Hansard: NCOP: Unrevised Hansard
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 10 Oct 2018
No summary available.
WEDNESDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2018
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:00.
The House Chairperson: Committees, Oversight, Co-operative Government and Intergovernmental Relations took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation
NOTICES OF MOTION
Mr O S TERBLANCHE: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby wish to move a notice of a motion:
That the Council -
debates the scary government debt to GDP ratio that the South African government finds itself in;
notes that Stanlib’s Chief Economist, Kevin Lings told delegates to the Allan Gray Investment Summit on 19 July 2018 that total government debt, including the debt of state-owned enterprises pushes government debt to approximately 70% of growth domestic product; and
further notes that this figure is not sustainable and that this Council debates how the situation should be addressed and managed to more sustainable levels.
Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr C HATTINGH: Hon Chair, noting the continued floundering of state- owned enterprises, SOEs, their prolonged dependence on Treasury bailouts; their impact on the South African economy; their impact on the South African credit ratings and the President’s characterisation of SOEs as being in and I quote: “The biggest mess that you can imagine”.
I hereby on behalf of the DA move that this Council debates the state and future of SOEs.
RIVONIA TRIALIST ANDREW MLANGENI
Ms T WANA: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
notes that one of the last two remaining Rivonia trialists, Isithwalandwe and a veteran of our movement Tata Andrew Mlangeni was admitted in hospital last Wednesday afternoon; and
takes this opportunity to wish him a speedy recovery and also calls on South Africans to keep him and his family in their prayers.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
PASSING ON OF EASTERN CAPE MEC FOR EDUCATION
Ms Z V NCITHA: Chair, I move without notice:
That the Council -
notes with profound sadness that South Africa and Eastern Cape in particular has lost one of its son, Comrade Mandla Makupula;
further notes that he passed on in the early hours of Monday whilst he was admitted in one of the hospitals in East London, after a lengthy illness and a day before his 68th birthday;
also notes that Comrade Rema, as he was affectionately known, firmly established himself within the ranks of the SA Communist Party and the ANC as one of the finest leader and known as a commissar for the outstanding presentation on political education;
further notes that he joined the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature in 1999 and was deployed as a Chairperson of the numerous Legislature Portfolio Committees and subsequently the MEC of Education position, where he served with the utmost diligence and integrity;
extends heartfelt condolences to Comrade Makupula’s family, friends, colleagues and fellow comrades.
Sithi hamba kakuhle Mkhonto, qhawe le sizwe. Amandla!
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
COMMENTS MADE BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT BLOOMBERG BUSINESS FORUM IN NEW YORK
Ms B A ENGELBRECHT: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
notes the comments made by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York when he said there are no killings of white farmers in South Africa, yet in October, over just six days, nine farm attacks took place and four farm murders took place, farmers were killed,
brutally tortured, physically and mentally and were even forced to watch their wives and daughters being raped;
further notes that in the same week, the ANC denied that it had a contract with Unwembi Communications, owing it
R32,5 million for hosting its website, just two weeks later, the ANC agreed to pay the money it owes;
also notes that this week, former Finance Minister Nene has apologised for lying to South Africa about his meetings with the Guptas;
acknowledges that the people of this country are tired of the lives of the ANC; and
calls on the people of South Africa to vote for a party that is accountable, exposes corruption and immediately takes the action when this is uncovered.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
CONDOLENCES TO FAMILY OF HEATHER PETERSON
Mr J W W JULIUS: House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
sends its condolences to the family of Heather Petersen, a 45-year-old Westbury mother who was caught in the crossfire between gang members; and
calls on the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura to act on the violence that is affecting coloured communities after having admitted that the ANC provincial government had been neglecting coloured communities in Gauteng for years since the ANC came to power in that province;
further notes that the DA is in full support of efforts to curb the tide of violence and crime in these neglected communities, where the people are despondent and desperate for change to a safer and empowered community.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
BY-ELECTIONS IN WARD 71 IN CHATSWORTH
Mr A S SINGH: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
congratulates the ANC on its victory in the by-elections held in Ward 71 in Chatsworth in the eThekwini Municipality on 3 October;
further notes that the ANC with the support of the people wrestled this ward out of the hands of the DA;
also notes that the ANC won this ward in a tough contest against all major political parties, firing a warning of what is going to come and is going to happen in the 2019 elections;
congratulates the ANC and the Councillor Vedan on this telling victory.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
DEATH OF MR THAMSANQA COLLEN NKAMBULE
Ms M L MOSHODI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
notes with utmost sadness the death of Mr Thamsanqa Collen Nkambule on 14 September at the age of 38;
further notes that Mr Thami Nkambule, who was laid to rest on Saturday, 22 September in Kamhlushwa in Mpumalanga province was the elderly son of hon Dlamini; and
takes this opportunity to convey its heartfelt condolences to hon Dlamini and his family.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS DESMOND TUTU ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL
Dr H E MATEME: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council:
notes that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who turned 87- years-old on Sunday was admitted to hospital;
further notes that Archbishop Tutu who has played a prominent role in the fight against apartheid and in promoting racial reconciliation has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer for many years; and
takes this opportunity to join the nation and the global community to wish the Arch a happy birthday and a very speedy recovery.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution
2018 MATRIC EXAMS FOR DEAF PEOPLE
Ms L L ZWANE: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council:
notes and welcomes with appreciation that the 2018 matric exams are expected to be one of the first for the deaf people and the first for them to write Technical Mathematics and Technical Science;
also notes that the deaf will be able to use Sign Language to write these exams and 58 learners that are deaf from 10 schools will be writing these exams;
further notes that the facilitation of these examinations will be conducted by the department in an intention to provide a broader scope of subject offerings for pupils to allow for a stronger vocational slant in the curriculum;
wishes a good luck to the 2018 matric class that is about to write exams as expected to start on 22 October and conclude on 28 November;
Thank you, Chair.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
TWO-DAY JOBS SUMMIT IN MIDRAND IN GAUTENG PROVINCE
Ms M C DIKGALE: Hon House Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council -
notes government leaders under the visionary leadership of President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa in partnership with
labour and business leaders hosted a very successful two-day Jobs Summit in Midrand in the Gauteng province;
further notes that the Job Summit resulted in the signing of various agreements to address the high unemployment in the country and growing the economy;
takes this opportunity to welcome the outcome of the Summit, especially the decisive intervention by the social partners to work together to inject R100 billion to support small black businesses and move with greater urgency to creating
275 000 jobs; and
further welcomes the commitment made by all social partners to buy their products locally.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
APPOINTMENT OF HON TITO MBOWENI AS MINISTER OF FINANCE
Mr D M MONAKEDI: Chairperson, I move without notice:
That the Council:
notes with appreciation the appointment of hon Tito Mboweni as the Minister of Finance with immediate effect;
further notes the enormous experience that Minister Tito Mboweni is bringing in the public finance portfolio, especially at the critical times when South Africa and the global economy are facing down ward spiral accompanied by a mass unemployment and poverty;
takes this opportunity to express its profound appreciation to Minister Nene for his service to the nation, especially his visionary and decisive leadership to ensuring financial prudence; and
congratulates Minister Tito Mboweni in his appointment and wish him well in his new position.
The HOUSE Chairperson (Mr A J Nyambi): Is there any objection to the motion? [Interjections.] In light of the objection, the motion may not be proceeded with. The motion without notice will now become notice of a motion.
LACK IN JOB CREATION
Mr F ESSACK: Hon Chairperson, I hereby wish to move a motion without notice on behalf of the DA:
That this House –
notes that job creation ought to be the central pillar of this government’s endeavours;
further notes that job creation requires having provided skills to the youth of this nation to meet the job challenges of today - however that this is just not happening;
acknowledges that our education system remains woeful in what it offers and is crucial to the future of this country;
further acknowledges that job creation requires capital and the only legitimate reason for a government to borrow is for infrastructure development;
recognises yet that this government has been borrowing to support expenditure in consumption, such as public service salaries;
further recognises revenue income is consistently being incorrectly applied in South Africa to the detriment of job creation;
deplores the failure by the ANC administration to fast-track land reform over the last two decades has now created;
admits that changing the Constitution is going to dry up fixed direct investments, and consequently, the much needed jobs are not going to be created; and
regrets the outcome that we have now moved into a recession which is undoubtedly going to evolve into an economic paralysis.
The motion was objected to.
In light of the objection, this motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.
PHOKWANE MUNICIPALITY IN FINANCIAL DISTRESS
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chairperson, I hereby wish to move a motion without notice on behalf of the DA:
That the Council –
notes that the municipality of Phokwane in the Northern Cape is in deep financial trouble. The historical debt of the municipality towards Eskom, Sedibeng Water and Vaalharts Water exceeds R125 million. The equitable share that is due in December is not enough to rescue the municipality and put it on the road to recovery. This debt and the interest together with the monthly obligations are too much to repay given the monthly income that the municipality receives;
further notes that electricity cuts by Eskom were introduced three weeks ago due to nonpayment by the municipality, which has a huge effect on factories and businesses in the agricultural sector that will create huge job losses. We wrote a letter to the MEC requesting that the municipality be
placed under administration, in order to prepare an appropriate recovery plan. However, two weeks have since passed without any reply;
deplores that the municipality manager has since used the last Municipal Infrastructure Grant funds, MIG funds, to pay Eskom and keep the electricity on for another two weeks – unfortunately Phokwane Municipality will not have funds to pay Eskom when month end comes and electricity shutdowns will ruin the Vaalharts economy; and
urgently sends the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, to investigate and help with interventions in this municipality.
The motion was objected to.
In light of the objection, this motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.
LABOUR CONCERNS AT UMBHABA ESTATES
Mr M T MHLANGA: Hon Chair, I hereby move without notice on behalf of the ANC:
That the Council -
notes with utmost concern the issues that were raised by the farm workers at Umbhaba Estates, which is a large agricultural enterprise covering Hazyview, Hectorspruit and Kiepersol in the Mpumalanga province;
further notes that the workers went on strike on 4 November 2015 indicating that they wanted to join a trade union if their choice will assist in addressing their challenges, especially about their working conditions and their basic conditions of employment. As a result of the strike more than
390 workers were dismissed and many of the workers are facing gross intimidation, utter disregard and violation of their rights; and
calls on the Minister of Labour to conduct an urgent visit to the Umbhaba Estates and intervene to ensure that the concerns of the workers are addressed.
The motion was objected to.
In light of the objection, this motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon De Beer!
Mr C J DE BEER: Hon Chairperson, my motion has been covered. Thank you.
PASSING AWAY OF PARLIAMENT STAFF LENNOX GARANE
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, I move without notice on behalf of the DA:
That the Council –
expresses its most sincere condolences on the passing of Mr Lennox Garane, a parliamentary staffer who took his own life in this very precinct just a few weeks ago;
should not disregard the seriousness of the situation, where an unfortunate death might have been avoided;
acknowledges that Mr Garane had followed correct procedure and made several attempts to express his grievances, but after stressing all channels, he still was ignored;
further acknowledges that this incident is an indictment on Parliament apparently failing to abide by fair human resources practices and seems to have used vacancies to provide patronage and retain power;
should not allow this servant of Parliament to have died in vain. When he took his own life, Mr Garane was sending us a message that parliamentary staff should never be taken advantage of; and
calls upon the Presiding Officers to investigate this matter thoroughly and report back to the National Council of Provinces.
Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
WINS BY-ELECTIONS IN LEKWA TEEMANENG MUNICIPALITY
Mr D L XIMBI: I hereby move without notice on behalf of the ANC:
That the Council –
congratulates the ANC on a sounding victory in the by- elections held in Ward 7 of Lekwa-Teemane Local Municipality on 5 September 2018;
further notes that the ANC was able to get 75% of the votes in the ward on comparison to the EFF’s 25%;
also notes that the people of Lekwa-Teemane have shown their confidence in the ANC, therefore giving the EFF a taste of what is going to happen in the 2019 General Elections; and
therefore congratulates the ANC and Councillor Rapula Kwena on the resounding victory.
The motion was objected to.
In light of the objection, this motion without notice will now become a notice of motion.
EXTENSION OF DEADLINE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: House Chair I move:
That the Council, subject to the concurrence of the National Assembly, extends the deadline by which the Constitutional Review Committee has to report to 30 November 2018.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): As there is no Speaker’s List, I shall now put the question. The question is that the motion be agreed to as the decision is dealt with
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
ORATION OF CONDOLENCES ON THE PASSING OF HON MINISTER MS B E E MOLEWA (MP)
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson, Director- General, Nosipho Ngcaba, and all department officials, hon members of the Council, special delegates, on that fateful day of the 22nd of September, our nation woke up to the tragic and devastating news of the death of Minister Edna Edith Molewa following a short illness. I rise to express the profound and heartfelt condolences of the ANC, an organization she served with dedication and love until her untimely death.
As the ANC, we have lost a dedicated and humble servant who remained true to the founding values of the organization and its ideals. We have lost a formidable icon and a true environmentalist who remained in the forefront of our national and global efforts to the environmental integrity of a sustainable planet Earth that can be shared and enjoyed by all nations and most importantly the future generation.
Hon Chairperson, the President of the country in his eulogy described Minister Molewa as a woman of courage and of extreme professionalism and above all, of principle. For us, as the ANC, she remains a living embodiment of the ideals of our illustrious movement. We have truly lost a true compatriot and dedicated cadre of our movement who lived her life guided by the sole purpose and resolve to serve our people.
Comrade Molewa has been and will always remain a symbol of rare social and political activist who remained a voice of the strongest at urges of our people against racial oppression and segregation.
She participated in various structures in the family of the democratic movement and served in the trade unions movements at Commercial, South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, SACCAWU, and Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union of South Africa, CCAWUSA, at the highest level as the Deputy President. This demonstrates her active leader in the trade union movement right until the early 1990s when the apartheid government and the liberation movement first began the negotiations that led to the unbanning of the ANC and the historic first democratic elections in 1994.
Minister Molewa is undoubtedly an accomplished dynamic and courageous public leader who joins the list of leaders who have played a pivotal role in helping define the political and social fabric of a post-apartheid South Africa. Her illustrious political involvement in the struggle against apartheid is a true epitome of a community leader who rose and surmounted the travesties of growing up in a repressive apartheid society that was characterised by deep- rooted racial, cultural and gender discrimination that faced many of the women of her time.
She was amongst the first group of ANC parliamentarians in the new democratic Parliament as the first Premier of the North West province and a Cabinet Minister in various departments where she served with utmost dedication and remained a vanguard of our democratic order.
Chairperson, our history as a country will not be complete without acknowledging the pivotal role that Minister Molewa played as a champion of the environment. She was a leading voice in the development of and the subsequent adoption of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
It was under her leadership that South Africa formulated its first National Climate Change Response Policy and National Adoption Strategy. Our robust response to the threat of climate change had its genesis at the COP17 Conference Durban South Africa 2011, which laid the groundwork for the historic climate change Paris Agreement in 2015, which Minister Molewa worked tirelessly to ensure was concluded and ratified. South Africa and the international community have lost a true champion of the course of environmental justice and sustainability as a foundation for equitable socioeconomic development.
Minister Molewa lived her life for the ANC and remained an ardent member of the ANC. We know that when she reaches the other side of life she will join the rest of heroes and heroines of the ANC. We know that when the roll call is read on the parade ground, we will find the name of Minister Molewa among those who will be present and ready to work for the ANC and serve our people.
We say a fond farewell to this pulse of our movement and a great South Africa. We thank her for her sacrifices and tireless work in fighting for our people. Indeed, she has run the race, fought and became the victor. All that awaits her is the crown from John Langalibalele Dube, Alfred Xuma, James Moroka, Charlotte Maxeke
Lillian Ngoyi, Dorothy Nyembe and many other departed leaders of this glorious movement.
On behalf of ANC, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, especially her mother, Mme Esther Mmethi, her daughters Keneilwe and Didi, her sons Michael and Basiame, and to her siblings. May her soul rest in peace. I thank you. [Applause.]
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Hon Chairperson, hon members, and fellow South Africans, on behalf of the DA, I would like to express our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of hon Edna Molewa, the Minister of Environmental Affairs who sadly passed away on the 22nd September 2018.
Minister Molewa was a public servant of the people who will be remembered for her role in many initiatives that related to her portfolio, including her efforts to combat climate change as well as spearheading programmes for the translocation of rhinoceroses from high-risk to low-risk areas to curb poaching.
Born on the 23rd of March 1957 in the old Transvaal, hon Molewa was poised to rise to public service. During the 1970s and 1980s, hon Molewa was involved in many liberation movements including having
served as the Chairperson of the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union. Hon Molewa made history as the first female Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry soon after the birth of our democracy in 1994. That glass ceiling was once again shattered when the hon Minister became the first female Premier of the North West Province.
Shortly thereafter, the hon member became the Minister of Social Development at the beginning of the first Zuma Cabinet but was reshuffled to the Portfolio of Water and Environmental Affairs until May 2014. Hon Molewa then assumed the Ministry of Environmental Affairs after May 2014 due to the department having been split.
Edna Molewa will be remembered and honoured for her service to the country and to the people. We thank her for dedication to her portfolio and the work that she accomplished. May her soul get the rest she so deserves. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, on behalf of the IFP, allow me to express our sincere condolences to the family, friends and associates of Minister Edna Molewa on her untimely passing. To almost all of us in the country, the news of the passing of the
Minister came as a great shock because we thought she was still in a rather early stage of life to leave us.
In the few years that I have been here since 2014, I have known the hon Minister Molewa as one of the few Ministers who would always show dignity in this House by personally honouring and gracing it with her presence when required. In her presentations and engagements in the House, she always displayed the qualities of a polite, humble and quality Minister. Unlike others, Minister Molewa never displayed any arrogance of power when engaging even with the opposition benches of this House. What I admired even more about her, as the President has said, is that she was a beautiful, honest leader. Minister Molewa never ever misled this House in her responses to our questions. Minister Molewa was very committed to the cause of nature conservation. It was a good coincidence for her to be appointed as Minister in a portfolio for which she had so much passion. As I watched her funeral, I was touched by her son’s remarks when he said that even at home Minister Molewa always talked about saving the rhino.
The IFP also wishes to express words of condolence to the Minister Molewa’s political home, the ANC. May her soul rest in peace.
I thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: House Chairperson, Edna Molewa left us on the 22nd of September 2018. We accept this sad passing of our sister and comrade because we have no choice but to do so. We understand the pain her children are going through, we understand the loss her siblings and her mother are feeling because if we feel the way we feel about her passing, we can just imagine what the family feels.
We want to respect this woman who walked amongst us because as...
...re simolola ka borra Methe, ko Edna a tsalwang teng; re be re ya go bontsala le batsalammagwe, bomalome, barwa le barwadi, le ditlogolo tsa ga Edna, re re e wele kgarebe ya sekgantshwane. Re re e wele e tshetlhana e e sa boifeng sepe; re re e itidimaletse kgarebe e e neng e tsamaya e reneketsa; re re o ile mosetsana wa Motlokwa; re re, re gamaregile borra Sethema ka ngwetsi ya lona e e
tsamaileng; re re go Basi le Ogone, mmago le nkoko wa gago o tsamaile.
Mme Edna o tlogetse tshimane le tshetsana; o tlogetse basadi mo gare ga lekoko leo a neng a le direla la ANC; o re tlogetse rona bao re neng re na le go gotlhana le ene mme e bile re boa re tshega le ene. O tsamaile ditsela tse di boima.
I think life is funny because there are people who go through life easily and there are people who go through things, and Edna Molewa was one of them. She may have presented a brave face sometimes but she went through things. What we must learn from Edna is her spirit of always rising, her ability to smile even when she was going through pain but importantly, her ability to forgive when some of us refused to forgive.
I would like to say that we are touched and we are hurt. We wish this woman, of my province with origins from Limpopo, well. We know that in this organisation of ours that it is at times like this that the stalwarts and the hard workers go. We hope that we will take the courage, we will pick up the spear and we will continue with the work that Edna carried on. We also know that Edna never said “I
don’t know”; Edna would say “I am going to learn, therefore, I will research.”
Edna was never afraid to say “I’m sorry” even to the least amongst us. She made mistakes; however, she accepted her mistakes and corrected her mistakes. It is only a good leader who agrees to be led; it is a good corrector who allows herself or himself to be corrected.
So, I salute...
...mosetsana ono o rra Sethema...
...I salute this comrade of ours who is gone. And I hope that the ANC women, women of South Africa and the young women who are coming after us will learn that humility is not a weakness, that forgiving is not being stupid, that smiling when you are in pain does mean there’s something wrong with your brains. We will forgive and we will fight until we make sure that total emancipation reigns for South African women in this country. Thank you. [Applause.]
Moment of silence ... all members standing.
DEBATE ON TRANSPORT MONTH: TOGETHER WE MOVE SOUTH AFRICA FORWARD
(Subject for Discussion)
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I will do an unusual thing - let us not even subject it to a discussion. I am reliably informed that the Minister was supposed to be here at 15:00. So, instead of waiting for the Minister, I will allow Rayi to open the debate and when the Minister arrives, allow the Minister to participate. The Minister was supposed to be the one opening it, but this will not do us any harm.
We are getting to the debate as printed in the Order paper ... hon Julius?
Mr J W W JULIUS: On a point of order, House Chair: it is “hon Rayi”
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Point of order accepted even though I do not know what it means. Hon Rayi is the one that will open the debate. [Applause.]
Mr M RAYI: Hon House Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Rayi. Hon Khawula?
Mr M KHAWULA: House Chair, I was appealing that we observe the Rules that hon Rayi can proceed but we will not go back to the Minister; when we have passed, we have passed.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon members, the Rules of the House are very clear and I will be very consistent: I have made a ruling about the procedure and if you are not comfortable about it you will follow the procedure to deal with it in an appropriate forum. Continue hon Rayi. [Interjections.] I can’t review my ruling.
Mr M RAYI: Hon House Chairperson, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Chief Whip, hon members and special delegates, good afternoon. Transport is a catalyst for socioeconomic development and a significant driver of economic growth and job creation, assisting as an enabler in reducing historic inequalities.
Both the colonial and apartheid spatial inequality and transport system contributed significantly to the myriad of problems inherited by the ANC-led government in 1994. The legacy of the transport system in South Africa is not immune from that of other former African colonies. It was primarily developed for an extractive economy, imbedded in minerals energy complex, to import goods and export raw materials with a secondary consideration of providing an integrated and comprehensive system, other than where the needs of the economy required the transportation of employees.
After the democratic break through, the ANC-led government faced the task of putting in place policy that would enable a transport system to serve the needs of the economy and the entire nation. The essence of this system is captured in the ANC’s 1992 policy document “Ready to Govern”. It succinctly points out that, I quote:
The quality of living of all South Africans rests on the infrastructure program, which will result in the cultivation of decent work opportunities and strengthen industrialisation. It will address the legacy of segregation in transport and employment that resulted in deep socioeconomic inequalities.
It was with this policy underpinning that the October month was, in 2005 at a government Transport Lekgotla, declared Transport Month. The idea is to raise awareness on the role of transport in the economy and encourage participation from society to understand the significance of transport in the socioeconomic reality life. This month is used to further advance the country’s road safety initiatives whilst also creating awareness of the economic benefits of the sector.
Transport month further reminds us of just how vital the transportation sector is to our economy and our growing nation. While there are certainly challenges that need to be addressed, such as the high road death toll, there is a great deal of inroads that are being made to develop a more inclusive and safer transport system.
This month also serves as an opportunity to allow the department to celebrate successes, reflect on opportunities for the next year and review gaps that need attention. The Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, called for a transport system that promotes safe and affordable public transport as a social service; flexible enough to take into consideration local conditions in order to make the best use of the available transport infrastructure.
To give effect to this commitment, government has made strategic investments in transport sector over the years and transformed the quality of life of millions of people who were previously excluded from the economy. Now there are reliable and safe transportation services that are enabling much needed socioeconomic development.
The Transport sector is guided by the National Transport Master Plan 2050 which maps out the development path towards the long term for the transportation system. It is informed by the National Development Plan which envisions a transport system that supports the economic system and creates jobs.
The Transport Master Plan envisages a comprehensive, multimodal, integrated, and dynamic framework not only for implementing the transport strategy but also for providing infrastructure and services. Most importantly, the plan seeks to develop and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a multimodal transport system.
The Integrated Public Transport Turnaround Plan improves planning and implementation capacity in the municipal sphere; it rationalises and streamlines financial resource allocations for public transport. Municipalities are at the coalface of service delivery and transport
in this sphere serves as a catalyst in transforming society through its close inter-activeness with communities.
The Bus Rapid Transport System, BRT, as a segment of the Integrated Public Transport System, has created a conducive environment in assisting government’s vision to reduce motor vehicles on the roads and reduce carbon emission in line with the Kyoto Protocol.
Local government became the driving force for the implementation of the Integrated Public Transport System. The project has been the Metro’s developing Bus Rapid Transport Systems with the government subsidies. The government envisions that by 2020, more than 85% of the population of South African cities will be within a kilometre of an Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network. The Bus Rapid Transport System, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the Tshwane Rapid Transit System are already carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers.
The long-term plan for the BRT systems is to stimulate urban regeneration by bringing communities closer to economic opportunities. Government is working at reducing the cost of enhancing sustainability of the minibus and taxi industries. The implementation of a commercial, viable, revised taxi
recapitalisation programme is being worked on. The review of the scrapping allowance is envisaged to increase the allowance which will take into account price increase on vehicles.
South Africa’s developmental agenda sets goals on increasing jobs and maintaining existing jobs. The Department of Transport is central to the quest of job creation and through its programmes seeks to address both skills development and future sustainable jobs.
Road transport carries 86% of the share of freight compared to other modes, followed by shipping and then rail. Road is currently regarded as being the most reliable, predictable, and cost-effective mode of inland transportation. The development of transport corridors, such as the Trans-Kalahari Corridor, has gone a long way in growing trade with neighbouring countries.
Through South African National Roads Agency Limited, SANRAL, the Horizon 2030 strategy, has set aside 30% of sub-contracts for small businesses in line with preferential procurement policy, whilst women and youth entrepreneurships will be given preference.
The South African National Roads Agency Limited has created 1 500 jobs through the S’hamba Sonke programme. The program maintains and upgrades provincial roads. The project provides necessary skills to youth and woman. In addition, SANRAL is giving training and skills transfer programmes to small businesses. An amount of R3 billion has been set aside to upgrade the Moloto Road and an estimated 125 jobs will be created over the period of five years.
South Africa occupies a geostrategic location in the major sea trading route that lies at the heart tip of Africa and connects to Asia and American countries. It is estimated, that seaborne trade accounts for approximately 80% to 90% of the transport sector’s contribution to the South African economy. More than 96% of the country’s imports and exports move through sea transportation.
The Department of Transport has just launched the Comprehensive Maritime Policy for South Africa, which will involve the creation of space for the attraction of new and expanded investment and as a result, much needed job creation.
The policy enables transformation and creates a conducive environment for black businesses to enter the ocean economy. Mnambithi shipping, a black owned company, which is in a process of
purchasing a tanker vessel, is a reflection of the empowerment features of the Comprehensive Maritime Policy.
Furthermore, the Department of Transport understands that there is a looming global shortage of ships officers. In response, the department has undertaken the introduction of the National Cadetship Programme, which aims at attracting youth into the shipping industry, to address the shortage of cadets and engineering officers.
Operation Phakisa, as a programme to unlock economic potential, has created 4 507 jobs in the ocean economy, through the refurbishment and repair of ships in South African ports. To unlock the skills deficient in ocean transport, the department is offering financial assistance to learners who want to pursue maritime careers.
Outcome six of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, lays the basis for transport to play a vital role as a catalyst for socioeconomic development through its infrastructural development and provide a safe and more accessible public transport system.
The issue of the public transport subsidy regime will be reviewed, including the amounts for the bus industry, Gautrain and the BRT
systems. There is need to determine whether these funds are being allocated equitably, especially in support of the poor and whether adjustments are required.
A key priority for the ANC-led government is to create a conducive environment for economic stimulation, job creation, and reducing inequality, whilst creating an effective, affordable and safe transport system for all. Furthermore, it is imperative to transform the transport industry to meet international standards and contribute towards an inclusive economy. Together we can move South Africa Forward. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon members, I made a ruling earlier on. Deputy Minister, I welcome you. However, I must bring it to your attention that, as you were supposed to open the debate, I made a ruling that we would allow you, even though members weren’t satisfied. My ruling will still be subjected to a process to determine whether it was right or wrong. [Interjections.] Deputy Minister, I invite you to take the podium.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, hon members of the National Council of Provinces, and distinguished guests, allow me to apologise. I had a commitment in Gauteng and could only catch a
flight and arrive at a particular time. For that, I apologise sincerely. The Road Traffic Infringement Agency, RTIA, had an event in Gauteng.
I greet you all very heartily in this month of the birth of Ma Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu, a great icon of our hard-fought struggle for democracy and freedom. I extend my greetings to you today, 10 October 2018, in the middle of our Transport Month, which we have celebrated since 2005 when Cabinet fully endorsed it as a month to celebrate achievements in transport.
Significant levels of poverty, social backlogs, and inadequate investment, productive economic activity and employment remain critical challenges. Therefore, the October Transport Month is an important vehicle to interact with all South Africans, as we collectively commit efforts within the transport sphere to tackle the challenges we face as a nation. The national department and provinces have already commenced with a heightened focus on numerous transport programmes right across the length and breadth of the country.
The October Transport Month provides us with the opportunity to showcase our multiple programmes and projects within the transport
sector. These are vehicles for transformation and social and economic development for all our people. This month allows us to demonstrate delivery on transport infrastructure and operations. It permits us to interact with stakeholders and encourage debate, discussions and public participation on our transport policies, whilst it serves to expose young people to careers within the sector.
The national Department of Transport officially launched this year’s October Transport Month in Gauteng on 5 October. The programme kicked off with the Minister’s Metrorail ride from Pienaarspoort station in Mamelodi to Bosman station in Pretoria. Through this exercise, the Minister got first-hand experience of the challenges commuters experience daily during the peak periods of their commuting. The congestion and the lack of safety of commuters were primary concerns noted by the Minister.
The second part of the programme took place at the Lakes Hotel in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, in partnership with the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC. This latter segment of the launch involved road safety debates and a participatory educational techniques competition – a national competition run by the Road Traffic Management Corporation. The competition was for learners between
Grade 8 and 11 and focused on creative ways in which learners could contribute to improving road safety on our roads.
The importance of road safety education and awareness can never be overemphasised. Every year, approximately 1,24 million people die worldwide due to road crashes. Just today, the Deputy Minister participated in the national prayer day on road safety attended by about 6 000 people who felt we need a national day of prayer declared and approved by Cabinet for the first week of October annually. Of particular concern is that 60% of the crash victims in South Africa and globally are young people between the ages of
15 and 35. This initiative by the RTIA is very noble. It is not only for logistical efficiencies that we have been promoting the shift of cargo transportation from road to rail but also largely due to our concerns for road safety. This is whilst we are steadfastly promoting all attempts to reduce carbon emissions that result from road transportation of cargo and persons.
We are pleased to announce, as part of our plans for October Transport Month, that the President of the Republic of South Africa, the hon Cyril Ramaphosa, will officially launch the groundbreaking rail manufacturing factory in Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni in Gauteng on
25 October 2015. [Applause.] The factory has already employed
800 people but, of course, it will employ 1 500 people and will up skill 19 527 individuals, some of whom at the completion of the training will be employed elsewhere in various fields of the rail value change. This forms part of our long-awaited rail modernisation strategy, as we keep South Africa moving forward. We therefore invite you all to come and celebrate with us this groundbreaking launch of continental importance that will take place on
25 October this year. Even the opposition members are invited to see that we are doing our work. [Interjections.]
However, we know that this movement forward will always need the inclusion of technology and innovation, especially as part of modernising our transport space. We must find ways to stimulate our economy, to open a corridor of opportunity, and to produce more jobs through the enhanced use of technology. We thus modernise our transport infrastructure in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the benefits it holds for the overall enhancement of our nation. Recently, the Deputy Minister attended a summit in India on sustainable mobility, which sought to answer questions on the need for technological innovations and mobility. Last week Wednesday, the Minister attended the African Ports and Rail Evolution conference and the Future Mobility Africa conference in Durban. These provided futuristic views and solutions to tackling
our transport challenges and form part of our Transport Month projects.
It must also be added that amongst the highlights was a major Global Aviation Gender Summit by the aviation sector held in August. It was attended by more than 600 international delegates here in South Africa. The summit was hosted by the SA Civil Aviation Authority in partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organisation and our aviation entities. On 23 October, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services, ATNS, will lead the AVI Africa summit as an aviation stakeholder engagement on international best practices. Note that South Africa is responsible for 10% of the world’s airspace. So, the other countries around the world share 90%, and we take 10% of the world’s airspace. South Africa is doing exceptionally well. I think members will be aware that we have not had any crashes in our airspace. [Applause.]
The department remains largely an infrastructure department that operates in a domestic, regional, and continental environment with great mineral and other endowments, yet we continue to face a backlog in the delivery of optimum infrastructure for the transportation of these resources. We should be a driving a force for economic development. This is in addition to the ongoing
challenges of funding of roads, including our national roads for which the funding model is being considered.
We also face a backlog in the delivery of infrastructure that must afford our rural and peri-urban communities the necessary access to services and central production. This is being met through a concerted effort that involves communities through the promotion of programmes, such as Zibambeleni for rural access road maintenance, that also provide job opportunities for those rural communities. We are also burdened by poor transport infrastructure that hinders our capacity to import and export goods. Just last week, we had the opportunity to discuss this matter with role-players in the maritime sector through the National Ports Consultative Committee where highly important and strategic maritime matters were discussed. This included an update on Operation Phakisa, the ocean economy.
Speaking of Operation Phakisa, please allow me to mention progress in this area. The chairperson covered others, but I must mention that, for the Operation Phakisa projects, we are working on a more effective funding model for port-based infrastructure development through correction of regulation. I must also mention that in that meeting we struck another deal, an important one. For once, the Transnet Group agreed to delegate authority to the chief executive
officer of the Transnet National Ports Authority, TNPA. This means that the chief executive officer of the TNPA will therefore be able to approve leases for at least 15 years. For us, this is an important milestone. A road show at the Durban Container Terminal and Operation Phakisa projects will be conducted on 26 October. I must indicate that this port is being dug, particularly the berths there, and this will start just this month. Other berths will also be improved and dug deeper in that port.
As we launch the October Transport Month, we do so within the framework of the National Transport Master Plan that, as the chairperson indicated, is a comprehensive, multimodal, integrated, and dynamic plan. In addition, we found it of critical importance to hasten the finalisation of the single Economic Regulation of Transport Bill, in order to deal with regulatory and capacity shortcomings across all transport modes. Remember that this Bill is one of the items for the stimulus package announced by the President. It must be noted that the department has heeded the call by Parliament to fix the Acts pertaining to our entities in order to ensure the realisation of government’s developmental objectives.
Our national transport infrastructure, especially rail and roads, remains important not only to South Africa but to our region, SADC,
and the entire continent. This has become more important with advances in regional and continental integration which, no doubt, will boost our national and continental development and progress as Africans. Therefore, we must exploit our infrastructure fully to ensure that we create the most needed jobs for our people and our continent. Through our regional and continental engagements, we continue to improve corridor infrastructure. The Linking Africa plan launched by the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency will bridge the divide, fragmentation, and incoherence in policy strategies, legislation regulation programmes, processes, and procedures through a collaborative campaign for harmonisation. We are happy to announce that even the private sector, particularly our road freight industry, is in support of this. I think they are beginning to acknowledge the fact that we are doing a lot towards harmonisation of the abovementioned.
Other key events or campaigns that will take place during the course of the October Transport Month include the station modernisation of the Philippi station in the Western Cape. I think the MEC here will be happy to hear that. Together with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, the provincial department responsible for transport and public works, the City of Cape Town, and other stakeholders within the rail sector, we will take a train to
experience new rail network there. I know the MEC will join us. At the Durban Container Terminal, a Black Maritime Forum business seminar will take place. I am proud to announcement that as part of our October Transport Month activities, together with the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the City of eThekwini, Transnet National Ports Authority and the SA Maritime Safety Authority, Samsa, South Africa will launch, for the first time, a 100% black-owned shipping company. Of course, these black people are women. [Applause.] As we look to transform the maritime sector, we also intend to launch the Black Maritime Forum.
Coming to the Green Transport Strategy launch, this strategy commits us to providing an affordable, world-class transport network that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. It will be launched on 16 October 2018. I think members are aware that the transport sector contributes 81% of emissions. In fact, the road sector contributes over 90% of total emissions.
We will also be launching the Harrismith Truck Stop together with the province of the Free State and the Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality. For one, Harrismith will have truck stops. Thus, they will not be parked anywhere in the town. Harrismith is indeed a
strategic location on the N3 highway corridor between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
We are going to have a national transport imbizo in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape. The department, through the Minister, will hold this imbizo to take place in Khayelitsha in partnership with the province of the Western Cape, the City of Cape Town, all the transport sector entities and other key stakeholders in the transport industry. It will address some of the Metrorail or Prasa challenges we have in the Cape Corridor, including the violence, the burning of trains and theft of cables. It will also address some of the challenges experienced with taxi violence. This is scheduled to take place on 27 October.
We also launch the great one, the Mount Edgecombe Interchange, in Durban, as the formal closing event of the October Transport Month. It will involve the launch of the newly developed state-of-the-art Mount Edgecombe Interchange which, since its completion, has eased traffic flow along the N2 highway. We will team up with the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the City of eThekwini and the SA National Roads Agency to officially launch the interchange. It is scheduled to take place on 30 October 2018. Hon members are also invited to join us.
The Department of Transport, together with the provinces and all our entities, would like to host a transport innovation conference early next year to prepare ourselves for the ushering in of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its consequences.
The SA Network for Women in Transport – there is no way I would have presented any address here without talking about it. We are also proud to mention that this month we will launch yet another provincial chapter of the SA Network for Women in Transport in East London on 20-21 October.
We will continue to move the women, the youth, and the people of South Africa forward. With that, I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr W F FABER: Hon Chairperson, members and fellow South Africans, the theme for today is “Together to move South Africa forward”. The month of October, was declared transport month by the government to raise awareness on the important role of transport in the economy and to encourage participation from civil society and businesses, including the provision of a safe and more affordable, accessible and reliable transport system in the country.
Unfortunately, the ANC government couldn’t during the past year before transport month, mobilise public and private sector participation in transport projects to develop the country’s economy and ensuring sustainable job creation.
We were just recently informed that our state departments and entities had irregular expenditure of more than R72,6 billion, almost double in comparison with the R42,8 billion the previous financial year. This figure can be even much higher as the departments did not yet present their reports to Parliament, in the likes of Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens, SAL, South African Express, SA Express, as well as Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa.
So, we don’t even know what that is going to look like.
Last year, only SAL had a financial loss of R5 billion. Now, it is the time to privatise or give it away as the South African taxpayer’s can’t pay for mismanagement of the ANC anymore.
The purpose of the October transport month government campaign is to showcase transport infrastructure services and the Department of Transport flagship programmes, but unfortunately, the story is not a good one to tell or celebrate as they would like to say.
With mismanagement, corruption and state capture exposed in transport entities, totalling a few billion rand, which almost brought our transportation industry to a halt or should in some places it actually did, like SA Express mismanagement. Just ask our Chief Whip, hon Rayi who is not even here now and Member Parliament, MPs who can’t fly from Bloemfontein to Cape Town with SA Express anymore due to mismanagement and those flights have been stopped.
Now, they are making Kimberley in the Northern Cape the new capital airport hub. We thank your business, Chief Whip. While you are there, please spend some money. Our economy in the Northern Cape needs that.
On Prasa, we have to ask the following questions: what happened to the previous chief executive officer, CEO, Mr Letsoalo who decided by himself that he deserved a 350% salary increase? What about the fraud committed by Mr Montana? What about the R5,3 billion paid over by Prasa to the Gupta’s company offshore bank account for the illegal fraudulent deal? Was this ever retrieved? These stories have a way of just being brushed aside not to embarrass the ANC.
The Gupta company got R5,3 billion just for putting the train deal together with Prasa board members and top officials helping. Does anyone here know how much is one billion rand? If you can start
counting from 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, up to one billion, it will take you approximately twelve years to get to one billion – yes you heard me correctly. It will take you twelve years to count from to one billion.
Now, to count from one to R5,3 billion with the ANC Gupta deal, you can take every second of the day for 64 years to get to
R5,3 billion, but spending for the ANC and the Guptas is only few minutes with cadres deployed by the Guptas to enrich themselves.
South Africa said enough is enough! Today, the poorest people in our beautiful country are suffering because of the ANC and their friends who captured the state entities. This is why on this reports are going on.
Fuel prices rocketed up in the past few months which was not unexpected if you follow international news with the diplomatic crisis between the United States and Iran. The bottom line is that although this is partly the reason for SA fuel prices, we must look at what the basic fuel price is and then the dreaded tax levies by that ANC government.
Let us take a brief look at the breakdown of 95 unleaded fuels for inland provinces. Now, the price for the mentioned fuel is a whoppingly ridiculous R17,08 including the total price is a fuel levy of R3,37, the Road Accident Fund levy is R1,97 a contribution to the basic fuel price of R8,51 and a dealer’s margin of only R1,90 among several other costs.
The ANC government is so willing to lose billions of rand to irregular spending and corruption. Why do the South African people have to pay so much for petrol? Perhaps, if the ANC government were responsible with the people’s money, maybe there would be no need to constantly raise this petrol every month.
It’s always wonderful to hear the projects that the Department of Transport are planning to implement and to improve travel and infrastructure. However, any new initiatives from this ANC national government are meaningless to the South African people who soon will not be able to pay for public transport with the rising cost of fuel.
Now, the ANC will make everyone to believe that these taxes can’t be reduced, but let me quote the same ANC in newspaper report in 1993 and I quote:
“The ill-considered and uncaring decision to increase the petrol price only confirms the National Party, NP, government ...
I don’t see hon de Beer of the old National Party here today, who now belongs to the ANC.
... does not have the interests of the majority of South Africans, who are poor and struggling desperately to make ends meet, at heart. If the government persists in pressing ahead with these indefensible price hikes, they will be inviting a similar reaction to that when VAT was increased. Now is the time for them to establish the tradition of a government that cares for and consults with its citizens”.
You the same ANC said this in 1993.
On road safety and facilities - I want to go, between 2015-2018
135 000 people died on South African roads. The safety campaigns implemented by the Department of Transport to end this carnage on our roads with road safety initiatives are simply just not working. I quoted the Herald newspaper saying 135 000 people, now this is in three years. It is the total population of Midvaal Municipality in Gauteng.
To think in three years, we lost the amount of people living in Midvaal. How can South Africa move forward in this status quo remains losing lives and causing South Africans hundreds thousands and millions of rand?
I must also thank the Department of Transport and South African National Roads Agency, Sanral, for the 3 newly constructed traffic circles on the outskirts of Kimberley. Previously, these were dangerous four-way stops on the N12 and provincial roads and known as crossings of death, as so many people have lost their lives over these years.
Many lives could have actually been saved, if this was addressed many years ago. Since, these circles have been built, not one more life has been lost. So, thank you Minister to that as well. These are the type of initiatives that can actual help to prevent the loss of lives on our roads.
During the past year, the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences, Aarto Amendment Bill came to our select committee. Pilot projects were run in Tshwane and Johannesburg to see if this could be viable but without the demerit system implemented, which is the largest part of the Aarto Amendment Bill. Unfortunately, the
cost and infrastructure to make Aarto work in SA will just not practical or viable if we must be honest with each other.
In conclusion, I now fully understand why the demerit system was not implemented in these pilot projects. If we had to implement a similar demerit point system in government, the ANC would have lost their licence to govern South Africa many years ago.
It is time that we get rid of an unlicensed ANC government, who is not roadworthy to take South Africa forward on the road to prosperity and to rather vote in the DA government in 2019 to show that we can create one prosperous South Africa for all. I thank you, Chairperson.
Ms N T XHANTI (Eastern Cape: Chairperson - Transport Committee): The House Chairperson, members of the NCOP, SA Local Government Association, Salga, ladies and gentlemen, good day.
Siyabulisa kuba sidibana ngale nyanga yokuzalwa kukamama wethu omkhulu, umama u-Albertina Sisulu, sisithi sivuyisana naye kuba kulo unyaka ngeneminyaka e-100.
Hon Chair, we are into the second week of the transport month. A period which as the transport sector we used to showcase the work that government has done in developing the country using transport as a key level. This period offers us an opportunity to reflect as well as to increase engagement with recipients of services. It also serves as a launching pad of our road safety campaigns as the nation gears for the festive season.
The Eastern Cape remains one of the provinces that still suffers from reminisce of apartheid. This is evident as there are parts of the province that depend entirely on taxi industry which at times is unpredictable. As a department, charged with a vision of providing an efficient, safe, sustainable, affordable and accessible transport system.
We are advocating for further investment in the transport infrastructure that will enable us to create an enabling environment for the movement of goods and people. This, we believe, will provide greater access to public amenities and economic opportunities.
During this transport month, amongst others we ought to deepen engagement with all transport stakeholders that we indeed provide an
integrated public transport system in the country in particular in the Eastern Cape.
We have noted with concern the burning of trains in the Western Cape which plays a significant role in ensuring that the ordinary, mostly the working class is safely transported to their places of work. We want to strongly condemn such actions and add our voices to the call for the security cluster to dig deeper in finding the perpetrators.
As the Eastern Cape we are currently on phase one of the Integrated Public Transport System implemented in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and as a part of this month’s programme the MEC of transport will be in the Metro to check on the progress made and engage all interested parties. This we do to ensure that all challenges experienced are noted and resolved as well as to ensure that we minimise those in the next phases and when we eventually implement the programme in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. As the ANC-led government we will continue giving support to the public transport sectors such as Algoa Bus Company, Mayibuye Transport Corporation, Africa’s Best 350 Ltd and we also continue giving funds to SA National Taxi Council, Santaco.
April 2018 saw the incorporation of the responsibility of roads construction and maintenance to the Department of Transport moving from the Department of Public Works, thus aimed at integrating the services. As the province we acknowledge the part of our challenges including the ailing roads infrastructure which our public transport operators and communities in general have been raising as a critical issue. We again in front of this august House commit ourselves to ensure that we use the resources allocated to speed up the creation of accessible roads infrastructure across the province.
We are committing to accessible roads simply because the government purse cannot afford the building of surface roads. With the strategic decision taken by the provincial executive of handing over some of our strategic provincial roads to SA National Roads Agency Ltd, Sanral for construction and maintenance is beginning to shape as some of the projects are complete. We did witness as the Eastern Cape people that most of the roads are complete. Over the last couple of months we have been moving across our province outlining our plans to attend to their demands for the roads and openly sharing with them some of the challenges we are faced with. Our approach has been frankly openly disclosing our shortcoming with the aim of taking communities in confidence. This has enabled us to
decide with our communities on which roads to prioritise using the available resources.
In July we introduced a new operating model for the construction of roads, and our plan going forward is to ensure that we split our work and resources in half such that a 50-50 split is realised between the work done by our in-house teams and outsourcing. We have already started to buy some of the machines for in-house. This will be coupled with a strategic sourcing of material required for this work. Recently we have, together with the National Departments of Public Works and Defence and Military Veterans set aside an investment of R77 million which will assist in building nine bailey bridges in our rural communities. That programme is set to commence this October Transport Month. You cannot talk about transport without accessible roads.
As the province, we continue to be one of the hardest hit in road crashes that lead to fatalities. We recently recruited 30 trainee traffic officers from all across the province to beef up our pool of officers as we gear up the implementation of 24 serving in traffic law enforcement. About 100 traffic officers that were in the training graduated. This is a move that we believe will contribute immensely in strengthening our road safety programmes. Since the
beginning of this year, we also have trained 200 traffic officers on firearms under the Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000.
Only last week, we launched skills development centre, a partnership with Ikhala Tvet College which will see the development and implementation of training programmes in the transport sector to assist in bridging skills gap.
In conclusion, as we continue to observe October Transport Month, we must take steps to realise the vision of the National Development Plan, NDP, which calls for the investment in the transport sector which will strengthen economic development by supporting the movement of goods from points of production to where they are consumed, facilitating the regional and international trades. I thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister and hon Chairperson of the Council, on behalf of the IFP, I welcome this opportunity to participate in a debate of this important topic. The key service behind the success of every economy in the world is transport. It is not just transport service, but an efficient and reliable system of transport. South Africa’s rail transport service is deteriorating day by day. It keeps moving from tolerable to
worse. We have a rail system that does not keep time and risks our work force by job losses on daily basis due to late coming. We have a rail system where safety is highly questionable as it subjects commuters to the risk of losing their lives everyday. We have a rail network whose volume of service has been shrinking year on year. We have a rail system whose management has been plagued by corrupt activities of the worst order.
Of late, the rail safety regulator has threatened to withdraw the operating permit for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, for the very same reasons that Prasa is subjecting commuters to life risks and is not safe at all. The ongoing impasse between Prasa and the rail safety regulator is a blow even to the economic survival of our country.
The national airline of South Africa, the SA Airways, SAA, is overpowered by foreign-owned airlines like the British Airways and others on its own home ground. The SA Airways is badly managed, has fraud with corrupt practices and its efficiency is questionable.
Because of the very same reasons of mismanagement, the SA Express has been operating on threats of permits withholdings due to the reasons of safety.
Road fatalities in South Africa in 2015 amounted 12 944. The figure increased by 9% in 2016 to 14 071. In 2017, 14 050 people died in road accidents in the country. Statistics have revealed that Africa as a continent has 2% of the world’s vehicle population but contributes 20% of road deaths in the world, with the lion share being contributed by South Africa. The road network system of our country is hampered with congestions especially during peak hours. It’s hampered with potholes, poor management and monitoring of the users, intolerance amongst users, violence, hijackings and bribes. As a result of these shortcomings the country’s workforce can hardly rely on our transport system as a safe and right means of commuting to and from work.
Under all these grim circumstances, how can we hope to be moving South Africa forward at all? No wonder the economy of our country is at such a gruesome state. When our economy takes two steps forward, it then take five steps backwards. In such a situation there’s no forward movement but regression. It is like our petrol. It goes up seven times by 70 cents per litre, 90 cents per litre, etc, but ultimately when it happens to be going down, this will only be once in a blue moon and only a decrease of 40 cents per litre for example. Petrol decrease in South Africa does not make any meaningful impact but only brings sorrow and hard life to citizens.
With petrol increase everything else goes up - transport fees go up, food prices go up and commodity prices go up. But when petrol goes down, nothing ever returns to the previous low price because these decreases are nothing but a shame.
What are we paying for in petrol? Petrol usage in South Africa is heavily taxed including the charges that go to the Road Accident Fund. Ironically, the irregular expenditure of the previous year by the Road Accident Fund amounted to R370 million. Our government increases petrol price in the country so that we can indirectly fund and subsidise corruption of the Road Accident Fund.
Our road network system in most parts of the rural areas of South Africa still leaves a lot to be desired. We have rural roads where only vehicles of a particular type can be able go though. This mentality of our government of prioritising urban development first and rural developments later leaves our roads with disastrous circumstances.
The IFP continues to state that it remains a matter of great concern that government continues to subsidise the bus transport system and continues to ignore the taxi industry in these subsidies. This position of our government is highly in contravention of the broad-
based black economic empowerment, BBBEE, policies. The taxi industry in South Africa is almost solely black-owned. It was initiated by black people long before 1994 and has withstood the storms of violence and others. It sustains the economic development of our country. The IFP appeals to government that the same subsidies that are given to the bus companies must also be given to the taxi industry.
I want to close by repeating what I’ve said here before, Chairperson. A friend of mine once said, and I quote:
When you starve rural people they riot, and when you starve rural people they die.
I thank you, Chair.
Ms M C DIKGALE: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon members and special delegates, ladies and gentlemen, the month of October is known for a variety of things. Worldwide, it is known as Mental Health Awareness month, Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Family History month, among others. For us, in South Africa, it is best known for being Transport Month. This is so because it reminds us
just how vital the transportation sector is to our daily lives, our economy and our growing nation.
The theme, Together we move South Africa forward, also buttresses the essence of transport, which is about movement. This is why this theme has been a recurring message since Transport Month was first launched by the Department of Transport in 2005, during the Transport Lekgotla.
While there are certainly challenges that need to be addressed, such as the high road-death toll during holidays, there is a great deal to be grateful for as we move towards integrating transport systems to provide mobility and accessibility to all South Africans.
The rail or train sector is one area whose movement forward we should be proud of. Those who know their history of the railway sector in South Africa will recall that this started in the 1850s in the then British Colony of Natal, with the coal-fired train. By all accounts, the Natal Railway Line was poorly built, the timetable was frequently interrupted by heavy rains, and it struggled to meet economic expectations. However, even though this ...
... stimela besihamba ngamalahle ...
Ms M C DIKGALE: ... as the late Hugh Masekela would say, compared to the ox wagon, rail transportation was better in every conceivable way.
Even though the Natal Railway Company ran the service at a loss in the first few years, commerce, trade and agricultural production steadily increased, along with the need for reliable transport of passengers and freight. It soon became apparent that rail was vital for growth and progress in the years leading up to the new century. By the end of the decade, the line had been extended to Umgeni. The rail sector was, indeed, moving South Africa forward.
The success of this railway saw the introduction of the first electric train in October 1924, running between Ladysmith and Chieveley in Natal. Unfortunately, the American economy failed in 1929 and South Africa, relying heavily on the gold standard, gradually suffered the consequences. Severe depression, drought and impoverishment wracked the country. However, during this hard time, the SA Railways played a major role. Thousands of labourers were given a livelihood. Many stayed on and later occupied important
posts in the organisation, then known as the SA Railways and Harbours.
In October 1981, after 70 years under the banner of SA Railways and Harbours, the name was changed to the SA Transport Services, Sats, which later changed its name to the current Transnet Ltd. The change was necessary as the multimodel nature of the organisation needed a more descriptive name.
In 2012, Transnet launched its Market Development Strategy, a seven- year, R300 billion investment scheme with a clear strategy to rejuvenate the country’s ports, rail, and pipeline infrastructure. A big portion of this investment is dedicated to rail as part of the government’s road-to-rail strategy. This strategy is well on course, with Transnet busy building its locomotive fleet.
However, for this strategy to succeed, there are certain essentials that we must not compromise on, such as reliability and safety.
Reliability refers to the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials.
Safety, on the other hand, in the case of railways, relates to train operations being safe from collisions and derailments. It also refers to security on those trains.
If these essentials of reliability and safety are not given the attention and priority they deserve, rail transport will be viewed as a catalyst for economic depression, nonproductivity and unemployment, rather than as a catalyst for economic development. This is so because when an accident occurs, the disruption disturbs the timeous arrival of people, goods and services, and impacts negatively on employment and the economy.
According to public sentiments, railway transport is currently below customer expectations because of poor maintenance, inefficiency and unreliability. These sentiments grew louder last Thursday when two passenger trains collided at the Van Riebeeck Station near Kempton Park, in Gauteng, leaving over 320 commuters injured. Perhaps we should change the name of this station!
The collision happened at about 17:50, after one of the trains, headed from Park Station to Pretoria, collided with the rear end of another train that was faulty and stationary at Van Riebeeck Station. According to the reports from the scene, one of the trains had stopped at the station and could not move because of mechanical failure. The stationary train was still at the platform when the second train came from behind and crashed into it.
According to some experts, the vacuum brake system, which is the braking system still being used by our trains, supplemented by air brakes, is partly to blame. They say the vacuum brake system is now obsolete. If this is, indeed, the case, then we must ask ourselves questions regarding moving with the times. We cannot afford to be left behind in this age of technology, especially with regard to the safety of our people.
Many commuters believe, though, that the train crash in Kempton Park was bound to happen. They say during that day, trains between Johannesburg and Pretoria were stuck all over the railway lines due to mechanical faults. They say many signals on that line do not work. In other words, travelling on that route ...
... e no ba Modimo nthuše ke fihle ke phela.
The reduced security on commuter trains has also opened the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, to a lot of risks, like vandalism, muggings and killings, etc. It has also presented an opportunity for izinyoka to steal the electric cables and copper on our lines, thus exacerbating accident risks for our trains. There
are also infrastructure challenges, where railway lines have not been adequately maintained, and poor facilities at some stations, like toilets not working and drains being blocked.
These are some of the issues that we must resolve, and very fast. They go against the two notions of reliability and safety, and Transnet and Prasa cannot afford to falter on these two. However, I am sure hon members would agree with me that these are not issues solely for Transnet and government, at large, but for all of us. The issue of cable theft is a social ill that affects our lives and economy. Furthermore, if we do not join the government in fighting it, we will be going against the National Development Plan, which has identified transport, especially railway transport, as one of the key sectors for economic infrastructural development. We should thus, in the spirit of the Thuma Mina campaign, lend our hands to fighting it.
The reverse side of unsafe and unreliable rail transport is, of course, the fact that many people will then turn to road transport, especially for freight. This will then lead to more congestion on our roads, thus compromising the very notions of reliability and safety, because the more our roads are congested, the higher the risk of accidents.
In adopting the NDP as its blueprint, the ANC-led government has accepted the primary responsibility, as it should, for transport both as a public good and as a means of supporting balanced economic growth and development. It has done so with the understanding that the absence of an adequate public transport service in all areas means that transport is a major contributing factor in marginalisation of the people. This is so because it is widely acknowledged that transport has a crucial role to play in economic development. In particular, it has been recognised that the provision of a high-quality transport system is a necessary precondition for the full participation of remote communities in benefiting from national development.
As we embark on Transport Month celebrations, we want to join Minister Nzimande in welcoming the Gibela X’Trapolis Mega trains. Even though I have not ridden in this type of train yet, as it is currently still limited to Gauteng, I can tell by just looking at it that it is a smooth ride. The Minister’s composure and smile, as he was riding this train last week, also suggested that this train is smooth, indeed.
The fact that these trains will cut commuter time by 50% is a sign that we really are moving South Africa forward. My only wish is that
they are extended to other provinces sooner, rather than later – and Limpopo must be the first one. With the caring ANC-led government in charge, I have no doubt that this will, indeed, materialise. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you. I hope the Chief Whip and the Chairperson are noting the Fourth Industrial Revolution when it comes to maximising the benefits of the tools of the trade. House Chair Ma’ Dikgale leads by example by using those benefits. [Applause.]
Mr M MGCINA (Gauteng: Chairperson ~ Transport): Hon Chair, hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Chief Whip, Deputy Minister, hon members, it gives me great pleasure to join this august House in this month of October, as we celebrate transport month moving South Africa forward. Gauteng’s 25-year Integrated Transport Master Plan indicates that the Gauteng road network remains one of the most important infrastructure assets of the province that underpins and support local economic growth and the resultant growth in job opportunities within the identified corridors and nodes.
While many countries are tightening their fiscal belts, South Africa’s macroeconomic approach affords government the space to grow
productive expenditure at a moderate pace to support social and economic priorities. Public spending in support of social programmes has been strong and, if combined with more rapid job creation, will significantly increase inclusion and income equality.
Transport is therefore a key economic driver. The cost-efficient and effective movement of goods from their points of production to their points of sale is at the core of a strong vibrant transport system. The same can be said for the movement of people from their places of residence to their places of work. Allow me, hon Chair, to quote two of the scholars, C Schachtebeck and Mr J M Mbuya on in their study titled assessing the potential benefits of road infrastructure development for poverty alleviation indicates that:
Poverty remains a challenge in the South African context. Poverty most commonly manifests itself in low income, poor health, low levels of education and feelings of hopelessness. Investment in infrastructure plays an important role in addressing economic deprivation. Particularly, investments in road infrastructure development carry significant importance for the integrated development of our country. New road infrastructure is generally driven and financed by public funding due to road infrastructure being considered as a public
good, which should be equally accessible to all. This means that the nature of road infrastructure development is not only beneficial for business, but also in creating a common good for a country’s residents.
The importance of transport infrastructure is different in rural and urban areas. In rural areas, transport mainly plays an important role in promoting agricultural production and commercialisation. A reliable transport system, including freight logistics in rural areas significantly reduces costs of agricultural products, as well as increasing the distance to arable land. It has also been noted that economic interactions are in close proximity in urban areas, as this allows more efficient use of space due to ease of access to nearby public facilities, including employment opportunities and housing.
Transport infrastructure plays a vital role in a country’s development, since it connects different regions of a country. It constitutes all types of roads, including rail as it has been mentioned, the airspace and the one we use in the sea which we call the ship. Worldwide, there exists a consensus that infrastructure holds the key to improving standards of living. In particular, a well developed transport infrastructure is associated with improved
access to markets and services, but also positively affects income levels due to lower transport costs.
Public investment in road infrastructure attracts additional investment from the private sector in the form of investment in trade and business, transport services and enabled mobility of the factors of production. The benefits of investment in road infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, are therefore amplified through private investment. While the development of road infrastructure can be privatised, with an expectation of profit from the developers by means of construction profit or tolling, the nature of road infrastructure development is one that serves a common good, which cannot always be monetised depending on the circumstances of which each country finds itself in.
Let me touch on what the Development Bank of Southern Africa said in its study. They said South Africa Road network is wide 153 719 kilometers of paved roads and 593,259 kilometers of gravel roads.
While South Africa has a large road network, the state of road infrastructure is concerned. Close to 50% of paved roads in KwaZulu- Natal are regarded as being in poor or very poor condition, closely followed by Mpumalanga, North West and the Eastern Cape. This is a study by the Development Bank of Southern Africa in 2014. The impact
is that road user costs are twice as high for roads in poor condition, when compared to roads in good condition. Further, the costs to repair roads are estimated to be seven times higher than the regular if we have to maintenance them and if we were consistent about tarring our road network system.
In fact, the Minister of Economic Development, hon Ebrahim Patel, announced in a media briefing in March 2013 that the South African road maintenance programme included maintenance of 21,000 kilometers of roads, which culminated in the creation of thousands of job opportunities. This is an ample fact that if we were to maintain our roads, we will be able also to deal with the scourge of unemployment that as a country we are content currently with.
On a global scale I want to touch on what other countries are doing in as far as the issue of road public transport is concerned.
Several studies were conducted in Asia on the impact road infrastructure investment has on poverty, one of the most compelling finding was that road investment over the period 1970 when I was born to 1997 reduced poverty by increasing nonagricultural employment, as well increasing agricultural productivity. Further, studies found in China for every 1% increase in road length, household consumption rose by 80%. I would have failed this House if
I am not going to touch on a panel that has been appointed by the hon Makhura, our premier.
Hon Chair, as this House will be aware that the ANC in Gauteng has taken a firm decision to canvass the national government to discontinue the current e-tolling scheme as a funding mechanism to the freeway improvement scheme. Accordingly Premier David Makhura had appointed a high-level advisory panel to probe alternative funding mechanisms for major public transport, and in particular the roll out of the province’s roads master plan. The panel recommended amongst others that the user pays provision for economic infrastructure and operations, which provides a measurable economic or financial return through the use of, for example fuel levy or the tolls on the road. Contribution from the fiscus for infrastructure and operations, which provide social benefits cannot or should not be paid for by users for example public transport. The reality is that the financial model of the e-tolls has placed an unreasonable and an unbearable burden on the people of our province. Whilst we will continue to work with all stakeholders, in particular the national Department of Transport, Gauteng remains firm in its conviction that we need to intensify our efforts to look at an alternative approach to the user-pay system.
Lastly, I want to touch on the issues of the rail system. We are highly concerned as a province about the scourge of vandalism that is taking place, particularly in the Western Cape and is now being imitated also in Gauteng. Every week trains are being burnt down. We are urging the Minister and our State Security Agencies to work together with us to find the culprits and to ensure that we preserve this mode of transport that is responsible for transporting more than 1,2 million people a day all over the country. These things must be dealt with. On that note, I want to thank you all and say we are moving South Africa forward. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr D GRANT (Western Cape): Hon House Chairperson, hon members, office bearers, delegates from the provinces, hon Deputy Minister of Transport, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour for me as the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works to represent the Western Cape provincial parliament today in the National Council of Provinces in this debate during Transport Month. In the time available, I will highlight briefly a number of aspects relevant to the Western Cape.
Regarding rail transport, without question the highest transport priority in the Western Cape is the ongoing rail crisis. This year we saw the commuter rail service in Cape Town decline even further.
A co-ordinated series of arson attacks is threatening to bring this vital service to a halt. The Railway Safety Regulator and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, are due in court tomorrow concerning the revoking of Metrorail’s safety permit. We now face the very real prospect of a Cape Town without a commuter rail service. This will have a devastating impact on the lives of those who depend on rail to get to work, to school and to access services. It will exacerbate our already congested roads and will do untold damage to the economy.
The Western Cape government cannot ignore this massively negative reality. I would be failing in my duty as part of this government if I did not call on the national government, Prasa and all law enforcement agencies to respond to this crisis with the urgency it deserves. Our collective focus should be on securing the rail network, eliminating vandalism and arson, and restoring rolling stock numbers. At the same time, clear and decisive steps should be taken towards the devolution of rail and the reforming of Prasa, which continues to demonstrate many features of a failed institution.
Now, regarding public transport, my department continues to make clear steps towards improving public transport in the Western Cape.
The GoGeorge bus service is transporting an average of 350 000 passengers per month and we are on the verge of rolling out a smart- card ticketing system. Through the Provincial Sustainable Transport Programme, we are partnering with undercapacitated local municipalities to improve public transport. We aim to work closely with local operators to collaboratively develop an innovative approach to improving services. We continue to manage the contract with Golden Arrow Bus Services under difficult circumstances, and in partnership with the City of Cape Town we are exploring ways of improving the service.
To support our role in public transport, we welcome the National Land Transport Amendment Bill and look forward to it being promulgated soon. At the recent Ministers and Members of Executive Councils engagements, or Minmec engagements, the national Department of Transport communicated their intent to push for additional investment and funding for public transport. We wholeheartedly support this proposal.
However, we think that we should carefully consider where this investment is directed. By incorporating the learning gleaned from a decade of integrated public transport network implementation, we must strive to achieve the greatest possible impact and value for
money. This includes a consideration of lower-cost approaches to delivering integrated public transport networks, or IPTNs, investment and additional funding for reformed public transport operations grant services and investment in rail recovery.
A clear and up-to-date public transport subsidy policy is required to guide such decision-making at a national level. One element of a revised approach should, in our view, include a grant to the provincial sphere of government to enable public transport reform in undercapacitated municipalities. The recent spike in minibus taxi violence in the Western Cape and elsewhere in South Africa also points to the need for better law enforcement and stronger efforts to root out corruption, improve crime intelligence and respond to lawlessness in the industry.
My department has played an important role in ensuring peaceful elections in the industry without interfering in what is an internal taxi process. We look forward to interacting with the newly elected leadership.
With regard to transport information systems, good data and information are the basis for transport planning, implementation and management. Over the past two years, my department has conceived and
started to implement an integrated transport information system known as the transport hub. The hub will integrate improved departmental databases and facilitate greater efficiency and service delivery. We are already seeing results in provincial traffic enforcement as we provide our officers in the field with real-time alerts. In the coming years, we will continue to develop the hub to enhance our performance in planning, operations, regulation and enforcement.
The transport hub will reinforce our existing efforts to address the road safety situation in the Western Cape. Our flagship initiatives are Safely Home, an innovative media campaign; and District Safety Plans, which bring together various stakeholders around a clear, evidence-based and target-driven road safety programme.
In relation to congestion, as congestion worsens in our cities, the solution is no longer to widen or build roads but to enable alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle travel, including public transport, private shuttle services, lift clubs and opportunities to work remotely. Emerging high-quality shuttle services that transport office workers are part of that solution. Overall, we should focus on using our existing infrastructure more efficiently rather than expanding road capacity.
At the same time, we need to take much stronger action to encourage more sustainable land use patterns in our cities. The emergence of mixed-use, denser urban forms is vital to enabling effective public transport systems. Across South Africa, sprawl and car-orientated development patterns continue to exacerbate apartheid-era spatial divides, making it harder and harder for many to move from A to B.
Finally, in terms of institutional capacity, improving transport is extremely complex and to be successful requires highly skilled and experienced personnel, effective institutions and enough resources. In South Africa, we often lack the skills and experience needed to reform our broken systems. To date, the conventional path to a career in transport is through engineering, but the sector requires a diverse set of skills and approaches. As such, it is important that we relook at professional development in the sector and develop paths to develop well-rounded professionals, including transport economists, transport planners and industry transition experts.
If I could just finalise the gravity of the Western Cape situation: we now have had 40 incidents of train-burning since October 2015.
From 88 functional train sets we are now down to 36. The eight carriages which were burnt in Cape Town station yesterday have increased the total number of carriages from 167 to 175. The central
line, which should be taking 60% of our passengers, is now down from eight to seven train sets to serve the entire Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha areas.
Deputy Minister and members, we simply cannot carry on this way. [Interjections.] Well, it is funny that you should ask that question because I met with the head of State Security yesterday, and I am expecting a report tomorrow morning. I will share that with the Deputy Minister as soon as I have that information. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr S P D SKHOSANA KA MAHLANGU (Mpumalanga): Hon House Chair, Deputy Minister of Transport in the Republic, hon members of the NCOP, colleagues, special delegates from the various provinces, hon MEC from the Western Cape, hon Cllr M T Charles present amongst us, it is my utmost pleasure, as the servant of the people of the place where the sun rises, Mpumalanga, to partake in this very important debate, where we celebrate the Transport Month as the country of South Africa.
Hon House Chair and this August House, we have indeed come a long way since 2005, when the then Minister of Transport, on Jeff Radebe, declared the month of October as the Transport Month. It will be
pure denial and lack of truth, if I or any of us dispute the fact that, transport is every ones way of life. Since the beginning of time, people have been on the move.
History tells us that ever since the first hominids left Africa, human beings have been on the move. Whether on land or at sea, humans early on, successfully sought to go forth, more efficiently by taking advantage of transport systems, mother nature already had in place.
We are also told that in 8 000 B C the canoe was invented and that the first form of public transportation was a stagecoach operated in Paris, in 1662. Neither do I need to repeat myself, hon Chairperson, indeed transport is our way of life.
So, Hon House Chair and hon members, as much as this is South Africa’s Transport Month, indeed each day, it’s a transport day. We all wake up each morning to go to different places, and each of us use some form of transportation to take us to our destinations.
We are in any case celebrating “Transport Month”. And as hon our MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport in Mpumalanga puts it, as part of our commitment and also driven by the people’s contract to create a better life for all, Mpumalanga is playing part and has also come
to the party in joining the Transport Month celebration, anchoring the same sentiments of Together, Moving South Africa Forward, through providing safe, reliable and affordable public transport system and infrastructure to improve the lives of our people. As the province, indeed transport remains the heartbeat of our economy and the lifeline of service delivery. Not only that, but also a form of bringing tourists to our beautiful province of Mpumalanga.
We are conscious to the fact that as government, the nature of transport infrastructure and operations we provide as a bearing on the daily lives of the masses of our people who use various modes of transport to travel between their homes and places of work, learning and leisure.
Needless to say, we have come a long way as the province, and I would have not done justice if I do not boast about the province’s milestone in contributing to the provision of public transportation. For starters, hon House Chair and hon members, the province has managed to scrap and replace over 9 000 unroadworthy minibus taxis from our roads in the interest of safety, through the Taxi Recapitalization Programme.
Moreover, the Mpumalanga Provincial government is subsidizing over
400 000 commuters in 156 routes across the province. Over and above that, more than 60 000 learners are benefiting from Scholar transport and over 6 000 bicycles have been donated to various schools across the province through the Shova Kalula Programme. These milestones bear testimony to the fact that, the province regards transport as one of the very important resource for our people. More is done on a daily basis to put our province on the map in terms of transport.
Through various modes, be it road, rail, aviation and public transport. We have no choice but to ensure that this service is provided to our people in a safe and reliable manner.
Since the October Transport Month for 2018 focuses on infrastructure projects that have major socioeconomic spin-offs, through the four pillars as announced by our hon Minister, Blade Nzimande. We have also, as a province, through various programmes as well as portfolios, ensured that indeed jobs are created through infrastructure and other service delivery programmes such as Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, that we partake in developing and improving our infrastructure.
The progress of the Moloto Corridor and resuscitating and fast- tracking the Maputo Development Corridor is also some of our major contributions.
Furthermore, we have ensured that that we come up with Special programmes that are aimed at economically developing our youth and women. Various programmes have also been put in place to improve road safety in the province. This is evident in that the province is gradually moving from being in the bad, in terms of registering road high rate of fatalities on the roads.
Hon Chairperson, we cannot yet claim total victory; since there is still more to be done. However, I can honestly and proudly say that we are moving towards the right direction. The success of making public transport accessible and safe is highly dependable on our road infrastructure developments.
The quality of our roads infrastructure in some parts of the province remains one of the greatest challenges that we face, which requires that we come up with clear strategies to resolve this critical area of work. We are still faced with the challenges of building new surfaced roads leading to communities in the rural
areas while at the same time, maintaining the fast ageing and deteriorating roads network.
As the legislature of Mpumalanga, we commit to ensure that all the commitments put in place are realised, and that our transport system, particularly the public transport, is indeed one that we can be proud of throughout the year.
With that said, let us all take part in ensuring that this month is the safest month for our commuter and transport users. And that everyone is encouraged to use public transport not as the only means of transport. But as a choice to even those who can afford other means of transportation.
As we celebrate the Transport Month, let us ensure that we utilise the services that are provided by our government, in an effective and efficient manner, and that all of us enjoy this October month by being safe and patient with each other, as we travel to various destinations through various transportations.
Hon House Chair, I know hon W Faber wouldn’t have said this, but I think will have to take the person who wrote his speech to task, because I know he understands these things very well, that irregular
expenditure is not necessarily a fruitless and wasteful expenditure and therefore who wrote his speech, I think hon Faber, I know you, you must take that particular individual to task, so that you always remain correct with your facts. I thank you. [Applause.]
Cllr M T CHARLES (SALGA): Hon Chairperson of the NCOP, Chief Whips, hon NCOP members, Deputy Minister of Transport, hon Chikunga, ladies and gentlemen in the gallery, the viewers and my family, good day.
As South African Local Government Association, Salga we are pleased to participate in this plenary debate especially on such an important topic in our country. Hon Chair, it is important for us to understand that the spatial development of cities and by necessity the required interface between these urban spaces with rural parts of our countries remains physical.
Accordingly, what is of absolute importance for all of us is to recognize is that our chosen model of integrated multi-modal and multi-level transport system must be premised on our collective vision to guarantee relative ease of access reduction of the per capita household expenditure on transport and as much as possible link our transportation system to our stubborn challenge of spatial integration and sound land use management.
Chairperson, it is our considered view as Salga that at the centre of what defines future relevance of spaces in terms of economic development and the plight of the people is transportation. Our pre occupation is not only the reduction of household expenditure on transportation but significantly, it is part of ensuring relative ease of accessibility. We must reduce travelling time between work and home for our people. It is indeed a reality that our urban design or the physical outlook of our towns requires our urgent attention to this challenge. We hope that the Integrated Urban Development Framework is view as an opportunity to address the inherent disconnect in our cities and towns and therefore will not only serve an economic purpose but deepen our efforts towards social cohesion.
The National Development Plan, NDP diagnostic report correctly observes that successful countries generally invest at high rates and are continually modernising public infrastructure to suit their economic, settlement and trade patterns. And that South Africa has effectively missed a generation of infrastructure modernisation; that public investment in both new and existing infrastructure falls far short of what is needed to meet the country’s economic and social requirements; and that the spatial legacy of apartheid continue to weigh on the entire country. In general, the poorest
people live in remote rural areas. In the cities, the poorest live far from places of work and economic activity. That the capacity of municipalities to plan effectively is a significant challenges that needs to be addressed, supported by the efforts of national and provincial government.
Hon Chairperson, the Constitution of the Republic and the National Land Transport Act, 2009 gives national and provincial governments a responsibility to ensure that municipalities that lack capacity and resources are capacitated to perform their land transport functions. There has been slow progress since April 2009 when the Act was enacted to capacitate municipalities to take on the municipal regulatory and contracting functions. Amongst many functions, municipalities need to be capacitated to become Municipal Regulatory Entities in order to issue operating licences for taxi operations whose origination and destination are within their municipal boundaries.
I am sure members will agree with us that the taxi industry remains the most important part of our public transport system. Various studies have confirmed that transport in excess of over 60% of our citizens on a daily basis. It is on this basis that as Salga, we continue to argue that their operations are integrated with
municipal Integrated Public Transport Networks and municipalities must be in the forefront to regulate taxi operations within their municipal boundaries.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Integrated Urban Development Framework sites the framework for restructuring and reshaping the land use and spatial landscape going forward. Various regulations, enabling instruments and mechanisms to achieve integration and efficiencies are urgently required. Collectively, we must work towards effective intergovernmental platforms to deepen the interface within the state and working together with the private sector. Our major state-owned enterprise remains key and forms part of these platforms.
Considering that as a country we are left with only 12 years before we review our NDP, we propose that the Department of Transport should co-ordinate establishment of a learning network. Not only to share experiences, successes and challenges going forward, but periodically to consider what we propose as evaluative research reports as was once proposed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, DBSA.
Hon Chairperson, while we agree with the findings of the diagnostic report on the capacity challenges amongst our cities and
municipalities, as a sphere of government in the cutting of service delivery, we believe that Integrated Multi-Modal Transportation planning can be better performed at this level of our government.
The local government sector as the lowest sphere of government, should be the best fit to enable, improve and implement transport interventions, to improve the network, performance, experiences, working together with the citizens determines the quality of our transport services.
In order to illustrate a more intermodal and interoperable transport system and service in the future, it is essential that our government considers devolution of this strategic function to enable our cities and integrative regions to play a leading role in integrated transport planning across the various modes including the rail system. As Salga, we support the principle to improve service delivery of the key agency structures and stakeholders in the transport space and look forward to make a meaningful contribution in this process. We would like to take this opportunity to urge the Department of Transport and provinces to improve technical, planning and institutional support to municipalities in line with section 154 of the Constitution.
Hon members, despite the level of industrial shifts, the roles of transportation cannot be substituted; transportation will therefore remain an important factor throughout economic transformation. It remains a strategic enabler or for spatial and social integration. We must work together toward ensuring a sustainable transport and logistics to increase mobility and connectivity. As responsible members of the community of nations, we must ensure clean energy and utilities to improve efficiency of urban systems and the environment. Our integrated intermodal, interoperable and multi- level approaches must be a necessity and enhance urban health and resources to lower pollution and improve liveability and affordability.
In conclusion, allow me evoke the wisdom of Green Cross International; life is priceless. All forms of life have their own intrinsic value and share our planetary home in an interdependent community, in which all parts are essential to the functioning of the whole. We have a moral and ethical obligation to preserve life in its integrity and maintain our planet’s health and security for present and future generations.
As the issues of climate change and environmental degradation bring about a much needed wake up call to a modern society with the
realization that the global challenges of security, poverty and the environment are intrinsically connected, as they said to themselves. I would like to challenge all of us as South Africans to focus its activities on this critical nexus in the quest for a just, secure and sustainable future for humanity. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A SHELEMBE (KwaZulu-Natal: Transport): Hon Chairperson, Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy Minister, MEC, hon members of the House and delegates, senior officials, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am humbled, privileged and very much honoured to be afforded an opportunity by my province to be part of this debate on this very important subject.
Transport is one of the very important aspects of service delivery in our country, as we strive to provide the public with mobility through an affordable transportation system that is safe, integrated, regulated and accessible.
October is Transport Month and according to the motto of the National Department of Transport led by the hon Minister Doctor Blade Nzimande: “Transport is the heartbeat of economic growth and social development.”
Let us therefore not allow this heartbeat to be one of the catalysts in putting an end to so many other heartbeats. On that note Chairperson, I would like to emphasize the fact that October is only one month away from the beginning of the festive season, during which an enormous number of road accident occurs, which is unfortunate.
This year’s October transport campaign places a key focus on transport vital infrastructure projects, road safety, and public transport. This campaign will be held under the theme “Together moving South Africa forward” and KwaZulu-Natal is continuing with its running theme “Road safety is our collective responsibility.”
On the 4th of October 2018, KwaZulu-Natal launched its Transport Month campaign in eThekwini Municipality. The MEC for Transport hon Kaunda led a multi-disciplinary roadblock on M4 South, focusing on unlicensed drivers and vehicles, drinking and driving, over speeding and unroadworthy vehicles.
A new state-of-the-art office was opened at a local taxi rank in Durban to be utilized by taxi owners for the day-to-day operation because the ANC-led government cares. These activities culminated in an event attended by all transport stakeholders in the province of
KwaZulu-Natal where they were urged to rally behind government’s initiatives to deliver transport infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas.
The stakeholders also committed themselves to work with the government to achieve the following three main objectives: Provision of safe and affordable public transport for all; Peace and stability in the taxi industry as a whole, and lastly, to abide by the rules of the road to reduce road crashes and fatalities on all modes of transport.
The main aim and objective of the Transport Month campaign is to showcase key projects within the transport sector and promote transport as the heartbeat of economic growth in our country.
This year’s campaign places a key focus on transport strategic infrastructure projects, road safety, and public transport. The campaign is anchored on three main activities, which is heightened law enforcement; handover of transport infrastructure and road safety campaigns.
The 2018 October Transport Month campaign is packaged to promote interface between government and the people, thus promoting the good
work done in changing the lives of the people. This will be done through engaging directly with the public and through using mass media.
As mentioned, the campaign is anchored on the following pillars: Enforcement and Road Safety Operation: During this period, there will be heightened law enforcement operations, focusing on areas that have been declared as hot spots in the province, like the N2 and the N3.
During October Transport Month, there will be more than 232 multi- disciplinary roadblocks planned throughout the province of KwaZulu- Natal. More than 2194 traffic officers will be deployed in the entire province.
Transport Infrastructure Delivery: One of the key mandates of the Department of Transport is the provision and development of transport infrastructure, of which the department spends over 70% of its budget.
Under the ANC-led government, the department has over the past four years upgraded over 598 kilometres of roads from gravel to tar; built more than 32 pedestrian bridges and 64 vehicular bridges,
totalling to 96 bridges. As a province, we are really committed to changing the lives of our people for the better.
The campaign for this year has started with the build-up activities including the opening of Gungununu River Bridge and handing over of a contractor for the construction of Integrated Public Transport Model Facility in uMzimkhulu in September 2018, and many more other concluded projects.
Through these infrastructure projects, we will highlight the economic empowerment aspects achieved, jobs created and also showcase the impact that these infrastructural projects will have especially for rural communities.
Under Provincial Executive District Safety Activities: The department, working with the office of the premier will have District Safety Activities led by members of the Executive Council, the MECs.
Members of the Executive Council will also be handing over completed projects. The plan is also standardized across districts as follows: Thuma Mina Safety Walks; Multi-disciplinary roadblocks, and Handover of infrastructure projects.
In his state of the nation address, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that road maintenance was one of the projects, which would be focused on during this current year, he said: [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Shelembe, sorry let me take hon Julius. Hon Julius, why are you standing?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Thank you House Chair. I just want to ascertain whether... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, hon members, let’s allow hon Julius the opportunity to raise his point. Hon Julius?
Mr J W W JULIUS: House Chair, I’m just ascertaining whether hon Shelembe will take a question?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Shelembe, are you ready to take a question?
Mr A SHELEMBE (KwaZulu-Natal: Transport): Hon Chair, after this meeting. [Laughter.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No, he is not ready. Continue hon Shelembe.
Mr A SHELEMBE (KwaZulu-Natal: Transport): Thank you, Chairperson. In his state of the nation address, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that road maintenance was one of the projects, which would be focused on during this current year, he said:
As some of our projects are taking time to get off the ground and to enhance our efforts, I will assemble a team to speed up implementation of new projects, particularly water projects, health facilities and road maintenance. We have learnt some valuable lessons from our experience in building all the new infrastructure, which will inform our way ahead.
One of the causes of road accidents during any given time of the year is poorly maintained roads, in the form of potholes; invisible or lack of road signs and road markings. It is surely within our powers as the government that accidents caused by these are minimized and eventually diminished.
The National Development Plan states that:
By 2030, the transport sector will need to provide affordable, reliable and safe ways for South Africans to access economic opportunities, social places, and services, as well as support economic development by moving goods from the point of production to their final destination.
As long as there is no respect for the laws of the road the road will be an unsafe place. In KwaZulu-Natal, KZN our drive to create national consciousness on road safety continues through “Operation Valingozi” education and awareness campaigns. Other than law enforcement, the provision of prevention services is also critical because road safety is our collective responsibility.
In closing Chairperson, as KZN province we applaud and commend the National Department of Transport for programmes conducted and still to be conducted in our province. Indeed, working together we can do more. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L V MAGWEBU: Thank you hon Chair. I would just want you to protect me from hon Nthebe Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): You are protected hon Magwebu.
Mr L V MAGWEBU: Thank you Chair. Hon Chairperson, hon Rayi said something very profound when he said that transport is a catalyst for economic development, I couldn’t agree more. Hon Rayi went further and said something very profound again when he said that we are battling as a country with the legacy of apartheid. I couldn’t agree more.
However, here is my question, Prasa is sitting with R14 billion of fraud and corruption. The Hawks had to be ordered by Judge Norman Davis recently in August that they were given five days to decide whether they are going to prosecute Prasa or not. Now, my question is, is that the legacy of apartheid or is it purely corruption, greed and fraud? [Applause.]
Hon Deputy Minister, I’m sorry that you struggled with flights to come here but welcome to the party, you are not alone. We struggle everyday because SA Express is grounded.
South Africans are also suffering because of exactly the same problem that the ANC-led government has caused, the failure in these entities. However, here is the problem, hon Deputy Minister, because it affects the economic development of this country adversely, it is now difficult for business people to travel fairly to those cities
and provinces where there is a problem and there is no transport but the SA Express.
Now, who caused this? Cadre deployment. Cadre deployment of incompetent cadres by the ANC-led government - another ANC failure. Is that the legacy of apartheid? The answer is no.
You have mentioned something here that Minister Blade Nzimande is attending prayers and he is also attending conferences. We understand that. We accept that prayer is good because prayer is an expression of faith. I’m the first to admit to that; but here is my problem, prayer without works or faith without works is dead. The ANC needs to work instead of being obsessing about prayers and conferences that never deliver.
Minister Nzimande in the programme that was recently flighted “the fix” when he was talking about Prasa, and addressing Brown in the evening show he said: “Prasa is not a rail operator but an ATM of some sort.” This is your Minister, Deputy Minister. How do you explain that? Is that the legacy of apartheid or is it because these entities are dysfunctional, and who is in charge, the ANC-led government? Who is failing this country, the ANC government? The truth must be told. [Applause.]
Hon Dikgale, you came here and raise issues of safety, I agree with you hon Dikgale the issues of safety are very important, but here is my problem, those people who are entrusted with the issues of safety who are they? They are the cadres deployed by the ANC. Is that the legacy of apartheid, never, no – incompetent cadre deployment by the ANC.
Hon Skhosana Ka Mahlangu, Mpumalanga, irregular expenditure – let me tell you, you should be worried. Shame on you that you are not worried about irregular expenditure. Irregular expenditure is the legal requirement. It is an expenditure that was not incurred in a manner prescribed by the legislation. It means somewhere in the process of expenditure, the auditee did not comply with applicable legislation, namely the PFMA or the Treasury Regulations and practices.
Now, you cannot as a public representative say it is not a big deal. R72 billion is a big deal when it comes to irregular expenditure because it means those officials are incompetent and it is the ANC government that must take responsibility for that. [Applause.]
Hon Mcina, from Gauteng Province, GP, roads are very poor. I agree with you Sir. In KZN, in the Eastern Cape - that is my home. In
Mpumalanga, I agree, but here is the problem, who governs this country? Why are we still sitting with this problem, because the money is there but the money is being sucked and reserved through schemes of fraud and corruption, through those deals and those tenders that are irregular? That’s why there is a problem in this country.
The ANC-led government must take responsibility and stop blaming apartheid because now it is the time that this government takes full responsibility.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Magwebu, I’m enjoying the energy, you have made them to wake up, but I’m afraid the time is up.
Mnu L V MAGWEBU: Ndiyabulela Sihlalo. Enkosi ndiyabulela.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Thank you very much, hon House Chairperson. It’s good that you are congratulating him but we were not asleep. Actually, he was making a lot of noise in our ears. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): That is not a point of order. Take your seat. Hon Nthebe, you can continue. [Interjections.] Hon Julius, why are you standing?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I think you had to rule.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): I made a ruling that she’s out of order. It’s not a point of order.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Yes, but sometimes you must send them out because it’s a person who sometimes sits in that chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): No!
Mr J W W JULIUS: She must behave.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Yes, I told her that.
Mr J W W JULIUS: She must behave, as an example to us.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Yes, yes. No, I’ve made that ruling. She was out of order. Hon Magwebu, I commended the energy but the time had expired. She was out of order. Continue hon Nthebe.
Mr B G NTHEBE: No, he needs some water. He needs some water. We need to give him water, Chair. This is urgent.
Thank you, Chair. Let me appreciate the opportunity, Deputy Minister
... [Interjections.] ... members of the NCOP ... [Laughter.] [Interjections.] ... and special delegates. Hon Chair, I know that hon Magwebu is watching me through the screen outside. Let me address him.
Hon Mahlangu never said ... and context is everything. He was making a clarion call that there is a difference between the two and the two should not be conflated. That is what he said. He never condoned what was said. He said there is a difference between the two.
Context is everything. [Applause.] That should have been appreciated.
Hon Chair, as I was sitting here my intention was to come and appreciate the intent and the spirit of the discussions earlier, until hon Magwebu came here. I think we were going in the same direction in saying that when we talk about transport we should be thinking about a single mum who — as was reported last week in the news — when the trains are late, stands a bigger chance of losing her job that is the only means of subsistence for her. This is the
same mum who, when trains are torched, needs to take three taxis to get home, using approximately R140 to get home. These are the issues that should be at our hands ... when saying, how do we hold hands to resolve them?
This should have been about a young boy who braved gangsters in a moving train trying to rob a heavily pregnant woman, and he was tossed out of a moving train. That guy is paralysed as we speak. These are the reasons why we should be coming here and saying, how do we hold hands? We should not come here to have political gimmicks and to compete about ...
You know, hon Grant, when there was a natural disaster here in the form of drought, the Western Cape knew that there is what we call intergovernmental responsibility. You ran to the national government for assistance.
When there are good things that the Western Cape does you take ownership. When there are bad things that happen, like the torching of trains and everything, it’s not your responsibility. It is the Minister’s responsibility. It can’t be! [Applause.]
So, we should be saying these trains are being torched in the space and periphery under the jurisdiction of the Western Cape. What is the Western Cape’s responsibility? We must appreciate that you are taking steps to meet with the State Security Agency’s, SSA, boss to get clarity and also to assist the Ministry. However, it can’t be that you own the good things while the bad things are then given to the national government. It can’t be!
As we speak about these things we begin to resolve them, moving forward. I’m saying this because our movement, the ANC, correctly identified and resolved at the fourth national conference in Nasrec last year that infrastructure spending remains a lever through which industrial development and economic growth can be sustained. The national conference further indicated that the infrastructure programme should actively support youth employment, localisation and other forms of development.
This was further elaborated by our President in the announcement of the economic stimulus and recovery plan; that in order for our economy to grow at a rate that will lead to job creation on a meaningful scale, we need to significantly increase levels of investment.
The President went on to say that as part of the reprioritisation of spending, additional infrastructure funding will be directed towards provincial and national roads ... provincial and national roads — So that when roads are ... infrastructural spending is being spent on the Western Cape, the Western Cape does not claim better serviced roads and they give those that have potholes to the national government — human settlements, water infrastructure, schools, student accommodation and public transport.
As identified in our economic policy, the New Growth Path, infrastructure is one of the economic drivers to drive our economy to grow and create jobs.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Nthebe, let me take hon Essack. Hon Essack, why are you standing?
Mr F ESSACK: You know me, Chairperson. I just want to ask the speaker at the podium a small and simple question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Okay. Hon Nthebe, are you ready to take a small question?
Mr B G NTHEBE: Chair, they say usuality conquers the brain. I’m used to him disturbing me. He can ask the question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): He’s ready to take your question. Ask your question.
Mr F ESSACK: Brilliant! Excellent! Seeing that you are so well versed on roads and transport, and in terms of the economy, through you Chairperson I just want to find out from the hon speaker at the podium if he can quickly tell us and fellow South Africans out there how much he thinks was spent by the Department of Roads and Transport in the Mpumalanga province. Simple. And if you can’t, take a guess. [Interjections.] Take a guess!
Mr B G NTHEBE: But you want me to give you a statistical answer when
... [Interjections.] No, let me tell you; as you concluded you said that I must not second guess. So, I must give you specifics. Yes, you said I must give you specifics. Now, I’m standing here and you are saying I must give you a specific spend on Mpumalanga here. [Interjections.]
You know, hon Essack, that’s why I couldn’t understand the logic by hon Magwebu, who represents you by the way, coming from the DA. You
claim to own some parts of the Constitution and some parts you don’t own. You know that the Constitution of South Africa is the most celebrated. It says that we subscribe to the rule of law.
Now, he comes here and says that in the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, there are issues that have been happening. [Interjections.] He further concludes that the Minister has assured South Africans that law enforcement agencies will be on top of that situation. Now you want to come here — knowing that courts in this country are final arbiters of legality — and claim something that is not there. So, shouldn’t we wait for the court to pronounce on what is happening at Prasa? [Interjections.]
You are also making a wrong assertion that in Mpumalanga the spend that is apportioned for road infrastructure is not being used accordingly. Why don’t you make that point so that we can answer you? [Applause.]
The provision of infrastructure also serves to enhance efficiency across the economy, laying the basis for stepped-up growth and employment creation in every industry, and at the same time significantly advancing social equity goals and addressing inequality in society.
Transport infrastructure and services are crucial for economic development, job creation and social transformation. The challenges facing this sector include poor urban public transport, ageing rolling stock, a reliance on foreign ship vessels, poor air control connectivity on the African continent, inadequate private-sector participation, deteriorating provincial roads and port tariffs structures.
Quite interestingly, as we mark Transport Month this month we should remind ourselves of the undertaking that our Minister made on behalf of the department in the Budget Vote debate, that the department has set aside three billion to upgrade the Limpopo and Mpumalanga section of the Moloto Road.
The department undertook that this financial year they will continue to develop our road network to unlock the Northern Mineral Belt in the Waterberg District of Limpopo province, the Durban-Free State- Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor, the South Eastern ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Sorry, hon Nthebe. Hon Faber, you know you can’t compromise the decorum of the House. Heckling is allowed but you can’t drown out the speaker at the podium. Don’t do
that. No, can you take your seat? No, take your seat. You don’t have a right to just ask a question. Continue hon Nthebe.
Mr B G NTHEBE: It is anticipated that the upgrade of the Moloto Road will create approximately 10 000 job opportunities, whilst the rolling stock jobs are estimated at 65 000. A further 7 900 jobs will be created from the integrated public transport network programme and another 61 O00 jobs will be created as a direct consequence of the implementation of the provincial road maintenance scheme. [Interjections.]
We have seen the refurbishment of over 300 kilometers and over
68 kilometers of new rail between Ermelo and Majuba Power Station completed in 2017, the maintenance of over 29 000 kilometers of roads across the country and over 300 kilometers of new roads being added to the network.
The investment in road infrastructure contributes to employing the emerging contractor programme ... [Interjections.]
But, makazi wam [my aunt] I’m speaking. I can’t even hear myself. Hau! [Hey!]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana! Hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana, hon Ximbi and hon Faber, stop what you are doing.
Mnu B G NTHEBE: Hau, makazi wam!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Continue hon Nthebe.
Mr B G NTHEBE: Investment in road infrastructure contributes to the normalisation of the civil engineering sector to be representative of South Africa’s demographic profile by targeting consulting engineers that comply with the black economic empowerment, BEE, Codes of Practice and that are black-owned and black-managed.
Through investment in road infrastructure, we will be contributing to a safer road environment. The end result is a pothole-free, paved road network and an improved rural road network.
The department has developed a business case which was approved by the National Treasury to drive the revitalisation of the commuter rail network in the country. This modernisation plan will be rolled out in selected metropolitan areas and includes the upgrading of the
signalling system and stations, the construction of a rail manufacturing plant and the manufacturing of 3 600 new trains.
Investment in infrastructure over the medium term will be vital in addressing the challenges experienced in infrastructure maintenance and expansion.
Hon Chair, we want to take the opportunity to thank the Ministry and everybody who has participated in this debate. Like I said when I began ... [Interjections.] ... it is important that, when we talk about this issue, we get consumed by problems that are encountered by commuters on a daily basis. Deputy Minister, the hon Minister took a ride last week, and for the first time the newspaper said the Minister experienced the lateness of the trains on that specific day, because even now you can go through the train schedule on your phone but the trains will not arrive at the scheduled time. This is impacting on the normal processes of ordinary people on the ground. People take a train ride and are robbed in the middle of a trip.
This is an indictment on all of us sitting here today. We should be holding hands and discussing how to go about resolving this matter.
This is not an issue that we should be politically gymnastic about. This is something that we should be resolving together by saying,
how do we move forward. [Interjections.] I’m happy that we agree. Talk to your caucus.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, let me take this opportunity to thank all hon members who participated in this important debate. We do listen carefully and consider your proposals, particularly those that improve South Africa’s transport sector. Let me respond to some of the matters raised during this debate.
Hon Magwebu, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, Prasa, investigations as well as findings have actually being placed before the law- enforcement agencies including the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA. Amongst the wrongdoings at Prasa is the company called Werksmans Attorneys which the DA never mentions when it refers to issues of corruption at Prasa. [Interjections.] It investigated the matters, but being appointed wrongly itself. That is the problem.
The cadre deployment that the member referred to is what the DA is doing in the Western Cape, it is doing in the City of Cape Town and it has been doing in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Thanks that the DA has been seen for what it is and has been kicked out of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. [Applause.]
Hon Khawula and MEC Grant, the issue between Prasa and the rail regulator is receiving our attention. This we do taking into account that we do not want to interfere with the mandate of the Railway Safety Regulator, which as you know is our traffic officers in the railway sector, but of course we also will want to see people being transported through the use of passenger trains and therefore we are indeed intervening in this matter.
Thank you, hon Mgcina and the hon MEC Grant for condemning the torching of trains. Indeed this is crime, it is irresponsible and it is backwards. We are working together with the SA Police Service and the crime intelligence to deal with this matter which indeed I must mention that it is complex.
Hon Faber. [Interjections.]
Mr W F FABER: Yes.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: In fact with the petrol price going up, we encourage people to share and use common transport as much as possible. Hon Faber, public transport is supposed to be the answer during these difficult times. What you purposefully did not mention, is the fact that the cost of public transport will only
affect our black South Africans due to your apartheid government spatial planning.
That is true.
Hon Xhanti, thank you again for your presentation. The National Port Consultative Committee discussed at length the three Eastern Cape ports that is the Port of East London, the Port Elizabeth Port and of course the Nqgura Port. We think that working together with the province, these ports will be receiving attention and also can contribute immensely in the growth of economy in that province. The province, we requested that it assist us with the Green Street which we think we will have to discuss with you going forward.
Hon Charles, yes the taxi industry transport 69% of all travellers in South Africa. That is why we are reviewing the recapitalisation programme, working together with the taxi industry. Violence in this sector is indeed concerning and we are working together with the
law-enforcement agencies to deal with the problem.
Hon Faber, please change your speechwriter. Our three aviation state-owned companies are not just doing well, but exceptionally well. [Applause.] That is the Airports Company SA, Acsa, SA Civil Aviation Authority, Sacaa, and the Air Traffic and Navigation
Services, ATNS. Their finances are healthy with good balance sheets. The SA Civil Aviation Authority in terms of safety performance has put South Africa at number 31 in the world and number one by far in Africa through the audit that was performed which they actually got 87,3% an improvement from 83,7%. We are preparing for the security audit by International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, in future and we know they will perform exceptionally well.
The Acsa — which is the Department of Transport’s state-owned company in the aviation sector — will indeed be building a runway here at the Cape Town International Airport. Three of our international airports have been voted and rated by travellers amongst the world top 100 airports out of the 500 in the world. As a matter of fact, they are in the top 32 world airports with O R Tambo International Airport at 32, the King Shaka International Airport at
26 and the Cape Town International Airport at 21. This is the best performance; you may as well mention that. [Applause.]
The ATNS, ensures that one of the safest airspaces in the world ... within the ... is within the best ... in fact, we are within the best airspace network infrastructure ... in fact, we are the best airspace network infrastructure in the world and of course our latest technology that we have put in our airspaces. We have the best college that is training the best of the world including those that come from the most developed countries.
Aviation is important for tourism sector and we are doing just very well as the Department of Transport. Hon MEC Grant, we are indeed doing a lot in terms of skills development. In fact the Department of Transport comes second after the Department of Higher Education and Training. We have the budget and have agreements with institutions of higher learning and we are producing these skills.
We are the heart beat of South Africa’s social development and economic growth. We say “Thuma Mina” in the transport sector and of course it is alive. I thank you very much. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you. Hon members, under the leadership of Mme Modise, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our special delegates. Thank you, Deputy Minister. I thank the representative from the SA Local Government Association, Salga,
from the beautiful province of Mpumalanga, Cllr Charles; we do not take it for granted. This is the House where you will have Salga and our special delegates. It was a very important debate. We are grateful for gracing the occasion and giving meaning to the content of the debate today. That concludes the debate and the business of the day. Members are requested to remain standing until the procession has left the Chamber.
The Council adjourned at 17:05.