Hansard: NA: Debate on Vote No 35—Transport:
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 05 May 2015
No summary available.
EPC - OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
5 MAY 2015
TUESDAY, 5 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE SITTING – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the Old Assembly Chamber at 16:43
House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote No 35—Transport:
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, hon Members of Parliament, Cabinet colleagues present here today, the Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Lydia Chikunga, members of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, led by hon chairperson, Mrs DikelediMagadzi, the Director-General of the Department of Transport, Mr Pule Selepe, officials of the Department of Transport, chairpersons and CEOs of the transport entities, invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, as the transport fraternity we dedicate the budget that we are tabling today to the more than 3 000 delegates of the Congress of the People who gathered at Kliptown, Soweto on 25 and 26 June 1955 to adopt the Freedom Charter.
The Freedom Charter is a vision for a united, nonracial and democratic South Africa. In keeping the hopes and aspirations of our forebears alive, the ANC declared the year 2015, and I quote, “The Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom”. At the heart of the Freedom Charter is the economic freedom and emancipation of those who were previously dispossessed by the system of apartheid.
The effective operation of the transport system depends on the inter-relationship of a number of factors, which includes governance, service delivery, management, responsibility and funding. The commitment we make as the department is to implement the National Development Plan’s key priorities on the maintenance of road infrastructure, upgrading rail infrastructure and the rail services, as well as building and operating our public transportation.
The Department of Transport’s contribution to the NDP will be underpinned by the National Transport Master Plan2050 Vision. The Natmap is therefore aimed at delivering a dynamic, long-term and sustainable transportation system framework that is demand-responsive and provides a co-ordinated transport agenda for the whole of the country, South Africa.
Our people have reason to rejoice with the introduction of the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill, which provides for the establishment of a new administrator, the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Administrator, to replace the current Road Accident Fund. The Bill has been published for public comment and consultation sessions were held throughout the country with various stakeholders. The Bill proposes a comprehensive social security safety net scheme that is not fault-based. It will allow expanded access to much needed benefits to road users. These include the public and private transport passengers, our widows, orphans and many other dependents previously and currently excluded by virtue of fault.
As we enter the second phase of the democratic transition, our efforts are directed at the battle against the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality for the radical economic transformation of our society. On this question, the former president of the ANC, O R Tambo, reminds us that, and I quote:
The fight for freedom must go on until it is won; until our country is free and happy and peaceful as part of the community of man, we cannot rest.
The Road Accident Fund has been used as a cash cow by unscrupulous professionals. Our government cannot allow the abuse and theft of funding through the Road Accident Fund fuel levy, which is meant to alleviate the financial burden onroad users that results from the carnage on our roads, to be siphoned off to benefit the middleman and a privileged few.
Our courts are clogged with RAF matters and it is causing great consternation in our justice system. The unintended consequences of an unjust systemis that, for decades, it has seen many benefit unfairly by abusing the system to receive millions of rands from the fund, while those deserving of compensation get limited compensation.
The Department of Transport and the Road Accident Fund have fought many legal battles, some in the highest court of the land to, among other things, provide an equitable and fair benefit while closing many loopholes. Some of our stakeholders are hell-bent on fighting against the system till the end, and we are ready for them.
In various engagements with communities and victims, it was disheartening to hear of stories where benefits did not address the injury, the loss of life or the suffering of victims or their dependants because of the way RAF benefits are structured. With the RABS, that will be a thing of the past as it will introduce defined benefits, as well as timely and appropriate care that will be based on reasonable tariffs.
The Road Accident Benefit Scheme will alleviate the burden on our courts through the establishment of an internal appeal procedure. The Road Accident Benefit Scheme will provide proactive assistance to crash victims and family members, with the emphasis on effective access to medical and vocational rehabilitation to improve victims’ chances of re-entering the employment sphere and the mainstream of the economy.
In the gallery here today we are joined by Ms Nobengazi Monica Gunuza, who is accompanied by her caregiver, Ms Leonie Esterhuizen. Ms NobengaziGunuza who was involved in a motor vehicle accident in 2011 and she is a beneficiary who made a direct claim to the Road Accident Fund. This was made possible by the RAF on the Road Initiative, an innovative, award-winning initiative in terms of which the RAF takes the office to the people.[Applause.]
Ms Gunuza sustained multiple and serious injuries. The Road Accident Fund finalised her direct claim in July 2012 and offered her future medical treatment and a caregiver. The Road Accident Fund continues to pay for the caregiver and for specialist services for Ms Gunuza, and these services to her are already aligned with the future Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill.
May I ask Ms Nobengazi Monica Gunuza to wave? Can she wave, wherever she is? [Interjections.] Thank you, ma’am, and thanks to Ms Leonie Esterhuizen, who is accompanying her. This is but one of many cases in our country where the victims of road crashes received such outstanding comfort and care and saw their dignity restored. Indeed, as the Department of Transport, through our transport entities, we do have a good story to tell. [Applause.]
In terms of the RABS, we will be able to offer this service to more clients at an earlier stage of recovery, thus resulting in less trauma emanating from the accident. As in the case of Ms NobengaziGunuza, we will assist claimants to achieve their optimal level of recovery and offer the necessary support and assistance to lower the devastation stemming from the accident. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! I am sorry that I have to stop you for a minute, hon Minister, but I think I have to inform the members of the public that in this House you are not allowed to participate in any way. This includesthe clapping of hands and the use of cameras. I have seen a fewcamera flashes going off. Please refrain from doing that. You are very welcome here, but please do not participate. Thank you and thank you, hon Minister, for your time.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, through the RABS we would offer additional rehabilitation and intervene at an earlier stage. We would appoint a case manager to facilitate medical intervention and additional home or car adjustments as and when needed.
Our Passenger Rail Agency of SA owns 2 280 km of South Africa’s rail network and uses some of the 22 000 km of rail track under the control of Transnet. It has 585 train stations and a total fleet of 4 735 coaches, with an overall staff complement of 18 207.
Government is spending in the region of R51 billion on new rail rolling stock and R4 billion on new hybrid locomotives in the next five-year period. To date, Prasa has taken delivery of 13 of the 70 new locomotives. Members might have seen them doing the rounds. [Applause.]
Hon members of this House will be invited very soon to the sod-turning ceremony at the rail passenger factory site in Nigel, Ekurhuleni, where new jobs will be created and skills developed by the manufacture and assembly of locomotives and trains. This factory is anticipated to create over 65 000 direct and indirect jobs for such skills as engineers, technicians, artisans and train drivers in the course of its contract. A target of not less than 65% local content has been set. A promise we make is a promise we keep. Siyaqhuba, siyasebenzasiyi-ANC. [We are moving forward and we are working as the ANC.] [Applause.]
In 2014-15, government, through Prasa, transported 2 million passengers and covered 55 million passenger trips. The entity refurbished 291 Metrorail and 298 ShosholozaMeyl coaches, and upgraded 27 stations nationally. We can safely say that the Prasa and Transnet initiatives place South Africa as having the largest wholesale renewal and general overhaul rail programme in Africa. We are engaging in some of the most challenging rail engineering projects of its kind. This firmly positions South Africa as the manufacturing hub of rolling stock on the continent of Africa.
It is a great pleasure to announce that the Project Implementation and Management Office for the Moloto Rail Development Corridor project has been established under Prasa. We are working closely with National Treasury and are currently finalising the applications for project preparation and funding. The Treasury Approval 1 application was finalised and is currently with National Treasury for consideration.
The ANC-led government increased transport funding to record levels, with R25 billion over the last five years alone and R5 billion in the 2014-15 financial year. This is unprecedented and through these high levels of funding we have, among other achievements, achieved the following: The launch of the test phase of A Re Yeng in Tshwane and Go-George in the Western Cape; the commencement of infrastructure construction in Polokwane, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Mbombela, Msunduzi, George and Rustenburg; and the launch of the extension phase of the MyCiti bus service to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha in Cape Town. We spent R4,8 billion on bus subsidies, benefiting approximately 330 million passengers annually, and we have also finalised our draft scholar transport policy. This has been gazetted for public comment and is on its way to Cabinet for approval as we speak.
By 2016 we expect Gautrain and the SA National Taxi Council, Santaco, to commence with the roll out of the card system in their operations. We expect at least 5 million cards to be in use in the next five years. The plan is that in 10 years, all subsidised modes of transport, including passenger rail and the bulk of the taxi industry, will share an interoperable card.
The taxi industry remains the most important part of our public transport system and according to the 2013 National Household Survey, conducted by Statistics SA, taxis are the preferred type of road transport. Taxis move 68% of the 5,4 million passengers on a daily basis and contribute immensely to our economy. The taxi industry is an industry of approximately R40 billion per annum, with about 20 000 taxis that creates approximately 300 000 direct and indirect job opportunities. These include drivers, taxi marshalls and the administrative support. This is a serious industry by anyone’s measure.
We commit more than ever before as the ANC-led government that we will work closely with the taxi industry to facilitate their regulation and participation in the total transport value chain. For example, in the fuel-retail value chain, in spares, assembly and manufacture of vehicles.
The department will be reviewing the taxi recapitalisation model to improve its effectiveness and affordability. Expenditure on the review is projected to be at about R188,5 million over the medium-term. This investment in public transport is the delivery record we can build on. For the first time in a generation we have a real opportunity to deal with the challenges in public transport – not simply fixing the failures of the past.
Not only has our road infrastructure helped underpin the competitiveness of our economy, it has also given ordinary citizens job opportunities. This is despite the fact that the road maintenance backlog, estimated at R197 billion, and congestion are the most serious transport problems that we face today. As we travel more, and as traffic grows, tackling these problems is increasingly demanding.
Our key priority is to improve the state of the road network, reduce congestion and improve reliability. That is why the ANC-led government has invested substantially on the road network. We have also doubled the capital funding available to provincial governments and local governments through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, so that they tackle the maintenance backlog on provincial and local roads.
Some of our achievements in the past year include, among others, the following: The reclassification of 1 700 km of Limpopo’sprovincial roads into the Sanral network. The completion of the R37 Polokwane Smelter Interchange, which is part of the Strategic Integrated Project 1; the rehabilitation of the N11 from Ermelo to Hendrina, which is also part of SIP 1; … [Applause.] … and the N2 KwaMashu Interchange facility, which is now operational. We have also completed the rehabilitation of the N14 Delareyville to Sannieshof and the N1 Ventersburg, which was rehabilitated and the two new bridges were opened.
The provincial departments of roads and transport have made real improvements. The MECs are there and I am sure they have delivered information in their legislatures. They have delivered high-quality projects, and better designed and better maintained local roads. Through the S’hambaSonke programme, we continue to advance on our course to improve our secondary provincial road network.
Through this programme, 1 100 lane kilometres of surfaced roads were rehabilitated, 3 000 lane kilometres of surfaced roads were sealed and 3 926 lane kilometers of roads gravelled. We patched more than 1,4 million square metres of potholes and 147 000 km of roads were bladed. [Applause.]We have also spent R30 billion over the three spheres to create over 23 500 fulltime equivalent jobs in the 2014-15 financial year alone.
There are over 6 million more vehicles on our roads today than there were in 1994. The traffic looks set to continue growing – much of it on roads that are already operating at close to capacity during busy periods. Many of our roads, as you all know, were built many years ago. Hardly any significant new highway has been built since 1986, except for those that were constructed as part of the toll projects.
We have the optimistic view that we need an immediate and pragmatic focus. We will be targeting those parts of the network that are busiest, where even minor hold-ups can turn into major delays, especially on urban roads and highways like the N3, as well as the N2 here in the Western Cape, which is the busiest corridor in Africa.
The question is this: What are we doing about this in the next Medium-Term Expenditure Frameworkperiod? Today, we announce more funding to help Sanral to work up their ideas to tackle these challenges. We do so mindful of the fact that the transport sector is facing significant funding needs that cannot be met from this fiscus alone. We need to develop a long-term funding framework and strategy, together with a private sector participation framework for transport funding.
The highlights of our big road projects for 2015 include, among others, the N2, the N7 and the R71 improvements in KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Limpopo respectively.
Government is investing R1,1 billion in the upgrade of the R573 Moloto Road. The process of proclaiming this road as a national road is currently underway, with the provincial governments of Limpopo and Mpumalanga having transferred the part of the road to national and discussions with the Gauteng government are at an advanced stage. [Applause.]
We have also set aside R12,5 billion for Sanral’s non-toll roads - and I repeat, non-toll roads - which constitutes 85% of the national road network of 21 403 km across the country.
Our overriding priority is to ensure that we should not only deliver greater road capacity but also that we make the most of it to give greater choice and greater journey reliability for road users. We all know that there is no single answer to these challenges, no silver bullet that will solve all our problems, and we know that we must be prepared to change our travel habits to make the breakthrough that is needed. The answer is in our public transport system and the implementation of travel demand management measures, together with intelligent transport systems for private vehicles.
We also believe that the integrity of an efficient transport system relies on sufficient safety systems to protect our people and freight. Central to this is the enhanced role of the Road Traffic Management Corporation. Our 365 Days Road Safety Programme – which is our anchor project for the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety Campaign - has played its role to oversee road traffic law enforcement and improve road user behaviour. But more has to be done in this regard to change the behaviour of the road users.
Road crashes are a national concern, costing us in excess of R300 billion per annum in direct and indirect costs. South Africa has one of the worst safety records in the world, at about 26 fatalities per 100 000 people, compared to other developed countries such as Sweden, at 3,2 fatalities per 100 000 people. [Interjections.] Just this morning we lost the lives of eight of our correctional service officers here in the Western Cape. We need to work together to make sure that we deal with this carnage.
Eighty-eight per cent of these crashes are caused by human factors, with an average of 40 people dying and 20 left permanently disabled on our roads everyday. We should all acknowledge that road safety is everyone’s responsibility. As a result, we have established the National Road Safety Advisory Council, which is made-up of relevant stakeholders to assist us in coming up with appropriate solutions.
The implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act system country wide is one of our short-term targets. The piloting of the system has been very successful in Gauteng. Through the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, we are now working extremely hard to realise the implementation of the system across the country. In this regard, we are already testing the readiness of provincial and local authorities for the roll-out of the system.
The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency is doing its part to balance the supply and demand for cross-border road passenger transport. We are currently rolling out a market access regulatory tool to determine the number of permits per route and per mode in granting cross-border permits. This tool will soon be tested in most of our corridors. We believe this system will bring better regulation, management and efficiency of our cross-border activity. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Hon Minister, you have two minutes left. I am saying this because we do not have a clock. I will keep on reminding members as they speak.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: The NDP enjoins us to take a long-term view in our planning. The driving force is our ability to successfully integrate across modes, between service areas and with land planning, backed with very substantial increases in funding. It is a strategy that has paid off. Our transport plans have given us the confidence to plan, invest and deliver quality improvements.
We have established the National Transport Planning Forum, which consists of all spheres of government, agencies and as well as our partners. The forum will now lead the key strategic planning across the transport sector.
The provincial and local spheres of government, as well as our stakeholders, will continue to advise the national sphere on transport priorities. We will also continue to foster strong transport planning to deliver the integrated transport strategies and to further develop our national policy framework. We will soon publish the National Land Transport Strategic Framework, which will inform our integrated transport and land-use planning countrywide.
We are also in the process of establishing the single transport economic regulator, in order to address the regulatory shortcomings across the transport sector. This will lead to better pricing and more efficient transport infrastructure and services. We are also reviewing the National Freight Logistics Strategy of 2005. This strategy will continue to help us map out corridors, determine regional integration, freight traffic and congestion. It will also assist us in the development of freight scenarios into the future.
We all recognise that it is effective transport planning that is the cornerstone of our objectives and government’s wider agenda. This will require a partnership between all spheres of government, NGOs, faith-based organisations, business and the general public.
Today I want to make it clear that my personal priority will be to advance the debate about a national system of infrastructure funding and pricing policy for our transport infrastructure and services. These are the ideas I want to explore further with all stakeholders, including hon members of this House, as we work towards improving our national framework, which will be part of our overall transport solution. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms D P MAGADZI
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT (Ms E D Peters)
Mr D P MAGADZI: Chair, the Transport committee has interacted with the department and all the parastatals and has made some observations. I immediately want to go into the observations made by the committee in relation to the department and its parastatals. We are of the opinion that, generally, the policies of the Department of Transport are excellent, but there are shortages in terms of the implementation and prioritisation thereof. The committee is also of the belief that when legislation is mooted, it takes time for the department to reach a situation where that legislation is brought to the shores of Parliament. Examples of the legislation that we are still awaiting are the administration and adjudication of road traffic offenses and the amendment of the Civil Aviation Act. These are the pieces of legislation that we are still awaiting.
The committee has also noted a challenge with regard to the finalisation of the National Scholar Transport Policy. As a committee, we cannot keep quiet while we see the carnage of learners who are actually being transported in the wrong transport, particularly in the rural areas. We believe that the department should speed up the development of the norms and standards of the scholar transport, so that our learners are ferried in proper transport modes.
In August 2012, there was the announcement of and a pronouncement on the Single Transport Economic Regulator. To date, that policy is still to be implemented. The department is doing very well as it deals with some of the objectives, but it can do more and move the department forward if it filled the vacancies in the department, especially the vacancies at senior management level.
We have also made the observation that there is a disjuncture between the Ports Regulator, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, because in most of the meetings with these parastatals they raised policy and legislative issues. We believe that once we deal with these issues, it will be smooth sailing and they will be able to really deal with the assets in a fitting manner.
Having seen the carnage on our country’s roads, we believe that the department should look into the Arrive Alive campaign and other policies that have to do with road management and transportation because, for sure, these strategies are not yielding the proper positive outcomes that are expected. Therefore, if needs be, you should look into these strategies and change them. It is broken and it needs to be fixed. We cannot continue talking about carnage and more carnage on our roads as we do.
Moving forward, we want to commend several parastatals that are doing very good work. We have seen theAirportsCompany SA,Acsa, doing very good work but it should assist regional airports on the periphery in the setting up of norms and standards. We are saying to the Air Traffic and Navigation Services and the SA Civil Aviation Authority that they are doing very good work in the country and on the continent, but their communication strategy needs to change. The people of South Africa do not know that our skies and aviation sector is doing excellent work. Once you start communicating, they will know that you are doing good work and there will be people interested in this profession because there is training that they can undergo. As a committee, these are the things that the department needs to look into.
Minister, we really applaud you for having thought through the idea that there must be a business unit that will look into the public entities. It is a very important element because if you give money without necessarily monitoring and evaluating the impact of the money distributed to the parastatals, it is a futile exercise.
In particular, weas a committee are saying that we want to monitor the money that goes to local and provincial government, because we are of the opinion that this money can be used better than what it is being used now. [Applause.]
Mr M S F DE FREITAS
Ms D P MAGADZI
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: Chairperson, once again, the Minister, and the Deputy Minister in particular, spent a considerable time with the Portfolio Committee during this budget process. My experience tells me that this is a rare occurrence and the DA therefore appreciates your presence during our deliberations. Thank you.
However, it appears that this is where it ends. Daily one encounters transport-related problems and the Minister and her deputy are nowhere to be found. For example, as I stated last year in the Budget debate, by far the biggest transport issue presently on the lips of South Africans are the e-tolls, which the public continues almost unanimouslyto reject. Interestingly, the Minister did not talk about that.
Despite Sanral’s massive multimillion rand marketing spend throughout 2014, we see that the scheme’s compliance levels peaked at around only 45% in June 2014. This has been confirmed by statements made by the Minister in Parliament. This translates to R120 million per month, as confirmed by Sanral in a media statement. This was well short of their original target of R250 million per month.
In July 2014, Sanral and the NPA had indicated their intention to begin prosecuting e-toll defaulters. However, Minister Peters wisely instructed Sanral to halt such plans, because of massive billing problems and chaos in the system, and maybe also due to the possible anticipated wide-scale negative public reaction.
During the Gauteng e-toll panel hearings between September and November 2014, virtually all business and civil society entities denounced the e-toll scheme and blamed its existence for the high negative impact on the socio-economic conditions in the region.
In addition, on 3 October 2014, hon Paul Mashatile, the ANC’s Gauteng chairperson, launched a scathing attack on Sanral’s management of the e-toll scheme and their disdain for the work of David Makhura’s e-toll advisory panel. Courageously, the honMashatile made it clear that the ANC in Gauteng did not support the scheme in its current form.
On 4 November, Sanral did an about-turn and decided to engage with Makhura’s e-toll advisory panel. This resulted in a series of blunders heightening public anger, particularly the comment by Minister Dipuo Peters that a fuel levy increase of R3,65 would be required to fund the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.This intensified when Dr Roelof Botha announced that the poor should “shut up” and remain out of the e-toll debate.
Later in November 2014, during an inquest into a fatal collision on the M1, the State subpoenaed electronic data from Sanral recorded by the e-toll system’s gantry cameras. The information supplied by Sanral was grossly inaccurate and proved to be “inconsistent and unreliable”.
The absence of Sanral’s ability to enforce the e-toll policy and the growing public anger has reduced the scheme’s monthly e-toll revenue collections to around R60 million by the end of February 2015. It is estimated that less than 23% of users are paying for the use of the freeways.
But wait, it does not stop there! Sanral has been embroiled in other cases that point to questionable conduct in public engagement programmes. One is with the Amadiba community regarding the Wild Coast N2 Toll Road plan. We understand that the affidavit bySanral’s CEO, NazirAlli, which seeks to challenge attorney Cormac Cullinan’s representation of the community, contain allegedly false statements. If this is indeed true, this could be seriously damaging for Mr Alli’s reputation and the image of Sanral.
The other controversy is the Western Cape’s Winelands freeway toll plan. The Supreme Court’s ruling on 30 March 2015 asks serious questions aboutSanral’s lack of transparency relating to their tolling model, the cost of the project and the tenders awarded to the “preferred bidder” or appointed concessionaire.
When one considers all this, there must surely be enough evidence to suggest that something is amiss with the leadership and performance of this State Owned Entity.[Interjections.]
Mr S J MASANGO: Chairperson, on a point of order, that hon member said, “Unamanga.” That means, “You are lying.” That is not allowed in this House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, please refrain from usingunparliamentary language. Who is the member? [Interjections.] Hon Magadzi, did you say that?
Ms D P MAGADZI: Yes, hon Chairperson. I withdraw the remark.
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: It is clear that although government is saying the right thing - that rail is the backbone of public transport - its actions contradict this. As confirmed by the Minister in her speech just like last year, the largest amount in the budget is still allocated to roads and its infrastructure. Rail continues to be treated as a side issue.
Mr Z M D MANDELA: Chair, I rise on a point of order. Please request the hon member seated over there to stop taking pictures with a phone.[Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, I do not expect that from an hon member. Who is the member? [Interjections.] Hon members, please, I even asked members of the public not to do that! What is wrong - you know you cannot do that. Can one of our assistants in this House go to the hon member and make sure that the photographs are deleted. [Interjections.] All right, thank you, we can continue. Please refrain from doing things that you know are not allowed. You are members and you know better.
Mr M S F DE FREITAS: To I repeat myself, I bring up one of the Minister’s other monumental failures: her inability to stem the tide of deaths on our roads. A prime example was the cancellationat very short notice by the Minister of the 2014 Road Safety Summit. She did so to avoid being embarrassed because the recommendations that emanated from the 2013 summit had not been implemented.
On 14 March, I wrote an open letter to the Minister on this subject. I pointed out to her that she should take heed of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Indeed, what road safety “strategy” she may have is insane as it yields little positive results year after year.
Besides not showing the plain courtesy to acknowledge my letter or at the very least taking up some of my internationally proven suggestions, at a recent portfolio committee meeting the Minister chose to chastise me for daring to write to her!
Rebuke me as much as you want, Minister, the reality is thatlast year South Africa was ranked 177 out of 182 countries studied for road fatalities. These fatalities result in a huge socioeconomic cost, estimated at R306 billion per annum. We would be the first to support and congratulate you when we see more results and less rhetoric.
Deal with the overlapping functions in the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the provinces and with the fact that we do not have anyone collecting data. When only 17% of fines in South Africa are paid, one can safely say this does not even cover the cost of having enforcement in the first place.Minister, do something –anything - to reduce the deaths on our roads!
We as the DA are here to make transport and its potential to boost our economic growth work. We need to become single-minded in everything we do so that this can become a reality.Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr T E MULAUDZI
Mr M S F DE FREITAS
Vho T E MULAUDZI: Mudzulatshidulo, vhahulwanevhodahofhanoNduni, rikhoulivhuwaurindimadekwana.
The EFF unapologetically rejects this Budget Vote, based on the following reasons: The department has increased consultants’ fees and professional fees from R307,7 million to R364,9 million. This was done even when the portfolio committee in its recommendations, in paragraph 5.2.4, raised its concern regarding consultants. Everybody, even the government, is crying about these consultants... [Laughter.] ... but the department just increased the fees without anyone even knowing.
Millions of people depend on public transport, but the department is investing in the bus rapid transit, BRT, system, which focuses only on the cities without assisting the poor. The BRT is not a pro-poor means of transport.
Forty-two percent of the departmental budget, which amounts to R22,8 billion, is for roads. However, 50% of our roads are untarred and 30% of those that are tarred are full of potholes, or they are unmarked and unfenced. This causes accidents on our roads. The roads in Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal are not in good order.[Interjections.] Chairperson, please protect me from these hooligans who are howling.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, please let us not drown out the speaker at the podium.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: The provincial roads maintenance grant and the public transport operation grant are not well monitored. An amount of R20,8 billion ...
Mr Z M D MANDELA: On a point of order, Chair: Is it parliamentary for the hon member to refer to us as hooligans? Can he withdraw that remark?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Which hon member? Hon member, did you refer to the members of this House as hooligans?
Mr T E MULAUDZI: I said those who are making a noise are hooligans.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, did you refer to the members of this House as hooligans?
Mr T E MULAUDZI: Yes.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Please withdraw.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: I withdraw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Continue.
Mr T E MULAUDZI: The entity known as the Road Traffic Management Corporationhas requested far more than is allocated to them. An amount of R184,1 million was allocated to them and they tried by all means to request more than that in order for them to curb the carnage on ourroads. With the budget allocated to them, there is no way they can fight accidents on our roads. We need traffic officers working our roads 24 hours a day.
The Cross Border Road Transport Agency is doing a very important job, but it has never been allocated even a cent by the department - and that is surprising. The Road Traffic Infringement Agency was allocated 11,5% and it is working in only one province - Gauteng. It is not working in any of the other provinces, but their mandate is for the whole country.
The Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill has a lot of constitutional flaws. They need to be revisited because they affect most of the basic common-law rights. I also wanted to talk about the e-tolls. The EFF rejects the Budget Vote. [Time expired.]
Mr K P SITHOLE
Mr T E MULAUDZI
Mr K P SITHOLE: Hon Chairperson, at the outset let me state that the IFP supports Budget Vote 35. [Applause.] Our road transport infrastructure in South Africa remains precarious at best, with the recently advised total road maintenance backlog being at approximately R150 billion. The 10% of good roads in South Africa are mostly under the SA National Roads Agency Limited, as our provinces do not have enough budget to conduct the required road maintenance and therefore have no other alternative but to return to Sanral for its e-toll assistance. This will come at an additional expense to and payment by our road users. E-tolls must be scrapped.
The South African public must not be held liable for the incompetence and ineptitude of government. There are still too many deaths on our roads which can be avoided. Take the R573, for example. This road is a notorious and well-known killer road and it requires urgent reconstruction. We only hope that the R1,1 billion allocated for its construction will not escalate, as happened with the President’s Nkandla road construction. [Interjections.]
Our rail infrastructure, which is one of the most important means of transport, is old and in a state of great disrepair and near collapse. Yet the Minister has advised that the government will invest billions of rand in the South African transport infrastructure over the next three years in a bid to reduce road deaths and traffic congestion in the country. This needs greater impetus, Ministers.
Our ports require maintenance and constant dredging. The Durban port authority has confirmed recent incidents of the grounding of ships in Durban harbour due to the movement of harbour-bed material and inoperative port dredging vessels. This must not be allowed to occur as it is an additional unnecessary hindrance to economic growth by retarding the flow of goods in and out of one of this country’s main ports.
South African Airways has failed this country and will continue to fail at the expense of tax payers. The question is: When will government accept this fact and say enough is enough? How many more times must we hear “just one more bailout so that SAA can be turned around”? It cannot as long as it is not being run as a profit-making business. We are of the strong opinion that this parastatal must be sold and placed into private hands so that it can be run as a profitable business and be subjected to the market constraints of supply and demand, to competitors and to shareholder oversight.
Taxi recapitalisation has been synonymous with daylight robbery being perpetrated by the state against taxi owners. The mere sum of R70 000 per taxi is nowhere near the current market value of many of the vehicles and this must be urgently reviewed. The aim of this programme was to encourage minibus taxi owners to sell their old and unroadworthy vehicles and purchase new ones to improve the safety of their passengers, but due to the lack of accounting and financial mismanagement by the department, this programme is nowhere near completion and is wildly over budget.
The department has many shortcomings and these stem partly from its failure to fill vacant posts. Currently, there are approximately 200 vacant posts. When will these vacancies be filled?
In conclusion, this department has many challenges and they must be overcome. The first step is to acknowledge those challenges and then work towards surmounting them. The IFP looks forward to working with you and your department to keep transport in South Africa safe, viable and well maintained. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon member. I now call on hon Ramatlakane to continue with the debate - I’m sorry, I mean the hon Mabika.[Interjections.]
Ms D CARTER: Before we continue, Chair, may I rise on a point of Order? You know, there is a history that when members speak they get attacked by members who say, “Rather attend the portfolio committee!” Chair, I really think all members need protection because we know the Rules of this Parliament and the smaller parties not being able to attend all the meetings. [Interjections.]
Mr J M MTHEMBU: You must read the reports!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon Carter. Hon Carter, can we have freedom of speech for everyone as long as we make sure that we respect the Rules of this House? Thank you. Continue, hon Mabika.
Mr M S MABIKA
Mr T E MULAUDZI
Mr M S MABIKA: Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and hon members, let me start by saying upfront that the NFP supports the Budget Vote as presented by the Minister. [Applause.]However, we note with great concern the continuous use of large amounts of money spent on consultants by the department when there are highly paid officials who should be doing the work.
We also note that the scholar transport programme is not progressing well and that very little, if anything, is being done to upgrade and improve rural roads. We believe that rural schools are mostly affected by the scholar transport problem where there are no roads. Rural roads are dangerous and we lose lives on them, especially when it is raining. For example, in Jozini last year, a truck overturned on road D1834and killed two learners from Gugulesizwe High School. Last week Monday, in Jozini again, on road D2375, a truck overturned and killed two people. This shows how dangerous these roads can be if they continue to be neglected.
Ngqongqoshe, namaphoyisaayayibalekela le migwaqo.Ngakho-keizimotoezingalungeleukubasemingqaqwenikanyenabashayeliabangenazoizincwadibagcwelekulemigwaqo.
Rural road transport forums need special monitoring as well, because their existence so far has not helped to develop rural roads.
The Zibambelepoverty alleviation programme in KwaZulu-Natal is a good initiative, but why are those good mothers not provided with working equipment? As a result they go to work to sleep the whole day or they do not go to work at all, as the monitoring and management of the programme is so poor.
Minister, please advise the provinces on how the SA National Roads Agency Limited operates to avoid confusion. For example, with the Gauteng e-tollissue, you find the premier setting up a commission about scrapping e-tolls as if it was their competence when it is not.
Ngqongqoshe, akufaneleukuthikudlalwengemizwayabantuabahluphekilengokuthibanikweithembaelingekhongama-e-tolls kanyenohulumenika-Sanralathulengathiakekhonomaufile.
We appreciate the introduction of the new locomotives by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, but ...
... sigadileukuthikungabesekukhuphulaamananiokugibelaokungahlekwandiseububhakulaboabaswelekantiyibonaabasebenzisakakhululezizitimelaukuyofunaumsebenziusukunosuku. Ngqongqoshe, indaba yomgwaqowase-Molotoiyamangazaimpela.Kuthiwaisambasemalisibekiwe e-Molotokodwaumaubhekautholaukuthialikhoilungelolokuthiumgwaqowenziwekubekukhonaimigwaqoeminingienamalungelookuthingabeiyenziwaingenziwakodwaayibekiweimali.Siyabonga.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE
Mr M S MABIKA
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Chairperson, hon Minister of Transport, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, it is tempting to respond to the DA and EFF. However, if I did I would be giving them status they do notdeserve because what we see is each one of them trying to compete as the opposition to see which one makes the loudest noise.
It is with great honour that I participate in this Transport Budget Vote, following the debate of the last financial year. Once again we confirm the ANC’s commitment to changing the conditions of South Africa’s people, black and white, by ensuring that public transport becomes safe, reliable, efficient, accessible, affordable, co-ordinated and environmentally friendly to all the people. The National Development Plan vision for 2030 states:
South Africa belongs to all its peoples.
We, the people, belong to one another.
We live the rainbow.
Our homes, neighbourhoods, villages, towns and cities are safe and filled with laughter.
Through our institutions, we order our lives.
The faces of our children tell of the future we have crafted.
The Department of Transport’s vision seeks to implement the NDP vision. This is a clear demonstration that a transport system is not an end in itself but a means to an end. It’s about addressing the socioeconomic challenges of our society.
We must acknowledge that urbanisation and the move to big cities from rural or underdeveloped areas is a worldwide reality. The Technology Choice Framework states that the efficiency rates of rail transport moves up to 60 000 passengers per hour; light rail moves up to 20 000 people per hour; the Bus Rapid Transitsystem carries between 10 000 and 15 000 people per hour; regular buses transport up to 6 000 passengers per hour; and taxis transport up to 3 000 people per hour.
We must appreciate that passenger rail services is the backbone of public transport worldwide and in the major metropolitan regions of our country. The government’s investment in rail of billions of rand must be commended. It is a demonstration that under the ANC government the future is bright for the people of South Africa. [Applause.] The integrated public transport system cements the different modes of transport with a nonmotorised system operating safely, efficiently and reliably, in a seamless manner.
Without an integrated transport system, the drive to move private car users from a single person-driven car to using public transport will not be realised, with negative economic growth and negative consequencesfor productivity.
As a country, our solution is to use long-distance passenger rail services to address, among others, the unacceptably high incidence of ongoing road carnage experienced in South Africa, which costs our nation misdirected and ill-afforded billions of rand. For our country, for economic growth and for people’s accessibility and affordable mobility,it is not a desire but an absolute necessity to implement an integrated public transport system.
Public transport development to date confirms that we are indeed moving South Africa forward. We must confirm that since the White Paper on National Transport Policy in 1996, the Moving South Africa Forward policy, the National Land Transport Actand the Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan, government has invested billions of rand towards an integrated rapid public transport network, which comprisespassenger rail services, subsidies for passenger commuting journeys, BRT, bus services and taxi industry transformation.
We must make it clear that the BRT is not only about buses; it is about an integrated public transport system that recognises the role played by all modes of transport - with rail as the nerve centre - that moves thousands of people, with other modes as a feeder system.
The government’s rail revitalisation strategy is not just words but a committed investment of R172 billion over 10 years. As we debate this budget, a number of locomotives are being delivered and train coaches are being built for Metrorail and long-distance passenger rail.
In the state of the nation address, the President indicated that billions of rand will be invested in 13 cities for public transport improvement plans. The department allocated R5,5 billion for the BRT system, which is proof that the ANC government walks the talk and is moving South Africa forward. [Applause.]
We are witnesses of the taxi recapitalisation programme, with millions of rand being invested in the formalisation and professionalisation of this industry. We must emphasise that there is no turning back on this commitment for the integration of taxi operators. We must confirm that indeed, taxis transport over 65% of working or commuting people.
It is well known that the Moving South Africa transport policy remains a creditable strategy, which includes planning and infrastructure development, and also nonmotorised transport, like walking to stations and cycling.
We commend the department for its introduction of another cheap-fare Airbussince the budget in 2014-15. We also appreciate the process towards the reopening of Mahikeng’s flight route.
We are concerned that cross-border transport remains skewed against South African operators - this needs executive attention. If nothing changes, South Africa’s authorities must employ the same standards as those operators using our roads. However, we are pleased to note that, among other transport initiatives, the African Union is expecting South Africa to manufacture locomotives and train coaches for the African continent.
The government’s infrastructure investment in the form of integrated transport termini, where all modes enjoy equal opportunity, is good news for South Africa. The challenge of linking all modes of public transport together in the provision of services requires skilful management by the Department of Transport. The matter of diverse operators and three spheres of government remains a task to be handled in line with Chapter 3 of our Constitution.
It is imperative that the glue that realises the integration of all modes of transport should be financially secure to ensure that those operators see themselves in the same or even in a better position within the integrated public transport system than they were in before.
The ANC supports this budget. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
MR L RAMATLAKANE
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Transport, Mme Dipuo Peters, members of provincial councils of the provinces, MECs of transport, hon chairperson and members of the portfolio committee, hon Members of Parliament, Transport Director-General, chairpersons of boards, chief executive officers of Transport public entities, distinguished guests, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen, South Africa is a nation in action.
The Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2014 to 2019 prioritises two overarching areas, namely radical economic transformation and improving service delivery, as strategic themes and pillars for government over the next five years. My address today will focus on the progress we have made thus far with regard to our priorities and the actions we intend implementing in the 2015-16 financial year and over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period. These priorities are indeed catalysts for the transformation of our transport system.
Radical economic transformation is asserting and implementing game-changing methods. To achieve these, government adopted the Big, Fast,High-impact Results approach. This is a key growth strategy for the development of our economy, which was launched as Operation Phakisa. The initial Operation Phakisa focused on the oceans economy.
As South Africa we have 3000 km of coastline and we are correctly positioned along the sea trading route. We have the world’s largest bulk coal terminal port in Richard’s Bay. The Durban Port is the busiest in Africa and the largest container facility in Southern Africa. The port of Ngqura is the deepest container terminal in Africa. The port of Cape Town is the biggest refrigerated container facility in Africa. Saldanha Bay is the largest port in Africa by water footprint. South Africa is among the top 15 countries in the world that trade by sea. [Applause.] In volume terms, more than 96% of the country’s imports and exports move by sea transportation. We have cargo. We are a maritime nation.[Applause.]
Informed by this reality, Operation Phakisa focused on four priority areas identified as new growth area in the ocean’s economy. First is maritime transport and manufacturing, which we, the Department of Transport, are responsible for. It includes coastal shipping, transhipment, boatbuilding, repair and refurbishment. The Department of Transport also plays a supportive role in the three focus areas, which are offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture and marine protection services, and oceans governance.
To fast-track the achievements of the oceans economy targets under maritime transport and manufacturing, to date we have, firstly, established a maritime delivery unit within the Department of Transport. Secondly, on 1 January 2014 we introduced a new shipping tax regime for international shipping. This exempts qualifying ship owners from paying income tax, capital gains tax, dividend tax and the withholding tax on interest for years of assessment. We believe these tax exemptions will undoubtedly encourage the South African Ship Register to be sought after internationally. We are further engaging National Treasury to consider a special tax regime for coastal and regional shipping.
We have also increased the mortgage ranking for financial institutions supporting the maritime sector, particularly those that finance ship purchasers. The Ports Regulator has also brought great certainty and predictability to our ports regulation framework by publishing a multiyear tariff methodology and manual on which, for instance, the 2015-16 tariff is to be based.
The SA Maritime Safety Authority, Samsa, has rolled out the maritime safety programme, with a specific focus on ship safety inspection programmes. This has resulted in no reported ship losses in our waters.
In this financial year, we will focus on establishing a national ship register, developing a private sector participation framework, supporting the local ship building and ship repair industry, as well as skills development. On matters of policy and the legislative framework, we will finalise and implement the national maritime transport policy, the cabotage policy and the strategy for regional, continental and international coastal waters. A budget of R392 million has been set aside for all maritime-related programmes and projects.
The massive upgrades and expansion of both passenger and freight rail demands an expanded oversight on the rail safety mandate. To enhance its safety core mandate, the Railway Safety Regulator has adopted a five-year plan in a phased-in approach on the revised risk-based permit theme model. The multiyear permit fee strategy will enable operators to plan and further assist the Railway Safety Regulator to invest in human, intellectual, social and manufactured capital.
The slow pace of transformation in the transport sector has direct implications for the skills gap and economic emancipation for women, the youth and people living with disabilities. In this regard, we had to take deliberate, decisive action that all public entities in the transport sector must have specific allocated budgets for the mentioned groups.
In capital projects, the SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, has ensured the recruitment of local women, youth and people living with disabilities. The Passenger Rail Agency of SA has allocated R3,5 billion over the Medium-Term Expenditure Frameworkperiod for the Women in Rail programme. These are but two examples. [Applause.]
In August this year, we are going to host a Women in Transport summit, which will resolve and adopt a five-year programme of action for the radical economic emancipation of women and the youth. The SA Network for Women in Transport will be the active vehicle driving this programme. We are about to complete a transport sector gender policy that will be instrumental in fast-tracking the transformation and gender parity agenda. The Airports Company of South Africa, ACSA, the Air Traffic Navigation Service, ATNS, the SA Civil Aviation Authority, SACAA, and Samsa have entered into national and international agreements to train and facilitate the employment of seafarers, cadet pilots, aeronautical engineers, air traffic controllers, marine engineers, to mention but a few. Siyaqhuba. [We continue.] [Applause.]
To date, the SA Civil Aviation Authority has been given approval to develop an African skills assistance plan to assist our neighbouring Southern African Development Communitycountries with their skills needs on a cost-recovery basis. The Road Traffic Management Corporation has budgeted an amount of R0,5 billion for the training of traffic-related personnel. Plans are well under way to establish traffic training colleges. Siyasebenza. [We are working.] Our state-owned entities have internship programmes and bursary schemes that cater for the previously disadvantaged groups. For instance, Sanral has allocated 150 scholarships to deserving learners in the road subsector this current financial year.
The impact of the aviation industry in South Africa’s economy cannot be overemphasised. In 2014 alone, over 35 million passengers were processed across our international airports countrywide. But it is also an industry experiencing significant changes, such as open skies, etc. However, South Africa has been able to implement international and our national aviation safety plans and our airports achieved impressive compliant safety records. Our 2014 results in the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, universal safety oversight audit have also been excellent. Consequently, South Africa has been appointed to serve as the chairperson of the Aviation Security Panel in the UN Specialised Agency for Aviation. It is the very first time that the African continent, through South Africa, is responsible for aviation security in the world. [Applause.] In this position South Africa is represented by our very own woman, SACAA chief executive officer Ms Poppy Khoza. South Africa celebrates this achievement.
The Air Traffic and Navigation Service has made major strides to improve our airspace management safety scenarios. Infrastructure investments to assist the programme include the continued renewal of terrestrial aeronautical navigation systems and the continued maintenance of radar systems.
Our ACSA airports are rated among the best in the world and in Africa. When rated among 400 world airports, the O R Tambo International Airport improved from position 26 in 2013 to position 24 in the current year. Currently, O R Tambo International Airport holds the title of Africa’s Airport of the Year. [Applause.]
The excellence that defines our aviation public entities makes us a proud aviation nation in action. In this financial year, we will prioritise the following key aviation sector focus areas. We will finalise our national airports development plan and the White Paper on civil aviation policy. We will also advance our transformation agenda by finalising the sector’s transformation strategy. The Air Traffic and Navigation Services will continue to expand our infrastructure for airspace management and continue to develop skills in this regard. To address the frequent accidents in general aviation, SACAA has integrated the remotely piloted aircraft system. Regulatory enforcement will intensify once the new regulations come into effect this financial year. The SA AirportsCompany will continue to explore new business opportunities in Africa and in other emerging markets.
South Africa is a nation in action, led by the tried and tested leaders of a progressive movement. It is with honour that I congratulate our hon Minister,Mme Dipuo Peters, for her recent appointment as the chairperson of the Yamoussoukro DecisionAfrica Ministers of Transport Task Team. [Applause.]
Finally, as a nation in action and as a department, our programmes will always seek to create an economy that is inclusive, equitable and fast growing. We will achieve this through growing employment, supporting productivity, improving efficiency and moving towards greater equality. I wish to thank the Minister for her guidance and support; all the transport MECs; the Director-General; the entire staff of the Department of Transport, the staff in the Ministry in general and in my office in particular; the boards and management of state entities; the chairperson and members of the portfolio committee; transport industry players; academia; the public; and the media for supporting our work.
South Africa, our country is our land. Our land is our home. We travel through it. We enjoy its varied climate, landscape and vegetation. South Africa, diverse as we are, we live and work on it with care, preserving it for future generations. We discover South Africa all the time. As it gives life to us, we honour the life in it. We are the heartbeat of South Africa’s socioeconomic development and we are moving South Africa forward. Indeed, we are a nation in action. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms S P BOSHIELO
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
Ms S P BOSHIELO: Thank you, House Chairperson, Minister of Transport and Deputy Minister, MECs of Transport and Roads, Director-General and Heads of Department, colleagues in the transport fraternity, comrades and compatriots, ladies and gentlemen, the work of the opposition is just that - to oppose. They even oppose progress, including the MyCiTi BRT system in the Western Cape, where they govern. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order!
Ms S P BOSHIELO: As for our children, the EFF, I do not even have any words to say. Suffice to say that the ANC’s January 8 Statement appropriately declared 2015 the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. The statement makes the point that the ANC is best placed as the leader of society to bring hope to all South Africans around the vision of the National Development Plan and the agenda of radical economic transformation.
According to the NDP’s vision for 2030, South Africa needs reliable, economical and smooth-flowing corridors linking its various modes of transport. The NDP further proposes that transport planning, led by central government, should formulate credible long-term plans for transport that synchronises with spatial planning and aligns the infrastructure investment activities of provincial and local government.
Transport is an enabler. It is an industry that exists not only to meet the goals that are inherent to transport but serves to meet the wider objectives of socioeconomic development. Therefore an efficient, safe, reliable and effective public transport system is essential to accelerate economic growth, employment creation and social cohesion.
The transport system is also sometimes described as the blood system of society, especially of the economy. This is indeed a good description as virtually every economic activity and most social activities involve the transport of people and goods from one place to another in some form or other.
We need to change the way we do things because we cannot do the same thing year in and year out and expect different results and outcomes. I am happy that the Department of Transport is reviewing its integrated transport planning in this financial year and greater co-ordination integration, especially from all levels of government, is expected from this review.
We should integrate communities and not divide them further. We should do away with public transport infrastructure that divides our people. We should do away with infrastructure that perpetuates racial segregation, like the taxi ranks. They are mainly for black people. We do not want that. We want to do more with what unites our people, including inter-modal facilities and proper shelters.
We should do away with the build, occupy and plan model. Normally that was done with the Reconstruction and Development Planhouses, where you built RDP houses, then people occupied them and thereafter you thought about what means of transport they wanted.
The Department of Transport will be assisting provinces and municipalities to develop their provincial land transport frameworks and integrated transport plans, as prescribed in the National Land Transport Act. The Provincial Land Transport Frameworkand Integrated Transport Planwill be aligned with the National Land Transport Strategic Framework and the Medium Term Strategic Framework of government.
It is a known fact that many provinces and municipalities do not have the relevant and requisite transport technical skills and it is difficult to implement effective and efficient transport plans at those levels. That is why consultants are having a field day drafting plans for them. Consultants produce 800 pages for these plans because apparently they are paid according to the number of pages they produce.Tell me, in this day and age, who reads a report of about 800 pages, while all you need is 10 pages with an addendum attached?
The biggest problem for surface transportation is congestion and the resulting increases in travel time at any given time. Accidents are the second problem. Let me state the obvious and known facts: Most congestion problems are an urban problem. Urban congestion problems are primarily peak period problems. Peak period congestion problems are primarily as a result of trying to move people, not freight. Freight is more willing to pay for reduced congestion. One trip by a loaded truck is more valuable than a trip by an equivalent load of cars, but cars heavily outnumber trucks in urban congestion.
The peak period is getting longer and the contribution committed to peak period congestion is decreasing. Peak period congestion is the result of too many people wanting to be on the same route at the same time in the same mode of travel, given the cost. Treating this problem requires improved mechanisms of allocating space on the highway.
The most immediate goal of the Passenger Rail Agency of SAis to bring about visible and short-term improvement that changes commuter and passenger travel services in South Africa and also in Africa. Key to achieving this is to sustain the current passenger rail operations, in particular getting Metrorail to work for its customers and the cities it serves. In its current form, Metrorail continues to struggle to deliver quality and reliable transport services. This results in customer expectation not being met. However, Prasa remains committed to delivering quality services with increased frequency, safe operations, ensuring the personal security of its passengers, and a significant increase in patronage.
We noted with sadness and regret the recent collision of two Metrorail trains in Gauteng, at Denver Station. May the soul of our female Metrorail employee Ms Tiisetso Napo rest in peace. We also wish the injured a speedy recovery. The Department of Transport,together with its entities, Prasa and the Rail Safety Regulator are investigating the cause of the accident as the Portfolio Committee will be informed of the report.
The taxi industry should also be part and parcel of the subsidy allocations. It is a known fact that the industry transports more than 65% of commuters in our country. Our model should subsidise a commuter, not necessarily a mode of transport. In that way we will go a long way in improving the lives of our people.
We also need to look at the issue of rural transport. Gone are the days when people used to think that rural people deserved an outdated transport system, like donkey carts. Who still rides donkey carts to work – really - to school or to town? We need a decent public transport system for our rural masses. The ANC supports the budget.
Adv A D ALBERTS
Ms S P BOSHIELO
Adv A de W ALBERTS: Minister, the International Monetary Fund urges this government to invest more in public infrastructure, yet we do not see enough of the budget being allocated to transport.Transport systems are the economic arteries of our country. It should be this government’s priority to ensure that people get to work and back home safely, professionally and in a cost-effective manner and that businesses can provide their goods and services without hindrance.
Die probleem wat ons tans in die gesigstaar, is datdaaregter al hoe meerbeplan word om gebruiktemaak van die gebruikerbetaal-beginsel – met anderwoorde, meertolpaaie om die probleem van ’n tekortaanpaaieaantespreek. Die Minister behoortnou al teweet wat die publiek van tolpaaie dink. Indien die Minister souvoortgaan met hierdieplannesalsymoetbegrootvirgrootkonflikvorentoe. Alletolkonsessiesmoetuiteindelikuitgefaseer word weens die hoëbelastinglas op verbruikers.
We do have suggestions for the Minister on how to save some funding and instead putthatmoney towards paying off the Gauteng e-tolls debt and building new roads in the short and medium term:
The first is to completely scrap the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences system, which is an abysmal failure. This system has not in any way contributed to its main purpose, which is to create safer roads. It is merely an incomplete system used to coerce road users into paying illegal fines. It is nothing but a money-making racket.
Secondly, the Competition Commission of SA has already given the SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, the green light to claim back excessive fees from construction companies. Sanralmust pursue this avenue aggressively. It did make sounds to that effect, but we are now met with silence on the issue.
Die voorgesteldeOorhoofseVervoerEkonomieseReguleerder is ietswaarnaverbruikersenekonomieserolspelerskanuitsien, mitsditvinniggeskep word enditsterkenonafhanklikoptree om vervoerprysebilliktereguleer. Tans word gebruikersuitgebuitenimpakteerditnegatief op die ekonomie.
Laastens, ditsalvir die Minister gerade wees om die President teoorreed om ’n kommissie van ondersoekaantestelna die wanbestuur van die Padongelukkefonds. Die fondsfaal tans nieomdat die stelselswakontwerp is nie, maar weens swakbestuur.
Dit is ’n valsredenasie om te dink die stelselgaan net verbeterdeurdittevervang met die voorgenomePadongelukkefondsVoordeleskema, ookbekend as RABS. Trouens, hierdienuwestelsel is wesenlikgebrekkigomdatditeisersontneem van onafhanklikeregsadvies. Ditbeperkook die fondse wat nodig is omvireiserstesorgvir die res van hullelewens, waarnodig.
Om tefokus op rehabilitasieterwyl die openbaregesondheidstelseluitersgebrekkig is, is ookuitersnaief. Die RABS-stelsel is eintlikniksanders as ’n vorm van bedrognie, waar ’n beterbedelingbelowe word net om geld van die publiekte steel deurbesparingsmetodes wat die eisersenpubliekbenadeel.
Minister, u moetonthou, die geld van die Padongelukkefondsbehoortaan die publiekennieaan die regeringnie, enooknieaan die ANC nie. Ditmoetaangewend word omeiserste help om ’n sinvolleleweteleef. Enigietsanders is uiteindelikongrondwetlik.
We are looking forward to the Minister’s response on these issues. I thank you.
Mr G S RADEBE
Adv A de W ALBERTS
Mr G S RADEBE: Hon Chair, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, members of the public, transport family, as-salamualaykum [peace be upon you]. Some of our greatest leaders, such as Father Huddleston, Yusuf Dadoo and Inkosi Albert Luthuli, who received the Isitwalandwe/Seaparankwe, the highest award in the ANC, were among those who went to the Congress of the People and adopted the Freedom Charter - the real Congress of the People. They said:
There shall be peace and friendship!
South Africa shall be a fully independent state which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations;
South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation - not war;
Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all.
Let us all love the people and their countries and say no to xenophobia. We are one, we are Africans.
Let us say no to reckless driving and let us take note that speed kills.
The Department of Transport continues to express its vision of transport as the heartbeat of economic growth and social development. Hon Minister, it is very disheartening that the hon Mulaudziis not able to understand the S’hambaSonke road maintenance programme, which has been allocated 16,4% of the Budget. The department continues to monitor the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads, the resealing and patching of surfaced roads, including potholes,and the re-gravelling of roads in all provinces. It is shocking that he has forgotten that some of those roads in Limpopo were done by his own boss, who wasalsoa failure.[Interjections.] It is very disappointing.
We request that this intervention to provide sustainability in the infrastructure of the country continues, because, as we all know, this challenge increases during the rainy seasons in the provinces and municipalities. Indeed, the ANC “iqhubekelaphambili”.
Minister, budgetary constraints hampered the progress of key projectsthat were going to help with job creation, such as the roll-out of nonmotorised transport infrastructure and facilities, as well as the establishment of a local bicycle manufacturing plant - the ShovaKalula programme.
We thank the Deputy Minister as they continue to launch Road Safety Week. Last week it was launched in the Eastern Cape province. We hope this kind of intervention will continue to help the country. We also thank the hon Minister for the National Transport Master Plan, which is on the way. We hope she is going to ensure that it developsspeedily and that it gets implemented as soon as possible.
The National Scholar Transport Policy is a serious challenge that also needs serious attention. We request the Minister to separate the issue of budget and policy. The issue of the budget can follow afterwards, while the issue of policy implementation is key because we continue to see accidents happening in provinces, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, where we saw bakkies that were transporting children being involved in accidents.
We also appreciate the development in terms of the SA National Roads Agency Limited regarding the allocation in this budget to the coal haulage network. We also appreciate the R1,1 billion that has been allocated for the development of the Moloto road. We ask the hon Minister to try to give more attention to ensuring the removal of all transportation that is not roadworthy from that particular road. This matter also generated serious discussion in the portfoliocommittee.
The other thing that we request is that the boards of the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency should be restructured and reformulated so that there is only one board to address the issues. We think the money that is allocated to them can do more if the boards were combined because they deal with a particular responsibility that is more or less the same.
We further request that there must be one uniform for traffic officers. Different uniforms confuse the country - you go to a province and find them wearing a uniform that is different from the other provinces. In addition, we request the hon Minister to address the issue of having one centre of communication. In this way we can try to avoid the issue of the Western Cape province announcing its own statisticswhile other provinces pronouncetheir own statistics. We want to have one centre that can pronounce one statistic.
The last request is that the Passenger Rail Agency of SA should be able to assist the department with scholar transport. We think Prasa, as our parastatal, could address this problem and give direction in this regard. Thank you very much.
Ms D CARTER
Mr G S RADEBE
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, Cope is disappointed with the whole e-tolling saga, as well as with the SA National Roads Agency Limited’s refusal to disclose on tolling in the Western Cape. Why was it necessary for the provincial government to go to court to prise information from Sanral that is of key public importance?
Government cannot have levies and tolls at the same time. That is double taxation and, as such, it is tyranny. Why isgovernment deaf to all pleas for alternative models? And no, Deputy Minister, this is not old; it is current. Who in government is sharing the spoils with preferred bidders, blocking all the appeals? Even the premier of Gauteng had his toes stamped on to prevent him from going further. The profits that toll companies will make, if it is true, will be a scandal even greater than Nkandla.
The issue of the number of deaths on our roads remains a very big concern. No measure that government has taken has yielded any desirable outcome and Cope questions why this is so, because in this age of instant communication, and if the Minister and Deputy Minister listened, this is something that could be done. In this age of instant communication, with so many people having mobile phones, why is the department not seizing the opportunity to increase the number of eyes that we have on the road for transgressing motorists? Surely a contact number on a signboard could actually assist so that there could be quicker responses and action.
Our Constitution places a duty on government to ensure a safe environment for its citizens, and this also applies to our roads. The past Easter weekend is yet another example of how we are failing. South Africa has one of the worst road safety records in the world. Apart from a lack of safety on our roads, it appears that government is intent on further prejudicing our citizens with the implementation of a Road Accident Benefit Schemesystem.
When one compares South Africa with those countries that are being held up as models where Rabs has been implemented, one will see that their gross domestic product is many times greater than that of South Africa, and that their accident figures are substantially lower than South Africa’s. Six states in America and South Australia have already canned the no-fault system because it did not work for them. I am pleading: Do not go into this blindly believing people, before the right thing has been done.
If cognisance is taken of the above and of the restricted budget for the Rabs implementation, then it is clear that compensation under Rabs will be drastically restricted - unless an even heavier burden is placed on the citizens of our country. Our track record indicates that we will fail to properly implement such a system. Can it not be said that government, on the one hand, is failing to ensure a safe environment on our roads by underfunding the Road Traffic Management Corporation? And that is not a joke, Deputy Minister.
On the other hand, it would appear that government would rather increase the fuel levy in order to compensate victims of accidents through the Road Accident Fund, thus affecting the poorest of the poor the most, with the downstream effect, and attending to the symptom rather than the root cause. At the same time, the introduction of Rabs will reduce benefits accruing to the victim. And yes, no doubt, there were some attorneys who, for the lack of a better word, ripped off their clients and they must be dealt with. I totally agree with that. But then, Raf is a department that we must be able to trust - but they, too, are ripping off road accident victims. I will give you an example: A direct claim was … [Time expired.] Thank you.
Ms S T XEGO
Ms D CARTER
Ms S T XEGO-SOVITA: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon members, distinguished guests, fellow South Africans, good evening. The month of May marks the month when South Africans renewed their support of and trust in the ANC by voting it in by 62%, so mandating it to continue with its radical transformation agenda, which responds directly to challenges such as poverty, inequality and joblessness.
The budget presented to this House today adds to the many strategies and programmes of the ANC that continue to help free our people from the economic and social legacy of apartheid. This democratic government, as led by the ANC, is in its 21st year, compared to the more than 340 years of the apartheid era. South Africans feel, see and confirm the difference; that South Africa is better than it was before 1994. [Applause.] Really, we are a nation at work. It is only those who usually look down, hoping to see the skies, to whom nothing seems to be happening. My advice to them is that for you to see the stars, you must look up.
Chairperson, the President declared this year as the year of the Freedom Charter and for us to correct the imbalances of the past. The Department of Transport is strategically placed at the heartbeat of economic growth. To implement its broad mandate, it has seven programmes, includingthe civil aviation and maritime branches. Aviation and maritime transport take advantage of the natural resources that we have as South Africans, such as the skies and the ocean.
Of a total budget of R53,4 billion, R111,1 million goes to the maritime branch and R149,5 million goes to civil aviation. Entities such as the Airports Company of SA, the Air Traffic Navigation Services, the SA Civil Aviation Authority and the SA Maritime Safety Authority are the foot soldiers of the Department of Transport, the common objective being to ensure the safety and security ofour skies and oceans.
This debate comes at a time when Africa and the world are looking at us because of what has just happened, unfortunately, when some South Africans changed their attitude to foreign nationals. Those South Africans must follow the tune set by the good practices of ATNS, which, in the many programmes of the Aviation Training Academy, accommodates both young South Africans and young people from other African countries. They are being trained as air traffic controllers and in other related areas. Asimanga, siyaqhuba. [We are not stationery; we are mobile.]
Budget Vote 35 of the Department of Transport has the full support of the ANC as we continue to observe the transformation of and good governance in the practicesof entities such as Sacaa, where it is evident that young black people from the deep rural areas of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, as far as Aliwal North, train as cadets and engineers. Ayizenzekelilonto [it did not just happen by itself], Chairperson. This happens only if you deploy a real cadre. [Applause.]
The launch of Operation Phakisa, with its special focus on the ocean economy, reminds us of the commitments made by International Maritime Organisation when it declared 2015-2025 the Decade of African Seas and Oceans. Programmes such as reaching out to the youth in all the corners of South Africa to take the opportunities that are there in the maritime sector are appreciated.
The Budget as tabled here today is a budget that, among other things, will and must contribute to the creation of decent jobs and economic growth; create investment opportunities; reduce to zero the cases of incidents and accidents; co-ordinate and mobilise resources in cases of unforeseen disasters; and promote good governance.
To all South Africans out there, I am confident when I say that this government is still on the right track when we are internationally recognised as being among the best performing countries in air traffic management and having safe skies and oceans. We produce capable and internationally recognised highly skilled pilots. Credit goes to you,Sacaa, for the awards awarded to you. Though good is never good enough, keep on going. South Africa must remain as a destination and home for all.
As a committee, we will continue to play our oversight role over this budget, hold the department accountable, lobby the support of political leadership for underfunded programmes, advise on required interventions and ensure that all of us are moving South Africa forward.
The ANC welcomes and supports this Budget. Enkosi,Mhlalingaphambili [Thank you, Chairperson.] [Applause.]
Mr C H H HUNSINGER
Ms S T XEGO-SOVITA
Mr C H H HUNSINGER: Chairperson, Minister, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, despite frequent acknowledgement of the NDP the following aspects in transport hamper economic growth and development: indecision and a lack of policy implementation; inadequate urban and rural/urban mobility; insufficient levels of public and private sector collaboration; lack of infrastructure investment; a shortage of critical skills; and performance issues in key institutional structures. Therefore, it is with great concern that we take note of severe budget reductions.
Nearly 84% of the budget cutbacks represent three crucial developmental grants: the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant has a 35% cutback; the Public Transport Operations Grant has an 18% cutback; and the Public Transport Network Grant has a 31% cutback.
Confusingly, while public tax contributions and levies are increased, 91% of these cutbacks will be directed to roads, public transport and rail. This will set us back in a very bad way. In the road freight, commuter bus and aviation industries, for example, most equipment and spares are imported and therefore vulnerable to exchange rates. In the road and aviation industry, as much as 60% of input costs are US$ related and this will not support a stable and business-friendly environment. The 35% budget cut in the Provincial Roads Maintenance Grant, for instance, is a step in the wrong direction when it comes to ensuring least-cost freight transport, road safety and,thirdly, the facilitation of definite future traffic growth on these mainly rural roads.
In the same manner, major elements in the National Freight Logistics Strategy have still not been actioned. Although most of your focus is on the corridors to rebalance the road-rail modal shares, we have an insufficient focus on rural services.
According to a study that was conducted by Prof Jackie Walters of the University of Johannesburg, tonnage transported on freight corridors by road increased by 75% over 10 years, while tonnage transported on rural roads increased by 136% over 10 years. If rail is able to improve its services, it will result in a natural movement of all types of cargo back to rail as the preferred mode of transport.
Public taxes, like the fuel levy, constantly fall prey to fixing irresponsible practice, for example, the Road Accident Fund. The Minister of Finance, Mr Nene, announced a 50c increase on each litre of fuel. This equates to a 48% increase when over the last seven years a total of 14% was found to be sufficient. Apparently no investigation or financial scrutiny was undertaken to notice the deliberately inflated legal cost in the expenses column, nor was it questioned why 530 people were employed in just one financial year. This increased expenses to well over R220 million in just one year. Yet the statutory mandate of the RAF has been the same since 1996.
Why should 25% of total staff be employed in one financial year? It is mind boggling why and how the CEO of an actuarially insolvent agency should earn more than R5 million and receive a performance bonus of over R1 million. This is not only more than our own President but is in fact more than what the presidents of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France and China earn. [Interjections.]For what?[Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order!
Mr C H H HUNSINGER: The Minister cannot deny our effort to discuss the issue of misrepresentation since we directed specific questions about this on 3 March 2015 in the portfolio committee. The fact is that Minister Peters, as well as the RAF board, refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing and choose to counterattack before considering any evidence. Sadly, we have received a shocking flow of allegations of more fraud, scandal and corruption reported via the toll-free helpline that we launched on Wednesday last week. From this it is quite apparent that a thorough investigation is absolutely crucial. Many victims, employees and stakeholders testify to this due to the free hand and unchecked manner of the current administration. We again appeal for a full investigation into the RAF.
In a broader sense, we reject budget reductions that would have improved the lives of all South Africans and reduced inequality. We demand accountability for our taxes and levies and we will continue refusing to finance cheap publicity-stunt performance bonuses. We will never support a dispensation without checks and balances. I thank you.
Mr M P SIBANDE
Mr C H H HUNSINGER
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Sihlalo, oNgqongqosheabahloniphekile, malunguahloniphekile, ngizonxusaukuthiomamabonkemabaciniseizifociyaokhalweningokubasekuzochithekaubendle, injoboisizolingananomsinsilakulamabhoxongwana. Uxhamuuxakilekuxukuzelaizisukoxoshidadakwezombangazwe, wosikhwiliuphambananobhoko, umncolougombetsheni, uchobaizintwalaekhandalikanina.UhulumenioholwauKhongoloseumaehlabaumkhosiwokuthizonkeizakhamuziokufakaphakathinamaqembuaphikisayo, njengomphakathimasibeyimbumbaukuxoshaindlala, nokudalaamathubaemisebenzi, ogalajanebakushayaindivalokho.
UhulumenikaKhongoloseuthimakuthuthukiswefuthikwakhiweamabhuloho, nemigwaqoemikhuluezoxhumanisaiNingizimuAfrikanezwekazi lase-Afrika.Uma sidingidaloludabakumakomidiasePhalamendesiyavumelanakodwaumasekufanelekukhishweisabelosezimaliozokwenzalomsebenziukuthiubeyimpumelelokepha, hhayi-ke, sekwabayinsakavukelaumchilowesidwabaukuthibaphikisanenaso.Uzokubabonangokubhocobalabashayeingwijikhwebubesebashayaindiva, uzobezwangokuklewulakuhlekwechalahaumalishayaumkhulungwane.
Sihlalo, ngizokwenzaisibonelo, umholi we-EFF, labaabakhulumakakhuluNgomquloWenkululekosengathibayawazi, zololokhubekadebatshelaabantuukuthimabahlaseleeLuthuli House.Kodwaumaubhekaamarekhodi, yena lo mholi we-EFF ngenkathiaseseyiphoyisalomgwaqo ... [Uhleko.] ... umaungambuzaumbuzowokuthiyenzanjanii-Bandelierkopngobaumngwaqowakhonawafakwaitiyela ...
... within a minute it was gone.
Bekasesekhonalaphoyena, uyaziukuthingikhulumangani.Ibhuloho lase-Tubatse liyephi? Umbuzo okumele sizibuzo wona lowo ngoba abanye bese bayithatha ngenye indlela. Sihlalo, manje ...
... within a second ...
... babekade bekhuluma nge-Marikana. Ungqongqoshe uma ethi makwakhiwe umngwaqo eMarikana bathi isabelomali masingakhishwa. Umphakathi wonke ukubonile futhi ikuzwile nxa usho njalo, uthi isabelomali singakhishwa eMarikana. Kusho wena, akusho mina. [Ihlombe.]
Nguhulumeni oholwa uKhongolose kuphela onegalelo lenguquko kuzo zonke izizinda nezinhlaka zikahulumeni. Uhulumeni kaKhongolose uma uthatha izintambo ngo-1994 wathola ukuthi kwezinye izinhlaka zikahulumeni ezifana ne-Road Accident Fund kwakukamaqhanqa kwampunzi edla emini. Izimfanelo nemali okufanele zikhokhelwe abantu abashonelwe noma abalimele ezingozini zomgwaqo bezingafiki kubaninizo. Ngalokho-ke uhulumeni waqoka ithimba elibizwa ngokuthiwa yi-Satchwell Commission, ukuba lenze ucwaningo ngalomshophi wodaba. Umlando wethu kumele siwazi, lwabakhona. Nangempela kwatholakala ukuthi kunezinkomba zokuthi kuneqeqebane lezifika namthwalo eselenze inguyazana okufaka phakathi abameli nodokotela bamaqadasi bezigwazela ibhece, bayazitamuzela ngemali ephuma kusikhwama se-Road Accident Fund okufanele ikhokhelwe abashonelwe nabalimele ezingozini zomgwaqo. Leli khomishana laphinda futhi lathola ukuthi kunomkhonyovu owenziwa yile migulukudu efaka phakathi nezingozi ezingekho, eziphekwe okusetshenziswa khona amaqadasi ayizivakashi eNingizimu Afrika okumele akhokhelwe ngemali eyi-currency yaphesheya, okungama-dollar.
Ngale miphumela nangezincomo ze-RAF eziphakanyiswe yile khomishana lika-Satchwell, uhulumeni kaKhongolose waphakamisa ukuthi imali mayikhokhelwe abaniniyo ngqo. Ngakho kuyadabukisa ukuthi iqembu elidume ngokuthi lingosika unamathisele, iDA, kubaholi balo abampisholo, aleneme neze ngohlelo olukwazi ukuhlomulisa abantu abavelelwe yizingozi emngwaqweni ikakhulukazi uma kuhlonyeliswa abantu abampishilo. Lokho-ke sekuyenze i-DA yavuka umbhejazane, izama ngazo zonke izindlela ngokubheca ngobende abaholi be-RAF inyama bengayidlanga. I-DA isimagange sengathi yihashi liphethwe isimoliya livukwe yizipoliyane. [Ihlombe.]
Singazi phela, ngokuba amaphoyisa aseGoli athola izidakamizwa okufaka phakathi inyaope ... [Ubuwelewele]
Mr S J MASANGO: Chairperson, the member cannot compare us with animals. I think we have to call him to order.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, did you compare hon members with animals?
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Nasekhayauyaziwa, ebandlabamhlalisaphansingasosonkeisikhathingobauhlaleleukwenzangalendlela. Akukho la ngiyengathibayizilwanekhona.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, did you compare the members with animals, yes or no?
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Azange. Akasazi isiZulu lo.
Mr S J MASANGO: Chairperson, he spoke about horses and I ask him to withdraw that.
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Angeke ngihoxise ngoba angishongo njalo.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, I will ask for assistance to check whether the hon member did compare you with animals and then I will rule before the end of the sitting.
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Ngicelaisikhathisami.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order! You may proceed.
Mnu M P SIBANDE: Singaziphela, ngokubaamaphoyisaaseGoliatholaizidakamizwaokufakaphakathiinyaopeephuluphethelebandlaeliholwaumholi we-DA umhlonishwauMaimane. Sasiqinisileisalukaziumasikhuzaumhlolosezwakalangokuhayizasithi, “YehenisazesavelelwaweJesu.”Umbuzookufanelesizibuzewonaukuthikunganii-DA ishaamashushukangakangenguquko ye-RAF?Kantiiphindeibewobhongozawesigejanesamaqadasiangabamelikanyenodokotelaokufakaphakathinamaqolaangamavampirealwelaukuphilangegazilabantuabampisholofuthiabahlwempu.Ukhongoloseuyalesekaivoti.[Ihlombe.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms Y N Phosa): Order! Regarding the earlier point of order, I have been advised that the comment was not directed at any specific member, therefore the point of order is not sustained. [Interjections.]
THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
Mr M P SIBANDE
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, let me close by indicating that the budget that we are tabling today is about R53,7 billion, which is an increase of about 6%. We also know that by 2017 it would have increased to about R59,3 billion. Out of the total budget that we have, R47,8 billion goes to the 13 public entities transport, the provinces and municipalities. So, it is important that we realise that road infrastructure takes about R22,7 billion, rail about R18,3 billion, public transport about R11,5 billion, civil aviation about R149 million and maritime about R111 million.
I want to call on all of us, like the men and women of honour who pledged themselves when adopting the Freedom Charter in 1955, let us all today pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage until the democratic change set out in the Freedom Charter has been won.I believe, as hon members of the ANC have indicated, that this is one of the programmes we are going to follow to ensure that we do realise the vision of South Africa as an egalitarian society where we are all equal before the law and in terms of the benefits and opportunities that are availed by government.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the hon Deputy Minister and the hon MECs who are lined up on the other side for their consistent support, commitment and hard work. I believe there has never been MECs that work as hard as these MECs for transport and the MECs for roads and public works. [Applause.] If you travel throughout the country, you will see evidence of the work they are doing. However, I also want to thank the chairpersons and the CEOs of our agencies and companies, who are our delivery agents.
We also want to welcome the brand-new director-general, as well as the heads of department, and thank them for their contribution. I also want to thank the entire transport team for their commitment in keeping their eyes firmly focused on the long-term economic development of our people. I would also like to thank the Almighty God and my family for being my pillars of strength. I am what I am because of God and my family. [Applause.]
The Portfolio Committee on Transport, led by Ms DikelediMagadzi, has also played an important role in exercising their oversight functions in an energetic and focused manner, unlike those members of the DA who walk out of the portfolio committee to go and call a press conference on issues that they could have spoken to us about. I am not going to respond to your letter that you have written through the public when you have the opportunity to raise questions in the House.[Interjections.] You havethe opportunity to ask for interpellations. I have always answered all the questions. One thing that separate us as the ANC...[Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order! Hon member, do not scream; it is unparliamentary.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: One thing that separates ANC members from DA members is the fact that we have a100% commitment to serve the people of South Africa.[Interjections.][Applause.] We are not serving our interests. The hon members of the DA serving on the Portfolio Committee of Transport are lawyers and people who in themselves are conflicted with the rough, related processes. So when you speak here, we don’t know whether you speak for yourselves or the public. So you need to be able to separate that.[Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Hon member, order! Order, hon Minister. Hon member, I heard you use the word “rubbish”.
An HON MEMBER: Yes!
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): That is unparliamentary. I request that you withdraw that.[Interjections.]The member has withdrawn. You may proceed, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I want to repeat, hon Chairperson, that the members of the DA - both of them who participated in this debate - did not even participate during the budget processes of the Department of Transport.[Interjections.] You were sitting there like mummies; you were tjoepstil [dead quiet]. You could not even say a word. [Interjections.]
I would also like to thank the ministry...
Mr M P SIBANDE: Chairperson, I really do not think it is parliamentary to continuously call the Minister “rubbish” when she is speaking, and to scream like this.[Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: It is typical of him, don’t mind him.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mrs Y N Phosa): Order! The matter has been addressed. Hon members, let’s conduct ourselves in a manner that will maintain the decorum of the House.
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: I would like to thank the ministry for serving side by side with me and for their continued support and hard work in ensuring that the ministry remains functional. Hon members, let us remember that the National Development Plan says, and I quote:
We say to one another: I cannot be without you, without you this South African community is an incomplete community, without one single person, without one single group, without the region or the continent, we are not the best we can be.
I want to say thank you very much to all the members of the ANC, the NFP and the IFP for supporting the Budget. We want to make sure that we continue delivering services to our people and not to ourselves. Thank you.[Applause.]
The Committee rose at 18:53.
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