immediate improved results. Minister, again I highlight and present to you and your Deputy our Six Point Plan which I did, last year, and I will do it again, this year; which I'll ask you to read through this time round.
The first point in the plan, for an example, proposes the updating of the K53 licenses by making this test more relevant for today, thus reducing crashes, fatalities and deaths. A few things need to be removed from this 30 year old outdated test. An example is the yard test which is a pointless formality that adds nothing to road safety. The yard test takes 20 minutes as does the road test.
For example, in 1998, the last year for which figures for all fatality types were available, the number of fatalities which took place in reverse gear was a total of 16 out of the 9 068 crashes for that year. Doesn't it strike to you as bizarre that half of the time is spent on driving practices responsible for 0,2% of fatalities? This tests needs to be updated post-haste.
My other concern is law enforcement and penalties. Allow me to provide you some examples of high speedsters caught and their penalties:
A Mr Amith Sookraj was fined R35 000 for speeding in March, last year. His license was suspended for six months.
In November 2010, a Mr Farouk Patel was fined R20 000 for doing 197 km/h. The DoT claimed that it would suspend his license automatically for six months.
However, in December 2010, a certain gentleman in an expensive motor vehicle clocked one of the highest recorded speeds ever, a speed of 235km/h. His fine was a mere R20 000 and nothing else. A mere tap on the wrist! Why? This motorist happened to be Dan Kgothule, the Free State Member of the Executive Council, MEC, for Sport, Art and Recreation. This is an example of how a sentence is not commensurate with this offence. Examples like these demonstrate one of the reasons for our road carnage and does not act as deterrent.
Another concern for me is rail; since 1994 government systematically emasculated the railways. Rail transport has floundered, recently reaching an all-time low when the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, shut down the Shosholoza Meyl service between Johannesburg and Cape Town. This was allegedly due to profitability issues, but it was widely reported - never denied by the department - that the rolling stock was actually unsafe for mainline usage. The rail crisis reaches even lower depths with the recent fatal crash
where, over 850 commuters were injured. This is the second crash, this year.
The ANC's indifference to rail transport, which should be the backbone of public transport, by the way, caused a massive swing towards trucking and it is no coincidence that the road fatality rates went into an upward direction starting in 1998 as the number of trucks on our roads exceeded the traffic police's resources and competence. For example, the paucity of weighbridges and preferences to enforce speed instead of moving violations were directly responsible for the complete destruction of the N3 to Durban by overloaded trucks, resulting in it being rebuilt and tolled, of course, so heavily that it's now cheaper to fly to Durban than to drive. The solution is to make sure that we include public partnerships because Prasa in its current budget cannot continue the way it does.
Although I applaud the plan for a new face of rail, an interim rail plan is needed. The Railway Safety Regulator reports that 5307 -I'll repeat that, 5 307 - train crashes occurred between 2008 and 2009. The report indicates that these crashes left 434 people dead. We now have the distinction of having the most dangerous rail system in the world. And, Minister, yes, something can be done in the meantime until we completely fix our rail.
For example, train drivers can be properly trained and disciplined should they contravene safety regulations. Security systems can be beefed up to prevent infrastructure vandalism and theft. So, Minister, I'm pleading that you stop with the pointless campaigns which actually don't bring down deaths and start with the basics. Searching a million vehicles every month hasn't brought down the numbers. That's the bottom line; until our figures come down, I'll remain unconvinced with searching these vehicles and all these other campaigns. I say, do the basics and by starting these basics you'd be pleasantly surprised at how quickly deaths both on our roads and rail tracks will start dropping. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M C MANANA / MS / END OF TAKE
Mr M S F DE FREITAS
Mr M C MANANA: Chairperson, Minister and Deputy Minister hon Ndebele and Cronin respectively, fellow Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon Members of Parliament, Director General Mr Mahlalela, Chairpersons and CEOs of the different entities, guests and friends, the Budget Vote on transport is tabled just a few hours after the launch of the Youth Month in Parliament under the theme A Caring Parliament That Advances Youth Development To Achieve Economic Freedom.
This launch signifies the events of 35years ago on 16 June 1976 wherein, more than 20000 pupils from Soweto engaged on a protest march against the directive of the apartheid government, to have Afrikaans being used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools.
35 years we commemorate this day guided by the words of political wisdom of President Mandela when he said and I quote:
Youth are the valued possession of the nation. Without them there can be no future. Their needs are immense and urgent. They are the centre of reconstruction and development.
I will today be speaking on public transport covering areas that relate integrated to public transport, scholar transport, BRT and Broad Base Black Economic Empowerment, BBBEE as an imperative to the advancement of small bus operators, the taxi industry and cooperatives development.
The Department of transport has committed itself in the development of integrated public transport by advancing amongst others the following objectives and measures:
First, to improve public transport norms and standards. To support the development of integrated public transport networks in 12 cities by 2020.Monitor and evaluate progress in this regard.
Second, to ensure that there is efficient, and effective public and tourism transport by establishing the National Public Transport Regulator, as required by the National land transport act of 2009 by 2011-12.Third, To increase the equity ownership and broad based black economic empowerment in the public transport sector by implementing the industry development model to empower 20% of taxi operators and 20% of small bus operators by 2014.Lastly to align and integrate the taxi recapitalisation programme with national and provincial rail services, metropolitan and rapid public transport corridor services and provincial bus service by redefining the taxi recapitalisation project by 2013.
We welcome these noble objectives of the department and working together, we hope that they will get implemented in the projected timeframes. We also call for the subsidisation of the taxi industry especially, as they now compete with other modes of transport such as buses and rail, but as well because they are the largest carrier of public transport passengers.
We aware hon Minister, that the transformation of the public transport system integrated of the taxi operation into mainstream public transport is underway, as your department has committed itself to the following:
First, that there exists a need to move from mode specific subsidies rail and bus to public transport subsidies.
Second, that all new designs and re-designs, will be reviewed, to ensure that they are integrated.
Third, that no new tender or negotiated contract will be approved if they do not subscribe to integration.
Lastly, that the taxi industry must assisted to prepare for this transformation, that is to organise themselves into entities that can compete in this space.
As the portfolio committee, we support and acknowledge the contribution of the taxi industry in the country's GDP, job creation, economic and social development, and we wish to assure them that, we take very serious the work they do, as the largest transporter of millions of the previously disadvantaged and marginalised communities within the country.
Let me deal with scholar transport. South Africa currently lacks an integrated approach to the transportation of scholars and this is largely because, there is an absence of a policy to address the transportation of scholars. Provincial departments are currently providing scholar transport assistance and because there is no national policy framework, there is therefore, no uniform way of managing and operating scholar transport in provinces.
In some provinces, the provision of scholar transport has been transferred from the Department of Education to the Department of Transport, which move we support as the Portfolio Committee because, we believe that the core business of the Department of Education is to educate a child and not to transport a child.
It has taken the department more than four years to develop a national policy, and that delay has contributed to the fragmentation of this operation, because, they are no uniform national norms and standards for the implementation of scholar transport provision in all nine provinces.
We have witnessed huge inconsistencies in the payment mechanisms of scholar transport service providers from one province to the other. This has negatively affected service providers especially, small bus operators, from adequately executing their work of establishing a conducive infrastructure that will speak to the safety of pupils.
There is absolutely no justification for government to continuously awarding contracts to monopoly players and thereby defeating the noble objectives of promoting SMMEs and BBBEE entities, as outlined by policy.
We applaud the strides of the department of establishing a technical and a steering committee, as well as the draft policy to address the many challenges in scholar, but we can no longer delay the question of a fully fledged policy that will specifically speak to vehicle type and mode, roadwothness, eligibility of beneficiaries and access for children with disability amongst other things.
The Shova Kalula Programme is well received and provinces must be encouraged to continue with its roll out if it is to make the noble interventions we all envisage.
Let me deal with BRT.The Department of Transport made commitment that the Bus Rapid Transit system,BRT,is crucial to the success of South Africa's transport system and will yield positive results. I recall the taxi associations at time expressed their discomfort on the implementation of the BRT, as they felt there should be further engagement on the matter. Other taxi owners felt they could not compete with the BRT because the system was to have its own dedicated lanes.
Despite these challenges and concerns, The Department of Transport under the stewardship of Minister Ndebele and his capable DG Mr Mahlalela, have been able to diffuse this discomfort in addressing the concerns of the taxi industry in particular, by ensuring that the industry moves towards being a major player in the transport sector, as evident in the handing over of 66%of Rea Vaya, the majority shareholding in the controlling Johannesburg Bus Rapid Transit system to the taxi industry. This indeed is a huge success factor for BBBEE.
We will not be apologetic nor hesitate in our oversight role to often remind the department on its obligation towards BBBEE and where we can trace success stories, we will not hesitate to applaud you.
It is in the interest of this government to ensure that public transport monopolies transform in favour of SMMEs.Monopoly players cannot continue to be major beneficiaries in this government, lest we do not take very serious the objectives of government, as outlined through policy of correcting the economic imbalances of the past.
We will as the NEC of the ANCYL convene our 24th National Congress in the next two weeks wherein, we will be looking broadly at the whole question of attaining economic freedom from the hands of the minority and monopoly capital in favour of the previously disadvantaged majority.
It is for this for reason, that we support the diversification strategy of the taxi industry to expand its scope of business operations from taxi to transport in order for them to participate in other transport modes such as in the bus industry, rail, and aviation. It is the best interest of development and achieving economic freedom for the taxi industry and other BEE groupings to own airlines because, if it is not them who own these airlines who then better qualifies to own the airlines.
We have already expressed our support as the Portfolio Committee to the consolidation of individual taxi business operation, to the cooperative entities that will harness bargaining power and create efficiency in the management business operations.
We cannot afford to turn a blind eye on the taxi industry and small bus operators, as they were the ones who supported the country during the dark days of apartheid and provided necessary means for the movement of our people.
The ANC supports the Budget.Ngiyabonga kakhulu [Thank you]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT (Mr J S Ndebele) / MMN / END OF TAKE
Mr M C MANANA
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon members, thank you for the very, very constructive contributions, which I can assure will always be taken into consideration. We welcome all the proposals, as we traverse this important task of moving our people and goods. We want to first emphasise that what is coming out of the budget that is being tabled here is, number one, a programme that is going to see unprecedented job creation and infrastructure development in our country.
The allocation of an amount of R22 billion, that is R6,4 billion from last month to March next year, is something that should energise us to create jobs and new infrastructure, as well as to repair failing infrastructure that has been recognised by this House over a very long period. Mobilising the funds takes time, but they are now available. They might not be enough, but they are enough for us to begin because R6,4 billion is not something to be pooh-poohed, it's something that we know we are going to make an important start with. We indicated the allocation to the different provinces, which is quite significant, over and above the allocated budgets. We should be able to move together. [Sihambe sonke.] [Re sepela ka moka.]
Therefore, I'm happy that members support this programme. We will welcome the participation of members in the different provinces, as it is being rolled out because that is where it addresses the provincial and local road infrastructure. That's where it is, and all of us are welcome to participate in that and give direction where best it will be felt.
Similarly, the rail infrastructure programme that is claiming an amount of R30 billion in the next three years, which will be R10 billion per year, should be able to inject a significant amount to our economy, in terms of manufacturing and local procurement. All this will be there for all members to see, interrogate and put proposals forward for.
With regard to the issue of road safety, I'm sure that members spoke for all of us here, particularly regarding the carnage on our roads which is now overtaking HIV and Aids and all these ailments and deaths that are difficult to prevent. In terms of road safety we know countries that have a vehicle population that is similar to ours. It's no use saying that we are going to have European cars here, but not European laws to govern those cars. You are not going to have a computer and say that I'm going to use is in my own way. It works in a particular way, whether you are in Japan or the United States or in Zambia.
Similarly on the road, the level of negligence, the skills of our drivers - those people who hold licences - brings to question how they got them in the first place. The level of disregard for human life is quite astounding. You will find people who are professionals who would normally be very caring, but who become something else once they get on the road. That is why the national enforcement programme that we have embarked on is going to be merciless. We are going to be ensuring that you, first of all, have got a driver's licence because there are certain assumptions that you want to make about a person on the road. How are you going to make those assumptions? First of all they must have a driver's licence. They must carry it at all times and they must be sober.
There is no way that you can to say, look at me even if I've drunk so much I can contain liquor and so forth. We don't know that. Perhaps the Department of Justice and the Correctional Services will know. Rest there while you convince them that it doesn't matter how much you have drunk, you can carry your liquor very well.
This is going to bring us into line with other advanced civilisations that we call. First of all, if we are going to be democratic, how democratic are you going to be? Democracy doesn't just mean voting every five years. Democracy means that this is our land; we share it. The road is shared space; we share it. It's not yours alone. If you are alone in some farm somewhere, perhaps you can knock down trees and so forth. But, once you are on the road, it's shared space. It's used by other people; therefore, there should be strict regulations on how you use that shared space. The enforcement is going to be very strict. We assure you, as it has happened elsewhere, that we are strict and do enforce. Later on there will be voluntary compliance. We are still very far from that voluntary compliance, therefore, it's going to be enforcement and enforcement.
On 13 and 14 June we are going to attend an investment conference. It's a very important conference and it will be held here in Cape Town. It's very important that we are actually able to answer to ourselves, how we are going to fund transport infrastructure. It's a question that, as I indicated earlier, even the United States is still asking – the funding of transport infrastructure. Do you toll, or do you find other ways? How do you build roads? Do you say to those who already have roads, lucky are you to be in Cape Town, lucky are you to be in Johannesburg, lucky are you to be in Durban; sorry for you at Qumbu, sorry for you somewhere else? How do we ensure that the road infrastructure is actually available to everybody else?
What kind of freedom is there if someone who is asked to vote and does vote, gets a road and public transport infrastructure, but someone else does not, even though they both voted?
I want to take this opportunity to thank, first of all, the members of the portfolio committee, led by Ms Bhengu and all the members from all parties. We have enjoyed tremendous support throughout the years. To Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin, the department led by Mr George Mahlalela, the entire transport family, as well as the agencies, thank you very much. Let's take this department to new heights. Thank you. [Applause.]
The Committee rose at 18:49
/UNH / END OF TAKE
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