Hon Chairperson, hon members, MEC Vadi from Gauteng and other MECs present, whom I'll recognise as I proceed, it is my pleasure to open this debate on the topic "Moving South Africa safely on time." As you are all aware, October is Transport Month. It is Transport Month not just because today is the birthday of one of our esteemed leaders, Oliver Reginald Tambo. It is not just because of that - it is also because of that.
This year Transport Month's theme is "Year of job creation and service delivery in the transport sector: Moving South Africa to a better tomorrow". Since the launch of the 2011 October Transport Month Campaign, on 22 September at the University of Zululand, when we also celebrated International Maritime Day, almost every day we have been crisscrossing the length and breadth of our country to showcase to our citizens what Transport has been doing to move South Africa safely and on time.
Given the deep-seated historical legacy of the apartheid-inspired geographical marginalisation of the majority of South Africans and decades of underinvestment in public transport, government is going all-out to ensure a safe, efficient, reliable and affordable public transport service. Government's public transport plans are not a promise for the next millennium.
Over the next two years transport infrastructure is guaranteed to radically change the way South Africans travel, due to a multibillion-rand boost by this ANC government, amounting to R66 billion this year - that is 2011-12 - and rising to R80 billion by 2013-14. The improvements are set to create numerous jobs and tourism opportunities. The improvements are spread across the country, with both urban and rural areas set to benefit.
This comes as current transport infrastructure developments have been recognised as being of world-class standard. The second infrastructure report card released on 5 April 2011 by the SA Institution of Civil Engineering states that the country's best performing infrastructure was its aviation infrastructure, which was awarded the report's only "A" rating. According to the report, South Africa's national road network was "good to excellent" and the SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, the Airports Company SA, Acsa, and ports have performed exceptionally well.
Earlier this year, at the World Airport Awards 2010-11 held in Denmark, the O R Tambo International Airport was named the best airport in Africa. It was also in the top three most-improved airports worldwide. [Applause.] Meanwhile, Johannesburg's bus rapid transit, BRT, system has been described as far better than that of New York by Walter Hook, head of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in New York City, during a tour of Rea Vaya BRT facilities at the beginning of the year. Rea Vaya has also scooped various international awards.
In order to deliver on our mandate, the Department of Transport's three key areas are road safety, public transport and the maintenance and construction of roads. I will start with the latter.
Members will recall that when I was appointed Minister of Transport by President Zuma, he said that KwaZulu-Natal's Zibambele and Vukuzakhe programmes must be extended to the rest of the country. To this end, we launched the S'hamba Sonke, Re Sepela Ka Moka, Ons Loop Saam [Moving Together] programme. S'hamba Sonke is the result of our plea to President Zuma for dedicated funding for road maintenance. We have all spoken about this; we have been talking about potholes. Now we are gradually changing the debate to not be about potholes but about the jobs that are being created fixing the potholes. It started for the first time in this financial year, on 1 April 2011, with an amount of R6,4 billion. Next year it will be R7,5 billion and in 2014 there will be R8,2 billion. This is a total of over R22 billion by 2014. This amount is a conditional grant dedicated to road maintenance and road maintenance only.
In turn the Department of Transport has to report on a quarterly basis to the National Treasury on the performance of this grant. As we provide all the necessary information on these projects, members of this Council must also evaluate and monitor the implementation of these projects. We have committed ourselves to creating 70 000 jobs by 2012 through S'hamba Sonke. S'hamba Sonke is expected to create 400 000 jobs by 2014, and the amounts, as we know, are as follows: KwaZulu-Natal R1,2 billion; Eastern Cape R1 billion; Mpumalanga R1 billion; Limpopo R934 million; Gauteng R566 million; Free State R447 million; Western Cape R411 million; Northern Cape R308 million; and North West R501 million.
With regard to all new toll roads, I have instructed Sanral to halt all processes related to any new tolling of national roads. Cabinet has recently appointed a task team, which includes the Minister of Finance and me, to look into the issue of toll roads. On 10 August 2011, Cabinet approved e-toll tariffs for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, GFIP, and we have figures on this.
The user pays principle to upgrade and expand Gauteng freeways was proposed by the Gauteng provincial government in the late 1990s. Based on various engagements and consultations between national government, the Gauteng provincial government, relevant local government and other stakeholders, the GFIP was finally declared a toll road network in 2008, with funding from a R20 billion interest-accruing loan with agreed terms and conditions.
In line with enabling our road network to meet the demands of a leading economy in SADC and Africa, Sanral will be intensifying its focus to assist provinces and municipalities with management support on contracts and to provide necessary skills and expertise as well as assistance with our rural roads programme. In this regard, we will be finalising a detailed plan within the next two weeks and will consult with provinces and municipalities. Over and above S'hamba Sonke funding, for which I have given the breakdown of the figures, Sanral is providing - and I am happy to announce that we are providing - a further R1 billion. This is brand new and has not been allocated yet. So, we will be waiting for provinces and municipalities to make further proposals for any urgent road that needs to be constructed so that this money can be fairly distributed.
We will shortly also be hosting a two-day roads funding summit where this plan will be debated by all relevant stakeholders, including organised labour, business, civil society and academics. The summit will, among others, result in a clear direction with regard to the process of funding and construction of roads, as well as an agreement on key national road projects and the funding options available, including the user pays principle, which is tolling, or the taxpayer pays principle.
With regard to road safety, I have been chosen as the SADC Regional Road Safety Champion. My nomination as the "regional champion" for road safety was approved by a meeting of the committee of Ministers responsible for transport and meteorology from SADC, which was held on 7 October. [Applause.] The SADC Ministers also launched the SADC Decade of Action for Road Safety in support of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 to 2020.
On Monday, 25 October, together with Santaco, we launched the transport training academy in the Free State to improve the skills and capacity of taxi operators, drivers and general staff within the taxi industry, thereby providing an excellent service to customers. Through the implementation of the TR3 2020 Strategy, Santaco launched Operation Hlokomela to support and create proper dialogue with commuters and drivers.
On 10 October 2011, we launched Friends of the Decade of Action to encourage the private sector to prioritise road safety during 2011 to 2020 and become a trendsetter in road safety towards stabilising and reversing road crashes. We will be happy to have members here signing up as Friends of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 to 2020.
The Decade of Action for Road Safety is our chance to save lives. Each one of us has a role to play in preventing deaths and injuries on the roads. Let us all work together to make sure that the world's roads are safe. To address these challenges in South Africa, various measures are being implemented, including the formation of community road safety councils in every municipality in the country. It is very important that there should be a road safety council in every ward. These are the people who assist communities who are stressed and traumatised by road accidents and crashes, guiding and supporting them.
In conjunction with the Department of Basic Education, road safety education is being introduced in schools as part of the life-skills curriculum so that, from next year on, Grade 11 learners, 17-year-olds, may acquire their learner's licence. We will be going to schools to do this. It's a touch-screen thing that is quite easy. They will not be in a hurry to get licences, so they won't have to bribe anybody. The 18-year-olds must emerge with their driving licence. This is very important for people who are not rushing to get their licences properly and it is part of fighting the corruption that exists.
From October 2010 to September 2011, 19 780 drunk drivers were arrested across the country. In the Western Cape alone, almost 50 drivers have been sentenced to jail for drunk-driving in the past year. I want to thank the MEC of this province, Mr Robin Carlisle, for his enthusiasm and energy. Since 1 October 2010, 664 drivers have been sentenced in the Western Cape for drunk-driving offences, 47 of whom were sent directly to jail without the option of a fine. One was jailed for four years, six for three years and the remaining 40 for between six months and two-and-a-half years. A further 12 had their licences cancelled. We are very happy with the Department of Justice's approach of also not being tolerant when they see a drunk driver before them. As part of the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan, we announced on 10 September 2010 that from October 2010 to September 2011, 14 017 000 vehicles and drivers were checked, 5,97 million fines were issued for various traffic offences and 53 341 unroadworthy vehicles, the majority of which were buses and taxis, were discontinued from use. Since 31 August 2011, more than 1 760 unroadworthy buses and taxis have been taken off South Africa's roads, following our instruction that every bus and taxi must be stopped and checked. All road users must report bad driving to the National Traffic Call Centre on 0861 400 800.