ATC090825: Report Budget Vote 33: Department of Transport

NCOP Public Services

Report of the Select Committee on Public Services on Budget Vote 33: Department of Transport, dated 25 August 2009


Having considered Budget Vote 33 of the Department of Transport, the Committee reports as follows:


1.  Introduction


On 26 June 2009, the Select Committee on Public Services met with the Department of Transport to consider Budget Vote 33.


2.                   Mandate of the Department of Transport


The mandate of the Department is to maximize the contribution of transport to the economic and social development goals of the society by providing fully integrated transport operations and infrastructure.


The aim of the Department of Transport is to lead the provision of an integrated, sustainable, reliable and safe transport system, through safety and economic regulation, planning, development, coordination, promotion and the implementation of transport policies and strategies.


            3.  Strategic Objectives


a.                   To effectively manage a national innovative research centre and provide economic advice and analysis for all modes of transport.

b.                   To create an enabling regulatory environment for road, aviation and maritime transport, and manage accident and incident investigations in all modes of transport.

c.                   To manage and facilitate integrated planning and inter-sphere coordination for transport infrastructure and operations.

d.                   To manage the implementation of the transport logistics strategy and the development of freight movement corridors.

e.                   To develop integrated accessible and affordable quality public transport networks that meet the needs of both rural and urban passengers.

f.                     To develop appropriate mandates and monitoring mechanisms for public entities.


4.                   Concerns


Having considered and deliberated on Budget Vote 33, the Committee highlighted the following:


a.       The outcry by the taxi industry with regard to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and the Department’s role in this process..

b.       The State-of-the-Province emphasised the development of rural roads and grants for infrastructure.  The Northern Cape Province would not receive the conditional grant in the current financial year.

c.       One of the challenges experienced by the Department with regard to the Road Accident Fund (RAF) are the claims made by foreigners. Expectations for payment were made in international currency and this created a great difference in exchange rates.

d.       Issues were raised around the level of preparedness of the 2010 host cities. This concern was raised in relation to the assessments conducted by FIFA. If the assessments were not up to standard, this could have a negative impact on the economic growth of the country, that is, the stadiums

e.       Infrastructure developments in terms of airports namely: Kimberley, Polokwane and Mpumalanga Airports, should be prioritised by the Department.

f.         The increased volume of trucks using rural roads caused serious damage. The Department should address the issue of the collapsed railway transport as it would ease the burden of overloaded vehicles damaging provincial roads.

g.       Weighbridges were not functional in many provinces, and needed urgent attention.

h.       The Department would be a major contributor towards the 500 000 jobs that would be created as mentioned by the President in his State-of-the-Nation Address.

i.         Collaboration was needed between the Department of Transport and the Department of Health to address the H1N1 flu virus. If not enough was done to improve the situation, this could scare tourists away.

j.         The time frame set for the taxi recapitalisation process was projected as seven years. However, the process went beyond the set time frame.

k.       Programmes empowering women do not indicate a programme or commitment by the Department to establish or promote co-operatives;

l.         A meeting between the Department of Transport and the Department of Education needs to be scheduled to deal with the issue of scholar transport.

m.     The simplified version of the National Land Transport Act to be made available in all official languages.


5.                   Conclusion


The Committee noted that some provinces did not have the capacity to spend grants or spent it incorrectly. The Committee would welcome the assistance of the Department to assist provinces in allocating such funds. The Department requested the Committee’s assistance with the implementation of legislation to capacitate the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency, to execute its mandate. The Committee notes the important role that provinces play in terms of transport


6.                   Recommendation


The Committee, having considered Budget Vote 33 of the Department of Transport, recommends that Budget Vote 33 be passed.

      Report to be considered



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