ATC230919: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on the Railway Safety Bill [B 7 – 2021] (National Assembly – sec 76), dated 19 September 2023


Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on the Railway Safety Bill [B 7 – 2021] (National Assembly – sec 76), dated 19 September 2023


The Portfolio Committee on Transport, having considered the subject of the Railway Safety Bill [B 7 – 2021] (National Assembly – sec 76), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) as a section 76 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 7A– 2021].


Background to the Bill


  1. The Bill was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Transport (the Committee) on 19 March 2021.
  2. The Bill seeks to provide for the regulation of railway safety in the Republic;  provide for the continued existence of the Railway Safety Regulator; provide for the board and governance structures of the Railway Safety Regulator; provide for railway safety permits; provide for railway safety critical grades and safety management systems; provide for a national railway safety information and monitoring system; provide for a legal framework to enforce compliance with the Act and to deal with railway occurrences; provide for an appeal mechanism; provide for transitional arrangements and the repeal of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
  3. The Bill was published for comment from 10 September 2021 to 15 October 2021. Public hearings were held on 23 and 24 August 2022 with representatives of rail operators, industry stakeholders, provincial government and organised labour. The Committee further conducted hearings in all nine (9) provinces from 19 November 2022 to 23 April 2023 to hear the views of communities on the Bill. Most submissions supported and welcomed the broad objectives of the Bill.
  4. The notable amendments, the majority of which came directly from the input received from stakeholders during the public hearings, to the Bill are:
    Amendments to some definitions; Allowing for the possibility of having board representation from persons from the railway industry, organized labour or communities; Allowing for the election of a board member to act in the capacity of Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson in instances where both parties are unable to perform their duties; Providing for publications of notices linked to the Act in the Government Gazette, newspapers and/or Regulator website; Provision of timeframes within which the Regulator must process applications from training institutions, while also allowing for institutions that, at the time of commencement of the Act, are already providing training in safety critical grades to continue providing such training while they have 3 months, from the publication of the policy for registration of training institutions or commencement of regulations under the Act, in which time they must submit their application to register with the Regulator as a training institution; Allowing for the Regulator to determine the levels at which consultative forums may need to be established; Allowing for operators which intentionally or negligently fail to report railway occurrences to possibly be found guilty of an offence; Requiring all operators involved in a railway occurrence to each conduct separate investigations of these incidents and furnish such reports to the Regulator.

    The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) abstained from the adoption of the Bill.



Report to be considered.