Hon Chairperson, hon members of the National Council of Provinces, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MECs who are here, representatives of the SA Local Government Association, Salga, the Acting Director-General, Mr Mawethu Vilana, and the entire executive of the Department of Transport, the leadership and representatives of transport entities, all members of Team Transport, members of the media, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, in accordance with the ANC's programme and the National Development Plan: Vision 2030, our top priority remains the evolution and transformation of our transport system to meet the demands of the growing economy.
Our strategic interventions in all sectors of the economy, as informed by the ANC's manifesto and the National Development Plan, undoubtedly call for intergovernmental co-operation and planning. As such, we are committed to the alignment of the national, provincial and local government integrated transport strategies, plans, policies and programmes.
Our strategies and programmes are informed by the empirical evidence of what transpired on the ground. On 17 July 2014, we launched the National Household Travel Survey, NHTS. The main objectives of the NHTS were to understand transport needs and patterns, as well as the behaviour of our people, to determine accessibility to and preferences for transport services. I am glad to announce that the findings indicate that there has been a huge improvement in access to social services through our transport network compared to the 2003 study. The 2013 study indicates a definite upsurge in the availability of rural transport. About 68% of trips to work are undertaken by taxi, 19% by bus and 13% by train; 69% of individuals who attend educational institutions are most likely to use taxis, followed by 24% who catch buses, while 5% use trains. The percentage of households who own or have access to cars has increased significantly from 22,9% in 2003 to 32% in 2013. Some of the achievements within the public transport sector emanating from the transformation and development programme of the ANC are the following. We have expanded our road-based integrated public transport system. Since its inception in 2005-06, we have spent over R25 billion on the integrated public transport infrastructure and fleet in 12 cities. The system is already operational in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
To date, over 100 km of dedicated lanes have been constructed in Cape Town for MyCiTi, in Johannesburg, Rustenburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane for Rea Vaya. Around 400 km of mixed-traffic feeder routes have been completed and opened; 58 bus rapid transit, BRT, stations have been constructed, as well as over 350 stops or shelters, and four depots that can service more than 600 vehicles. Over 900 buses have been purchased in Cape Town, the Overberg, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and eThekwini. At present, the BRT system in Johannesburg carries about 45 000 passengers, whilst Cape Town's BRT system transports about 53 000 passengers.
We have also invested over R30 billion in the infrastructure and rolling stock of the Gautrain. Since its inception in 2010, the Gautrain has seen a steady increase in patronage over the past five years by attracting new users who had previously travelled by car. The current usage stands at 55 000 users daily.
Since 2006, our taxi recapitalisation programme has seen the scrapping of 58 477 old taxis, and an approximate R3,2 billion scrapping allowance has been paid to taxi operators. The taxi industry is unquestionably one of our greatest public transport success stories. It contributes an estimated R40 billion per annum to our economy to ensure that it continues to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.
As revealed by the travel survey, 69% of South Africans commute by taxi. This finding highlights the fact that the taxi industry is central to the movement of our people. The taxi industry is also a significant employer in its own right, with more than 360 000 direct jobs and 600 000 indirect jobs. As such, the industry contributes meaningfully to South Africa's economic growth.
With regard to our passenger rail network, during the past five years, more than 50 world-class, universally accessible train stations have been built, upgraded and/or refurbished. Khayelitsha and Bridge City rail extensions were completed and commissioned by President Zuma in October 2013. More than 2 600 coaches have been upgraded and refurbished through the accelerated rolling stock programme. In the process, more than 2 000 direct and indirect jobs were created. Our rail network carries more than 600 million rail passengers annually, thus making the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, a critical contributor to the economy.
The ultimate reason I stand before you today is to present the national Department of Transport's budget for the financial year 2014-15. The total departmental budget amounts to R48,7 billion. Of this budget allocation, R20,1 billion is earmarked for roads and public transport programmes in provinces and municipalities. The amount of R14,9 billion has been set aside for public corporations and entities, and R12,2 billion for agencies. What are we going to do with these resources?
Let me also state that, while we celebrate these successes, we do so with the clear knowledge that there are still critical challenges to address. On passenger rail, some of the work that requires our attention is the modernisation of railway infrastructure, the general overhaul and refurbishment of coaches, the procurement of new rolling stock, renewal of the signalling technology, and the upgrading of our train stations. We have heard and experienced or seen the challenges faced by the commuters in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Government, through the Department of Transport and Prasa, is responding and we appeal for patience whilst work is being done to remedy the situation. Over the next three years, we have committed R51 billion for further infrastructure improvements and new rolling stock. Prasa, through the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, will acquire 198 new vehicles over the next three years and 3 600 new vehicles over the next 10 years. A factory, to be built in the Ekurhuleni Metro, in Nigel, will manufacture the vehicles locally. We have taken a decision not to export the resources of South Africa to other countries, to go and create jobs there. We will use those resources to create jobs right here in South Africa. So, our own people will be making or building the trains in which they, in the next three years, will be riding. [Applause.] More than 65 000 direct and indirect jobs are expected from this project.
Through the general overhaul or refurbishment of old rolling stock, more than 1 500 rail coaches will be revitalised and returned to operations in the Eastern and Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. This programme will continue to be a job creator and skills developer in our communities.
To increase passenger rail capacity, we have prioritised rail line extensions and station developments. Some of the rail extensions we are undertaking include the extension of the rail line between Mamelodi and Greenview and Pienaarspoort, which will be completed in 2016. The project entails the expansion of the entire Mamelodi Rail Corridor by upgrading the existing Mamelodi Gardens and Pienaarspoort Stations and constructing a new station, to be known as Greenview. I will be conducting a project progress site visit on 8 August 2014, MEC Mazibuko.
In the Eastern Cape, in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, R926 million will be spent on the Motherwell rail link to serve as the backbone of the transport system in the area, with complementary road-based services. The feasibility study for the Queenstown to Umtata network extension is still under review by Prasa, with the main aim of determining whether rail transport is a feasible transport mode in this regard, MEC of the Eastern Cape.
Through the national station improvement programme, 140 stations identified as priority stations will be upgraded in the next 5 years. In addition, the construction of 27 stations in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, which started in July this year, is scheduled for completion in 2016. These stations fall under the corridor modernisation programme, whereby the priority corridors identified are, in Gauteng, from Mabopane to Pretoria to Germiston to Johannesburg and to Naledi - the whole corridor; in the Western Cape, Khayelitsha or Kapteinsklip to Cape Town; in KwaZulu-Natal, from KwaMashu to Durban and Umlazi.
Within this expansion programme, Prasa has set aside a considerable percentage of procurement for broad-based black economic empowerment, BBBEE, with a special emphasis on women-owned enterprises. As such, Prasa is ensuring that the SA Network for Women in Transport, Sanwit, is fully on board regarding all its fleet renewal projects. I am appealling in particular to the women members here. Let us make sure that we monitor this programme to make sure that this Prasa-Sanwit programme is truly a national one, and the women throughout South Africa are able to benefit from these fleet renewal projects.
Approximately 38 000 commuters are transported in one direction in the morning by 536 buses, and in the opposite direction in the evening, along the R573, or the Moloto road. In order to address the carnage on this infamous road, I would like to announce that an integrated rapid rail solution will be implemented through Prasa. The Moloto Rail Corridor Project has been registered as a public-private partnership, PPP, in accordance with Treasury Regulation 16. I must also point out that Sanral will work on the R573 to ensure the quality standard of the road is maintained and enhanced. [Applause.]
On 13 July, we hosted a public participation event in KwaMhlanga, where progress on the Moloto project was shared with the affected communities and leaders. On 5 August 2014, I will launch the establishment of the Project Implementation and Management Office of this project at Prasa and, as the body responsible for commuter rail services, will take the project forward.
The construction of integrated public transport networks, which includes BRT systems, will continue in Tshwane, eThekwini, Rustenburg, Polokwane, Nelson Mandela Bay, George, Ekurhuleni and Mbombela. We also expect Mangaung and Msunduzi to start construction by 2016. Johannesburg and Cape Town will continue to expand their networks in this period, with Rea Vaya reaching Alexandra and Sandton, and MyCiTi reaching Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Lansdowne, Wynberg and Claremont. By 2017, we expect 200 000 passengers a day on Rea Vaya and 120 000 a day on MyCiTi.
Tshwane will start initial operations before the end of 2014. By 2016-17, 50 km of busways and around 50 stations will connect Soshanguve to the central business district, CBD, via Pretoria North, and will also connect the CBD to Mamelodi via Hatfield and Menlyn. By 2017, it is expected that the Tshwane A Re Yeng system will carry over 100 000 passengers daily. We are very proud of Tshwane's decision to convert Paul Kruger Street into a pedestrian and BRT-only street.
By 2017, Rustenburg plans to carry 100 000 passengers from the townships to the north east and north west of the CBD daily. Ethekwini will carry 100 000 a day from Bridge City in Inanda to Pinetown. Ekurhuleni will carry 50 000 a day between Tembisa, Kempton Park, O R Tambo International Airport and Boksburg; George will carry 20 000 a day and will convert all existing services into a formal network; Mbombela will carry 50 000 a day from the western townships to Nelspruit and White River; Polokwane will carry 50 000 a day from Seshego to the CBD. Mangaung and Msunduzi are in the process of completing their planning for 2014-15 and we hope to secure funding for them to start construction in 2016.
I am also pleased to announce that all these 12 municipal public projects will adopt the same smartcard standard set by the regulations in 2011. This will enable a single card to be used on all public transport systems nationally. The Department of Transport is liaising with both Prasa and the Gautrain Management Agency with regard to the speedy implementation of the national smartcard standard for public transport across both rail and road modes.
Bus subsidies have increased steadily, with about R14 billion spent over the past five years. In the current financial year, the subsidy will be allocated as follows: Gauteng, R1,8 billion; KwaZulu-Natal, R904 million; Mpumalanga, R491 million; Free State, R215 million; Eastern Cape, R195 million; North West, R90 million; Limpopo, R291 million; Northern Cape, R43 million; and the Western Cape, R779 million. The members of this House are not grateful for the monies that government is giving. [Applause.]
The state of our bus services, especially in the small municipalities, requires our urgent attention. The challenges that continue to undermine the efficient and effective performance of public transport, in particular subsidised bus services, include the fact that subsidised public transport contracts remain bus-only contracts. The majority of these contracts have been managed and extended on a month-to-month basis since 2003. As a result, most small bus operators are not able to recapitalise their fleet. There are also serious barriers to entry into the formal bus industry for small and emerging operators, and we need to remedy this situation.
As a result, the Department of Transport has decided to take the lead in the transformation of this industry. We have developed a National Public Transport Transformation Plan to move away from month-to-month subsidised contracts, but also to integrate taxis and small buses into mainstream public transport and unbundle monopolies to allow seamless entry by small operators. We are confident that this approach will indeed go a long way towards transforming the public transport service.
The Department of Transport has also taken a decision to convene a national taxi summit with the taxi industry and relevant stakeholders to discuss and find common ground on matters that affect the taxi industry. These include the bus subsidy that I spoke about earlier on, the taxi recapitalisation programme and economic empowerment and law enforcement, among others. We intend to have this summit during the course of this year.
The transportation of our learners to and from school remains a major challenge. The ability of learners to access education is hampered by the long distances they have to travel to school. As a result, the Department of Transport and the Department of Basic Education are developing the national learner transport policy. The policy will provide a uniform framework to address this challenge, and will soon be presented to Cabinet.
Regarding the Shova Kalula bicycle programme, I would like to announce that the Department of Transport has been able to source the necessary funding. To date, 95 000 bicycles have been distributed to needy children who have to walk long distances to school. A further 21 000 will be distributed in the next three years. [Applause.]
It is important that our roads programmes address provincial economic development, urban mobility and rural access to achieve an optimal road network for our country. To date, the successful S'hamba Sonke programme has created a total of 60 089 full-time jobs. The S'hamba Sonke budget allocation for this Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period is R9,3 billion and the allocation for 2015-16 is R9,9 billion.
The budget for this programme is allocated to provinces in the following order: R1,2 billion for the Eastern Cape; R1,7 billion for KwaZulu-Natal; R1,1 billion for Limpopo; R1,5 billion for Mpumalanga; R1 billion for the Free State; R500 million for Gauteng; R600 million for the North West province; R600 million for the Western Cape; and R600 million for the Northern Cape. [Applause.]
Through this programme, we expect to create an additional 60 100 jobs and 212 662 work opportunities. The programme aims to register 330 engineering interns; rehabilitate 1 100 km of roads and reseal 3 000 km of roads; regravel 3 150 km of roads; and, as part of Operation Tselantle, we also intend to patch some 810 000 m of potholes.
This programme will ensure that our communities have access to schools, clinics, economic opportunities, sports and social and religious amenities. We commit to targeting most of the rural access roads to schools, clinics and economic centres within the current financial year.
The department has entered into a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry with the aim of creating an enabling environment for the development of emerging contractors. This work will be continued with the new Department of Small Business Development. The programme will assist with the development of a pool of new contractors who can provide additional capacity in the road construction sector. However, we also want contractors that will build good quality roads, not roads that are gone with the first rains.
Hon Minister, please could you watch your time, and start to round off. Thank you.
Chairperson, Gauteng and Mpumalanga have been selected to pilot this small, medium and micro enterprise, SMME, programme during the 2014-15 financial year. The outcome will direct the development of guidelines consistent with industry's best practices and standards for uniformity.
At the end of 2013, realising the opportunities that remain mostly untapped in our maritime domain, President Zuma's Cabinet adopted a resolution on the development and adoption of the South African Oceans Economy Policy, commonly referred to as the Blue Economy. This policy is aligned with the 2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy adopted at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union, in January 2014. It is also premised on the National Development Plan.
Opportunities that have been identified as jobs drivers ... Thank you, Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ndiyazibulisela kuSihlalo wale Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho, kuMphathiswa weli sebe, kuBaphathiswa bamaphondo, kumaLungu ePalamente ahloniphekileyo akule Ndlu, kwiSebe lezoThutho nakwiindwendwe ezibalulekileyo ezilapha phakathi kwethu, kuthiwa masize kuthetha, sithethe esikwaziyo singqine esikubonileyo. Gqwidi nje, Sihlalo wale Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho, kuba bendiba ndiza kukhe ndibhekise nakumalungu alo mbutho mtsha, kodwa ndiyabona ukuba emkile ke onke. Andiwaboni apha eNdlwini. Andiwaboni amalungu athunyelwe ukuba aze kumela iimfuno nezinto abantu babo abanomdla kuzo. Awakho onke. Namhlanje ke kungoLwesihlanu. Andiyazi ukuba loo nto ithetha ukuthini na kubavoti babo.
Sihlalo, ndiza kukhe ndicaphule nalapha kwelasemlungwini namhlanje, ndixube ndivanga, ndingafani nayizolo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[Mr L SUKA: Greetings to the Chairperson of the National Assembly, to the Minister leading this department, to MECs, to hon Members of Parliament in this House, to the Department of Transport and to our esteemed guests present here. We were told to come here and speak that which we know, and testify to that which we have seen.
It's just a pity, Chairperson, that I cannot say a few words to members of the new political party, as I had planned, because they have all left the House. I cannot see them in the House. I cannot see the members of the new party who have been sent here to look after the interests of their people. None of them is here. Today is Friday. I don't know what this tells the people who voted for them.
Chairperson, today I am also going to speak briefly in English and change back to isiXhosa to create a nice mix, unlike yesterday.] Chairperson, the central mandate of the apartheid government was to serve a small, privileged minority and to banish the rest of our society to the sidelines of mainstream economy. Transport and transport infrastructure was one such weapon, which the apartheid regime used to isolate and divide our communities, denying especially black workers and the poor communities access to economic opportunities.
This affected our country so badly that the ANC government is to this day grappling with undoing the damage the old regime created over many years of segregation, apartheid and race-based rule. The effects of apartheid were equally devastating for public transport in South Africa and the rail, maritime and aviation sectors.
For over 30 years now there has been no meaningful investment in the rail industry, leading to the decline of our rail system over this period; outdated technology which dates back to the 1950s; loss of critical skills and a fleet that has reached the end of its design life. The rail system is prone to breakdowns and failures; it is unable to cope with passenger demand during peak hours and during severe weather conditions. Our people continue to suffer in the most unimaginable ways - train delays, breakdowns, train cancellations and overcrowding, to list but a few.
The ANC and its alliance partners have since the 1950s championed the struggle for a better life, for better quality and more affordable transport for all South Africans. For the ANC, transport has always been about meeting the basic needs of the people, uniting communities and, unlike our predecessors, forging a common nationhood, facilitating greater access to jobs, education and social services. Transport is therefore receiving special attention and is today far better and more accessible to the majority of people as a direct result of key interventions the ANC has made since 1994.
Our country today speaks the language of radical economic transformation. In recent weeks, however, we have heard many of those opposed to the ANC trying to expropriate the concept and give it a narrow, reactionary and historical meaning. I wish to indicate that radical economic transformation is not simply a repeat of the old radical-sounding slogans, irrespective of the concrete material conditions of the times. It is not a commitment to form, but should be informed by a deeper understanding of the main task and content of our National Democratic Revolution in a particular time.
For us in the ANC, radical economic transformation refers primarily to the fundamental transformation of unequal power relations in society and continuously shifting the balance of political and economic power in favour of the downtrodden and marginalised in society. It is about ensuring that popular democratic forces in society, which include workers, the unemployed, the rural masses, women, youth and the intelligentsia are empowered to take control of their own lives and begin to define the agenda of our society. By its very nature, radical transformation seeks fundamental change of the structure of the economy and society, is realistic by prioritising implementable programmes and requires the central role of the masses to drive, change and take ownership of their own lives. I wanted to give those detractors from our national agenda a bit of history.
Coming back, Chairperson ... kulo mcimbi wohlahlo-lwabiwo-mali esingawo, siyabulela. Sibe nayo intlanganiso siyikomiti apho isebe lithe thaca uhlahlo-lwabiwo-mali olu uMphathiswa ebethetha ngalo olungama-R48 eebhiliyoni. Bayicakacile simamele, batsho nalapho singahambi kakuhle khona.
Siphawule ukuba ama-97% olu hlahlo-lwabiwo-mali luthiwe thaca phambi kwethu aluyi kubo, luya kumashishini karhulumente, baze bona basale ne-3%. Loo nto yenza ukuba bawe nganeno kumagosa anokuthi ongamele olu hlahlo-lwabiwo-mali abone ukuba lwenza le nto ifanelekileyo.
Kodwa ke, siyancoma kuba bakhona ookopolotyeni abafumana uncedo kolu hlahlo- lwabiwo-mali, njengoko uMphathiswa sele etshilo apha. Okwesibini esithe sakuveza siyikomiti, ngumnqweno wokuba lizinze elaa sebe ukuqala entloko ukuya ekugqibeleni. Siyamncoma uMphathiswa kuba uze naye apha uMlawuli- jikelele wesebe olibambela. Akwaba kwezi zintlu ziphezulu kungafakwa amagosa karhulumente kwizithuba ezikhoyo ukuze kubekho uzinzo. Siyazi ukuba bekungekho lula ngaphambili, kodwa phantsi kwesandla sikamama onguMphathiswa wezoThutho siyancoma.
Ndakuba andiyenzanga indima yam ukuba andinakuthetha ngomcimbi - ndiyazi ukuba sele kuthethiwe ngowo, kodwa ndifuna ukuwubeka ngesintu ukuze uvakale kubantu bethu - lo mcimbi wokuthuthwa kwabantwana bezikolo, ingakumbi abantwana basezifama nabasezilalini abahamba imigama emide. Siyayazi ukuba kukho umgaqo-nkqubo olawula olo thutho kodwa ndicinga ukuba loo mgaqo- nkqubo uyafuna ukuqwalaselwa kuba umntwana akanakho ukuhamba umgama ongangeekhilomitha ezintlanu ukuya nokubuya esikolweni yonke imihla, kuze kuthiwe uza kufumana inkxaso yezothutho xa umgama awuhambayo ungaphezulu kweekhilomitha ezintlanu. Noko, makhe ijongwe le nkqubo kuba kaloku sithetha ngoonomngqusho abancinane kwaye apha endleleni kukho imigewu nezinto ezenzekayo kule mihla ziyothusa zifune ukuba kubekho ukhuseleko. Ngako ke oko, lo mcimbi wokuthuthwa kwabantwana besikolo ndinqwenela ukuba uqwalaselwe.
Kanti ndinqwenela ukuba kuqwalaselwe nezithuthi ezi bathuthwa ngazo. Apha sithetha ngeeveni. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[... to the issue of the budget that we are dealing with, let me express our gratitude. As the committee we had a meeting in which the department tabled the R48 billion budget that the Minister presented here. They gave us a breakdown, and also indicated where we have shortfalls.
We realised that 97% of the budget tabled here does not go to them, but to public enterprises, and that only 3% goes to them. That means they cannot get the officials they require to manage their budget and also cannot see to it that these officials do the right thing.
However, we are pleased that there are co-operatives that get funding from this budget, as the Minister has indicated. The second point that we have made as the committee is a desire for stability throughout the department. We commend the Minister for bringing along the department's acting director- general. I wish that government officials could be deployed to fill vacant senior positions so that there could be stability. We know that previously things were not easy, but we commend Madam Minister of Transport for her leadership.
I would be failing in my duty if I did not touch on the issue - I know it has already been touched on, but I want to address it in the vernacular so that our people can understand me very well - of scholar transport, more especially with regard to the transportation of learners from farms and rural areas, who travel long distances to school. We know that there is a policy governing the transportation of scholars, but I think such a policy needs to be reviewed because scholars cannot be walking 5 km to and from school every day, and then it is said that the scholars will get subsidised transport if the distance to and from school is more than that. Indeed, this policy needs to be reviewed, because we are talking here about small children. So the issue of safety needs to be factored in because on the way to school they come across hooligans, and things that we see happening these days are scary. Therefore, I would like to have the issue of scholar transport reviewed.
Furthermore, I would also like to have their mode of transport scrutinised. Here we are talking about "bakkies".]
A van, by law, is not meant to transport people.
Kodwa ngenxa yokuba ayikho enye indlela yezothutho ezilalini, bakhweliswa apha kwezi veni. Ezi bhaki ke maxa wambi zenza iingozi. Loo nto ithetha ukuba nalo uhlobo lwesithuthi malujongwe. Kamnandi sinayo imizimveliso eyenza izithuthi apha ekhaya eMzantsi Afrika. Masithethathethane nazo ukuze ziphucule le nkqubo yezothutho.
Kule Ndlu yoWiso-mthetho singabenzi bemithetho, kwaye siyilindele Mphathiswa le mithetho uthetha ngayo. Mayize ukuze izise inguqu nempucuko ebantwaneni bethu khon' ukuze ngomso kungabikho mntu uza kukhala ngomthetho kuba engakwazi ukwenza izinto ezifanelekileyo.
Phaya ekomitini siwuvile umcimbi woololiwe. Hayi ingathi ukho kulo lonke. Sendifuna ukuba ndide ndifike kwelo lizwe ledinga ngonyaka wama-2015-16. Uthi phaya e-Motherwell uloliwe uza kungena. Ude uthi phaya kwincwadi yakho, uza kuhamba iikhilomitha ezi-7,86. Ndimlindile ke loo loliwe, kudala kuthethwa ngawo. Makakhawuleze, kwaye uza kuza nemisebenzi. Sikumamele, sikuve kakuhle kwaye siwubonile nasencwadini. Makakhawuleze ke kuba abantu bethu bawulindele ngamandla.
E-Motherwell, kukho laa mmandla kuthiwa ngu-NU 29 okhulayo, uya eDespatch kwaye iDespatch iza kudibana neTinarha. Ndiyayibona ke neminye kwamanye amaphondo. Khawulezisani lo loliwe ukuze abantu bethu bahambe.
Ndakuba andithethanga nto xa ndinokungatsho ukuba naphaya eKSD, eMthatha nithethile ngololiwe. Mphathiswa, sakhe sakhwela uloliwe phaya ekwakusenziwa umzekelo ngawo, kodwa endaweni yokuba ithathe iiyure ezintathu, hayi mntwana kabawo kwatshona ilanga. Ndasebezela uMphathiswa wephondo lam ngelithi 'uyambona lo loliwe mfondini, ubani unokusuka akhwele nenqwelo yeedonki kodwa angaya kufika kuqala kunawo.'
Ngako oko, khawulezani naloo mizila kaloliwe noololiwe kuba phakathi kweMonti noMthatha baninzi abantu abahamba yonke imihla phaya kwaye abantu bethu bamisa ubhontsi. Abanye babo bayenzakala apha endleleni. Ndiyacela ke noko Baphathiswa bam ukuba sizikhawulezise ezi zinto. Ndiyazi ukuba nazi namaxesha ukuya phambili.
Mandiyithethe into yokuba oololiwe bangaphungula umthwalo kooduladula neengozi ezikhoyo. Kusasa nje, xa ndisendleleni eza apha emsebenzini, kukho iteksi ekubhubhe abantu abasixhenxe kuyo kwelinye lamaphondo, ndicinga ukuba yiMpumalanga okanye iLimpopo. Masothule umthwalo ezindleleni zooduladula uye koololiwe ukuze iindlela zethu zilunge.
Apha kweli phondo sithetha kulo, kuthiwa lukhona ucalucalulo kwicala leeteksi. Kukhethwa iqela elithile ngaphezu kwamanye. Ndiyanqumla ndixelisa umgqakhwe usidla ilifa labantu, ndithetha ukuthi masiwuqwalasele ke le mba weeteksi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)
[But because there is no alternative mode of transport in the rural areas, they are transported in "bakkies". Sometimes these "bakkies" are involved in accidents. This means that even the mode of transport has to be reviewed. Fortunately we do have car manufacturers in South Africa. Let us talk to them so that they can improve the transport system.
As members of the National Council of Provinces we are legislators and, Minister, we are waiting for the kind of legislation you were talking about. Let the legislation come so that it can bring about change and improvement for our children, so that no one can blame the laws for his or her inability to do certain things.
In the committee we heard about the issue of trains. Man, it looks as if this issue affects the whole country. I am looking forward to the land of milk and honey in 2015-16. You said there will be trains in Motherwell. You even said in your letter that the railway line there will stretch 7,86 km. I can't wait for that day, because this issue has been on everyone's lips for a long time. I say the sooner, the better because the railway line will bring jobs. We hear you, and we get the point you made in your letter. Our people are looking forward to this railway line.
At Motherwell there is a fast-growing area known as NU 29. It is spreading towards Despatch, which in turn will combine with Uitenhage. I see that there are rail tracks in other provinces as well. Speed up the process around the railway line so that our people can travel by train.
I will not have said anything if I did not mention the fact that you also said something about a railway line around Mthatha in KSD. Minister, we once took a train which was on a trial journey there, but it instead of the promised three hours, the train took the whole day. I whispered into the MEC's ear, that: "Man, you see this train, one can reach one's destination before it does."
Therefore, speed up the process around these railway lines because there are many people travelling between East London and Mthatha who have to hitch-hike. Some of them experience misfortune on their way. Please, hon Ministers, let us speed things up. I know that you work according to timeframes.
Let me also say that rail transport can ease the pressure on land transport and help reduce road accidents. Just this morning, on my way to work, I heard about an overturned taxi in one of the provinces which resulted in seven people losing their lives; I think it was Mpumalanga or Limpopo. Let us ease the pressure on the buses by providing rail travel as an alternative so as to make our roads safer.
In this province, there are allegations of discrimination in the taxi industry. One group is favoured over others. I am rounding off now. Let us take a good look at the issue of the taxi industry.]
There is recapitalisation, but it is a very slow process. It is not up to the level we expect it to be.
Sihlalo, siyikomiti sizimamele iziphene. Andisayi kuthetha ngazo zonke kuba sixoxe kakhulu kwikomiti nesebe kwaye uMphathiswa ebekhona wathetha kamnandi. Siyavuma ukuba ngale mali nisabele yona utshintsho, inguqu kunye nokuphuculwa kobomi babantu luza kuqhubeka. Enkosi. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Chairperson, as the committee we heard about the shortcomings. I am not going to mention all of them because we discussed them at great length in the committee and the Minister said good things there. We say that with the budget that you have given us, there will be change, transformation and a better life for our people.]
Hon Chair, hon Minister, members and guests, 20 years into South Africa's democracy, someone still wakes up at 04:00 in the morning to connect on three to four modes of transport to travel from one end of the same city to another. This is an urban setting! Why are so many people still facing transport challenges at a time when so much money has already been spent on transport?
It is encouraging that the former Minister in the Presidency, when handing over the National Development Plan to Parliament, said:
Good quality public transport helps people search for work over a wider area; it helps them get to work faster and more cheaply, but it also assists in permitting people to live fuller lives, with more recreational and family time, and it reduces harmful environmental effects of traffic jams.
This means that delivery of affordable, reliable, safe and predictable transport plays a central role for South Africa to realise all its developmental, social and economic objectives. The NDP, which we as the DA support, goes into commendable detail on how this will be achieved.
South Africa ranks among the best when it comes to its world-class airports, thanks partly to the work done in preparation for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. As a global village player, this is great for business and tourism. It adds to some of the most sophisticated tourist attractions the country is world renowned for. It might even be a great marketing narrative for Brand South Africa to attract foreign investment through tourism.
So, for ordinary South Africans, the delays in improving the transport situation in a systematic, co-ordinated and integrated manner not only affect their lives negatively, but it also stifles their economic and social development, as less money is left in their salaries for other needs due to, among other costs, the ever-increasing transport fares.
Sihlalo, ingaba ohloniphekileyo uFaber angawuthatha umbuzo kusini na? [Chairperson, I would like to know if hon Faber is prepared to take a question?]
Hon Faber, are you prepared to take a question?
Definitely not today. [Laughter.] He can write a letter to me and I will definitely answer him in writing about all the policies.
Hon Minister, management of both government departments and the private sector are frustrated with employees always being late for work and having to wait for these workers to then work their normal hours, as they usually arrive late. How is this possible when we have Metrorail - or should I rather say "Metrofail", as newly named by the public - as it is running such an horrendous service? [Laughter.] The extent of the bad services of "Metrofail" is such that commuters are forced to sometimes walk on the tracks, due to trains having broken down. Have any members here taken the train from Acacia Park? Have you seen the condition of these trains? Are they safe? Would you let your children travel on those trains? [Interjections.] I am happy that you are sitting down. That means you're travelling first class. I am standing. I travel second class. [Interjections.]
Hon Faber, please concentrate. Don't respond to them.
Yes, I am. I am.
Don't respond to them.
I am integrating my speech. [Laughter.] Thank you, Chair.
Commuters are forced to stand on train stations for hours without any announcements as to why train services are late or cancelled; and there are signal issues.
Hon Minister, these are only a few of the challenges commuters face with "Metrofail". Commuters are then further burdened with huge price increases. In 2014 alone, we have already seen two price increases, and this affects the poorest of the poor.
The City of Cape Town's flagship Integrated Rapid Transit system, MyCiTi, also offers some useful experience in operating integrated, seamless, cost- effective transport. This is in line with the DA's transport policy of introducing a single, multiuse ticket system applicable to all certified public transport users to make transport more accessible to everyone. I think, hon Minister, that the Cape Town city council should take over Metrorail and show how professional this system can actually operate if in the right hands. [Interjections.]
With the 2010 Soccer World Cup, we introduced the long-awaited Gautrain for fast, reliable public transport, but again, only a few people can really afford to use this service, as these train tickets are very pricey. I call it the flagship for the rich. With the heavy load of traffic on our national roads, we really need to improve our railway infrastructure to save our roads from total destruction. This was already planned by government five years ago. When I was here, these plans were in place, but we still haven't seen progress. [Interjections.] Yes, after five years, nothing has happened ... [Interjections.] ... but you were not here, and most probably you will not be here again.
We still don't see progress on our national railway and transport systems. This is one of the biggest reasons for the huge numbers of road deaths we have to address each year. More than 14 000 people lose their lives on South Africa's roads annually. Despite the target of a 30% reduction in road fatalities, which the Minister wants, only a 0,79% reduction was achieved.
Now for my not-such-a-good e-toll story to tell - I am not going to say what one of our members in the National Assembly said. I am telling my own story here for you, hon members. During the December 2013 holidays, I took on the N12 national road from Kimberley to Pretoria. Our Minister will know; she comes from that province. I was pleasantly surprised to see how the road had improved since I last undertook this journey a few years ago. Please, hon members, I want you to use this N12 route from Johannesburg to Cape Town through Kimberley. We need your money! Please come to Kimberley; I am promoting our Northern Cape. We need you. It's a beautiful road! [Interjections.] Unfortunately, when I got to the Johannesburg-Pretoria N1 highway, I met with the gates of these controversial e-toll gantries and their blue lights as I went through it. [Interjections.] Alright? [Interjections.] As a visitor to this busy Gauteng road network, I tried to observe a pay point for driving on this so-called holy road. There was an advertising board regarding e-tolls on the opposite side of the highway, displaying a number to be called in order to become e-toll registered. Upon arrival at my destination in Pretoria, I called the given number. This, then, is the beginning of my not-so-good e-toll story to tell.
I was greeted by a friendly voice recording, giving options to select from - hon members, you heard that - very nice options. I selected the option to register and pay. The friendly voice recording asked me to hold on for a consultant, which I did. This consultant was, unfortunately, not able to assist me with the payment, and later on asked me to hold on for the next consultant. At least 30 minutes went by without my getting the proper assistance. I wanted to pay because I'm a good citizen of this country. You know, we have to do this. This is what the people want.
Since I have the privilege of Internet access, I was able to end the call and search for a pay point on e-tolls. The closest e-toll office was 15 km away, east of Pretoria, at a mall. I got into my car and hurried down to the kiosk. I got there at 18:15 in the afternoon. Two ladies were on their way home, leaving just one gentleman sitting in the kiosk. [Interjections.] On the Internet, it said that the office hours were until 19:00, and I got there 45 minutes before closing. The gentleman said he could not help me ... [Interjections.] ... Would you please protect me, hon Chair? [Interjections.] [Laughter.]
You are protected. [Interjections.]
Thank you, hon Chair. [Laughter.] This person told me that he could not accept my payment, hon Minister, because the two ladies had to catch a taxi to get home because otherwise it was too dangerous for them and there was no other mode of transport for them to get home, which I do understand.
Now, I tried everything to pay my e-toll, but I could not pay it. [Interjections.][Applause.] Hon Minister, I think I tried everything. I am a fortunate citizen, able to use resources. What happens when the less fortunate majority of visitors to Gauteng, holidaymakers, who are not familiar with this system, go through these gates? Will they be able to pay? No, there is no place to pay on the road.
The e-toll Act is unconstitutional and the regulations were issued illegally. Toll tariff regulations appeared not to be real regulations, but only a notice. The reason for this is that the offences require a toll to be payable at any toll plaza, which is defined as any tollgate, or as prescribed. As motorists, we are not allowed to offer payment at e-toll gates. It should have been prescribed.
This system was forced upon the people of Gauteng and South Africa without decent public consultation and participation. It was made clear, if you look at the turnaround in votes in the national elections in Gauteng - very clear - but you, the ANC members, would know that. [Interjections.] It is just a matter of time, and then the DA will govern Gauteng as well. [Interjections.] I ask you, Minister, to please advise. [Interjections.] Can I be protected again, please, hon Chair? [Interjections.]
Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Please continue, sir.
Thank you, hon Chair. [Interjections.] I ask you, Minister, to please advise me how to drive from Pretoria to O R Tambo International Airport without making use of this e-toll road. When e-toll roads are implemented, there should be a safe, alternative route that can be used - and I put an emphasis on "safe", as it was before extra lanes were put there. These e-toll roads are hurting our poorer people the most.
Do you care?
I definitely care! That is why I am here. I hope that you care. [Interjections.]
Hon Faber, please! [Laughter.]
Where must they still dip into their pockets and their budgets to feed their families? [Interjections.]
According to statistics, there are more than 1 million e-toll nonpaying offenders. [Interjections.] It is for this reason that two magistrates were assigned by the National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, to handle these Sanral cases, even though South African courts are under tremendous pressure with thousands of unattended prosecutions every year.
By pure pressure from the public, political parties, groups and your own alliance partner, Cosatu, you, hon Minister, asked that the prosecution of nonpaying e-toll users be halted for now - and I am thankful for that. Had you not made the call to stop prosecuting, I would most probably have had to wait for about 275 years to plead my case before one of these two magistrates, as there are almost a million prosecutions. I hope to live that long, so as to see that day. I thank you very much. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Hon Chair, hon Minister, hon Chairperson and hon members of the Select Committee on Transport, hon members of the House, distinguished guests and stakeholders, ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a great honour and privilege for me to stand before you and participate in the debate of the national Department of Transport's Budget Vote for the 2014-15 financial year.
The budget policy statement gave the clear direction that South Africa will take, in this financial year and during the fifth government's term, in line with the 2014 ANC manifesto and the National Development Plan, NDP. Indeed, the people of the country can attest to the fact that South Africa is a much better place now than it was in 1994, with improved access to efficient, safe, reliable and affordable transport for all our people.
As we are celebrating 20 years of freedom and another decisive victory in the national and provincial elections, I would like to remind this House of the words used by the late former president of the country, Dr Nelson Mandela, during the Presidency's Budget Vote debate in the NA on 18 August 1994, when he said:
At the end of the day, the yardstick that we shall all be judged by is one and one only, and that is, are we, through our endeavours here, creating the basis to better the lives of all South Africans? This is not because the people have some subjective expectations fanned during an election campaign. Neither is it because there is a magic wand that they see in the new government. Indeed, as the ANC, we have delivered on Madiba's promise of a better life for all of our people. As the province of the Eastern Cape, we can attest to some of the achievements of the ANC-led government, such as the following. The national government, through the Airports Company of South Africa, Acsa, has upgraded both the Port Elizabeth Airport and East London Airport. Through the support of the national Department of Transport, we are able to get the Mthatha Airport upgrade back on track through the construction of our new runway at the airport that can accommodate bigger aircrafts like the Boeing 747 at a cost of R360 million.
Currently, construction is underway for a new modern terminal building. The construction of the terminal building started on 14 January 2014 and its completion date is expected to be around March 2015. Already 166 local labourers have been employed in the project. The new terminal upgrade is expected to cost the department R212 million. The new terminal building will accommodate offices, a restaurant, a kiosk and shops, while opening up the departure and arrivals concourse to multiple users, which will be complemented in future by a hospitality complex that is projected to include a hotel, conferencing and retail complex appended to the new terminal building.
The new perimeter fence is being constructed to make the airport compliant with the civil aviation regulations. These developments, once completed, will enable a reclassification of the airport to a higher category through the assistance of the Eastern Cape Socio-economic Consultative Council, whilst in the process of completing the Mthatha Airport strategy to inform the development of the Mthatha Airport Development's master plan. This strategy will catalyse the development of a new urban note in the Mthatha and invigorate the development of the airport as an anchor logistic hub in the east of the province.
As part of the strategy roll-out, we are looking at introducing new routes to Cape Town and Durban in the near future. A number of airlines are interested in flying to Mthatha and the new runway and terminal building will ensure that we are ready to meet all our expectations. The airport strategy and plan will complement the provincial civil aviation strategy, which is currently being developed in order to reposition our airport in the provinces. The Bisho Airport will be our second priority in the process.
We appreciate the commitment by the Minister of Transport to ensure that the people of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape are set to enjoy Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, services as we move towards finalising the iBhongolethu Initiative. The Eastern Cape department of transport is also assisting the municipality with the implementation of the BRT as we are participating in the steering committee and technical operations committee.
We will continue to support the implementation of the integrated public transport system in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and the Buffalo City Metro. The Algoa bus company, which operates in Nelson Mandela Bay, has received R195 282 million from the Treasury as the public transport operations grant in terms of the Division of Revenue Act, Act 10 of 2014. This illustrates government's continued commitment to deliver quality transport services to the communities of the Eastern Cape.
Our province is set to benefit from the introduction of the new rolling stock programme aimed at improving passenger rail transport. Such services will form an integral part of our provincial integrated public transport master plan, which we are currently implementing in the Eastern Cape. Through this plan, we will ensure that we introduce inter-town services at least on 10 main routes in the province over the next 5 years.
We appreciate the support that we have received from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Prasa, which has reintroduced public transport operations between East London, King William's Town and Bisho. Significant investment is earmarked over the next couple of years by Prasa. Prasa is embarking on detailed design and implementation of the Motherwell rail link in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro at the cost of R1 billion. Queenstown Station will also be receiving a major upgrade to the value of R57 million and the detailed design is in progress. More projects are being explored for our province over the new term, including a new station at Walter Sisulu University, the Potsdam Campus; the introduction of the East London-West Bank service, a new station in Port Elizabeth; introduction of the East London-Queenstown services, Port Elisabeth Station upgrade or refurbishment and East London Station upgrade.
We also appreciate the support that we are getting from the SA Maritime Safety Authority, which is currently working together with the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University in an effort to introduce maritime training programmes targeting the youth of the entire Southern African Development Community, SADC, region.
In the Eastern Cape we are working tirelessly in an effort to improve the scholar transport programme in order to ensure that our learners arrive at their schools safe and on time. We are quite aware that ...
Hon Chair, on a point of order ...
... bendicela ukubuza kuMphathiswa ukuba ndingabuza umbuzo na? [... I would like to ask the hon MEC if she is prepared to take a question.]
Hon MEC, are you prepared to take a question?
Ndicela ukuba ndingawuthathi, ndiyabonga. [I am not prepared to take it, thank you.]
We are quite aware of the fact that this right to access to education is threatened if drastic improvements are not made to the plight of the scholar transport programme in some areas of the province. This will also be implemented in line with our vision to provide an efficient, safe, sustainable, affordable and accessible transport system.
The programme to facilitate the provision of transport to learners walking in excess of five kilometres to access schools in line with the national draft scholar transport policy. Since the beginning of the second school term in April a total of 57 176 scholars have benefitted from the scholar transport programme. This means that 60% of the total scholar transport need is being met for the 2014 academic year, and an amount of R356 76 has been allocated for this purpose. We anticipate that the school building programme will reduce the need for scholar transport.
We further stabilised the service through implementing a new monitoring strategy, which includes the development and distribution of specially designed scholar transport. All the contracted vehicles must reflect our toll-free number that can be called in order that we may be warned in time about noncompliant vehicles. It is important to note that the department is working on a new plan for the procurement of scholar transport services, which will be implemented in the 2015 academic year. This will include the promotion of the introduction of legally compliant light delivery vehicles on routes which are not easily accessible.
As the province, we support the Minister's approach to road safety, which encourages a sustainable, co-ordinated effort in the battle against the carnage on the roads. Last month, we launched "Operation Masibambisane" in partnership with provincial traffic officers, the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality traffic officers, the department and the South African Police Service in order to restore law and order on the roads of that city. We are rolling out this initiative to other municipalities.
As the MEC for Transport, I have made road safety one of my flagship projects. We will develop a road safety management strategy in accordance with the newly developed National Road Safety Strategy, which is driven by the Road Traffic Management Corporation, RTMC. This strategy will also address some of our key safety challenges in the province, which include stray animal control and lending support to local authorities, ensuring pedestrian safety, better utilisation of road rangers to enhance road safety, enforcement, education, engineering and evaluation.
Another highlight in the traffic fraternity is the expected finalisation of the National Road Traffic Law Enforcement Code, which seeks to bring uniformity throughout the country. This code is in its final stage and should be legislated by the end of the financial year. We have successfully lobbied the RTMC for funds for an automated traffic management system and additional vehicles for our traffic office.
During this term, the Eastern Cape department of transport will further participate actively in the intervention projects. In conclusion, it is evident that today is better than yesterday and tomorrow looks more prosperous than today. Thank you. [Applause.]
Chairperson, just quickly, the hon member Faber - Eh! Udle phansi - [he has left], the thing is, he is a "Bari" from Kimberly, "hy ken f*kol van Gauteng." [He knows nothing about Gauteng.] [Laughter.] Next time he's in Gauteng, there are other back roads he could use to get to Pretoria. He can also use the R55. [Interjections.]
Hon member, just hold on.
Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for someone to say the word "f*kol" in this House?
Hon Mazibuko, spelled differently, it would have no meaning, but in the sense that the hon member is interpreting it, I think you must withdraw it. Please withdraw, my sister. Just the word "f*kol".
I withdraw the word "f*kol". [Laughter.] It is "tsotsitaal". [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Just hold on, MEC, you are really inciting some excitement.
Chairperson, the hon member behind me wanted to refer to hon Mazibuko, but he said "somebody". Is there any "somebody" in the House, or hon members?
Hon Chief, the member at the podium is the hon Mazibuko, and I think the hon member behind you knows that.
Bendicela ukwazi into yokuba uMphathiswa angatsho kusini na kwilungu elihloniphekileyo ukuba uyibhari? Njengamntu okhulele elokishini ndiyayazi ukuba yintoni ibhari kwaye ingumntu onjani. Nyoko, noko bendingayilindelanga le ntetho. Ndicela ukubuza ingaba le ntetho yamkelekile kusini na, Sihlalo? (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)
[Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: I would to know if the hon MEC is allowed to address the hon member as a "barie"? As someone who grew up in a township, I know what a "barie" is and what kind of a person it is. Madam, I did not expect this expression. Chairperson, I would to know if this expression is acceptable?]
Just hold on, hon Mpambo-Sibhukwana, in raising a point of order, you are raising a matter "yintoni inyoko" - which you are referring to.
AN HON MEMBER: Uyasithuka ... [She is insulting us ...]
You used a word I don't understand. You said, as ...
... umntu okhulele elokishini uyayazi ibhari ... [... somebody who grew up in a township, you knew what a "barie" is ...]
... and then you said ...
Is it parliamentary?
No, no. You used a word that I want to understand.
Ndithi ndicela ukubuza kuMphathiswa obekekileyo ukuba ... [I am saying I would like to ask the hon MEC if ...] ... through you, Chairperson ... ukuba ... [... if ...] ... is it parliamentary ... ukuba athi ilungu elihloniphekileyo yibhari. [... to say the hon member is a "barie"?]
That much I understood, but you also went on to say, as ... umntu okhulele elokishini njengawe ... [... somebody who grew up in a township, like yourself ...]
Ewe, ndithi njengomntu okhulele elokishini ... [Yes, I am saying as a person who grew up in a township ...]
The semantic meaning...
No, no. I don't want the semantic meaning. I want the word you used.
Owu, andisakhumbuli ke ngoku, kodwa ke into ebendiyibuza, Sihlalo, kukuba ... [Oh, I don't remember now, but what I was asking, Chairperson, is ...] ... is it parliamentary ... [Interjections.] ... ukuba uMphathiswa ohloniphekileyo abize ilungu lale Ndlu ngokuba yibharie? [... for the hon MEC to address the member of this august House as a "barie"?]
Yes. Hon members, please calm down. Please take your seat, hon member. Hon member ... "ibhari, imoegoe" ... [a barie, someone who is ignorant of certain things ...] ... is township lingo for someone who is ignorant of certain things. I am subject to advice, but it is not unparliamentary to refer to another member as ignorant of certain things. Please continue, MEC Mazibuko.
Chairperson, it is my pleasure to participate in the debate today of the Department of Transport. As we all know, it is one of the departments that is the backbone of ensuring that people are able to be moved from one corner of South Africa to the other, especially those of you who do touch base in Gauteng. Kuyasheshwa kusheshwa ... [Things are going fast ...]
I will provide an overview of the strategic approach adopted by our department in response to our premier's call for the modernisation of public transport infrastructure.
The Minister has already alluded to the outcome of the National Household Travel Survey, NHTS. I won't go into it, but I can touch briefly on the fact that, of the 42 million people she was referring to, 25% of them all who travel in the country on any single day do so in our province, Gauteng.
Of the 3,7 million taxi trips that are made on a daily basis to work, 1,4 million - almost 40% - happen in Gauteng. One in 10 commuters believe that taxis are too expensive in Gauteng. President of Santaco, Ntate Taaibosch, I hope you will resolve that. Ningathi ipetrol iyadura. [Don't say the petrol is expensive.]
The survey also highlights our people's desire for a reliable, affordable, safe and accessible public transport system. If you truly profess to be a responsive and caring government, then the ANC government must address the heartfelt needs of our people.
For us to realise the goals set out by our Gauteng provincial government, we will have to do three things: Firstly, we have to draw the central links between transport infrastructure, reindustrialisation of our economy, local beneficiation and procurement of South African manufactured goods and the creation of jobs.
Secondly, as Gauteng is the economy that produces 34% of our country's GDP, this province will continue to be the place where more people will want to live and make a living. That means that the patterns of immigration to Gauteng and consequent increase in population identified in the 25-year integrated transport master plan will become a reality. This reality demands that we plan consciously for such a future and better utilise the limited space that we possess.
Thirdly, from a transport perspective, we will have to plan for a larger formal workforce, which will mean a greater number of home-to-work trips during peak hours. Certainly, this will put our road and public transport network under further pressure, which means that we must expand our public transport system and radically change the travel patterns of our people through a modal shift from private vehicle usage to public transport.
In order to better meet these objective challenges and to plan differently for our province, it is anticipated that, over time, the Gauteng transport commission's first train will be tested in November of 2015. This Metrorail revitalisation programme will create over 8 000 direct jobs at the Dunottar plant ... [Applause.] ... an additional 33 000 jobs will be created in the wider transport sector. This bold programme will help to revitalise our ailing rail engineering industry, transfer technology to South Africans and create economic opportunities. These developments show that our dream of making rail the backbone of our future transport system is gradually, but systematically, becoming a reality.
The department has the responsibility to co-ordinate the development of the 25-year aerotropolis master plan ...
i-aerotropolis yeyama-aeroplane. Ningacabangi enye into ... [The "aerotropolis" is for "aeroplane"; Don't think otherwise ...] ... and a five-year implementation plan. The aim of developing an airport city is to enable the Ekurhuleni Municipality to unlock the economic potential of that region. The five-year implementation plan has been completed and is in the process of being approved by the municipality. So, hopefully, Minister, you will see a difference in Gauteng.
The ANC government welcomes the positive reactions by organs of civil society to the Gauteng premier's establishment of a panel to assess the socioeconomic impact of the e-tolls on people and on the economy of Gauteng, and to propose resolutions to that.
As far as on this matter is concerned, it must be understood that an agreement has been reached between our premier and the Minister of Transport on the terms of reference of this panel. There is also coherence between the national and provincial governments on the Minister's recent announcement during her budget speech in the NA. The panel will also shortly announce its work programme and consultative processes will take place.
The Gauteng department of roads and transport will continue with its own road maintenance and construction programme along all our arterial roads, such as the R55, which I said the member should use next time he is in Gauteng, and the R82. The upgrading of William Nicol Drive is scheduled to be completed by November this year. This will be a triple carriageway with fully developed pedestrian and cycle lanes and enhanced safety measures. Reducing our carbon footprint, particularly emanating from the transport sector, is a commitment that we need to take very seriously. Based on this promise, the department is in the process of finalising a sustainable green transport policy, which will be completed by the end of this year. We are further encouraging our Gauteng residents to use bicycles when they are travelling on our roads. We are also busy developing the cycle lanes in Gauteng in order to encourage the people of Gauteng to live healthy lifestyles.
Bashove kalula msebenzi! [The work must be easier!]
The Minister has already alluded to the Rea Vaya and the A re Yeng in Tshwane and Ekurhuleni and ... izobizwa ... [It must be mentioned ...] ... hoping it will make sure that it does take care of all those people who are travelling in Gauteng. We all heard the Minister mention the Passenger Rail Agency of SA's renewal programme. I need not repeat it. Zonke lezi zinto zenzeka e-Gauteng. [All these things are happening in Gauteng.] Chairperson of the NCOP, as you know, everything starts in Gauteng and the rest of the country catches the cold.
In conclusion, road safety ... Interjections.] ... hhayi ngisayiphethe kahle! [... I am still doing well!]
Road safety is an important campaign that must be taken very seriously. Many children are orphaned today because their parents have perished on our roads. Many children live in child-headed households because either the father or the mother died while trying to get to work. It is important that road safety education starts targeting very young children, especially at early childhood development level.
NgesiZulu siyaye sithi ugotshwa usemanzi ... In isiZulu we say that you teach your children while they are still young ... so that if you start inculcating road safety education among younger children, then we will see better citizens in our country. Thank you. [Applause.]
Chairperson, Ministers, hon Members of the House, guests in the gallery ...
... ke be ke lebelet?e moo mohl Tlake a dut?ego gona ke nyaka go bona gore na a ka be a dut?e le Mohl Mokwena goba o dut?e a le tee. Ke lemogile gore o dut?e a le tee. Se se ra gore MaAfrika ba lebelet?e gomme ba a bona gore ba sent?e diboutu t?a bona ka gore EFF e itirela boithatelo. Ba ba emela ge ba nyaka, ge ba sa nyake ga ba ba emele. Mola gage?u re re EFF e ra gore: "E felela fa", Bjale se se ?upa gore go fedile ka yona. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[... I have been looking at hon Tlake to check if he is sitting alone or with hon Mokoena. I have noticed that he is sitting alone. This means that the Africans are able to see that they have wasted their votes because the EFF do as they wish. When they feel like representing them, they represent them; when they don't feel like representing them, they don't represent them. Where I come from, EFF to us means: "It ends here"; now this means that it is finished.]
This debate takes place during a month that has seen three fatal air transport crashes claiming over 460 lives. The first was the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over the Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board; then it was the Taiwanese plane that crashed in an emergency landing in Taiwan, killing 48 people on board; and, thirdly, an Air Algeria flight that crashed in Burkina Faso, killing 116 people. We, therefore, want to convey our condolences to the families and countries of the deceased.
Hon Chairperson, in economics there is a branch called transport economics and it deals with the allocation of resources within the transport sector. In the language of transport economics it is said that roads carry the economy of the country. This means that the means of transport and roads must be accessible to all the people for them to be economically empowered.
This is why the National Development Plan, NDP, has identified transport as one of the key sectors for economic infrastructural development. It calls on the foundation of social and economic development. The NDP was the cornerstone of the ANC's 2014 manifesto, which concerned the good story that we had to tell. That is why the people of South Africa gave the ANC their overwhelming support in the 2014 general elections. They did so because they believe in our story, hon Faber. This belief is not misdirected, because they can point to the tangible results that we have delivered over the past 20 years. The electorate has thus mandated the ANC to go and implement the NDP.
That is why the President, when he delivered his state of the nation address last month, confirmed that the NDP would be the blueprint of government for this term. This means that 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 the marginalisation of the people.
Government also understands that the availability of transport plays an increasingly important role in accessing services such as health care, and in the social integration of people living away from service centres. In this instance it means that transport can be a matter of life and death. We, as Parliament - at least the ANC component of Parliament - also have the same understanding. That is why, when government asks us to approve its budget to enable it to implement the NDP through Transport as a means of economic development, we will oblige.
When it comes to economic factors such as transport, I cannot help but speak for the rural poor people. I do so because I know and have lived the hard life of the rural area, where there is a lack of or inadequate transport. For these rural areas innovative approaches to transport provision are required and a structured and customised approach to these areas is necessary.
Provinces and municipalities remain at the coalface of service delivery. We therefore want to applaud the department for acknowledging this fact and living up to the spirit thereof. I say this, because according to the current budget of the department, that is the 2014-15 budget, the department will facilitate the achievement of these objectives by providing transfers such as the provincial road maintenance grant to provinces and the public transport infrastructure grant to municipalities.
Hon Minister, public transport and municipal public transport are Schedule 4 functional areas - that is, they are concurrent national and provincial competencies. Provincial roads and municipal roads, on the other hand, are Schedule 5 functional areas - that is, they are areas of exclusively provincial competency. In our common language here at Parliament, we would say they are section 76 areas.
As you know, Minister, the NCOP's main focus is on these areas so that it can ensure that provincial interests are taken into account in the national sphere of government. So we are always happy when we see the national government supporting and helping provincial and local government. This is a true reflection of the clarion call by the Constitution, in terms of section 125(3), that the national government, by legislative and other measures, must assist provinces to develop the administrative capacity required for the effective exercise of their powers and the performance of their functions.
A similar call is made with regard to the local government in terms of section 154(1), that the national government and provincial governments, by legislative and other measures, must support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs, to exercise their powers and to perform their functions. So when these constitutional obligations are met, we are really happy. It shows that our democracy is really maturing and is based on the rule of and respect for the law - in this instance the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the country.
However, Minister, this is not where the support must end. As Parliament, we also want to see monitoring and evaluation of this programme of provincial and municipal grants. This is what we are more interested in as a body tasked with oversight of the actions of the executive. We are therefore looking forward to an engagement whereby the department will be accounting to Parliament, especially the NCOP, on the outcomes of this support. I said, Chairperson, that when it comes to issues such as transport, I am the spokesperson of the rural poor people. I am therefore extending a call to the Minister to extend the infrastructure and systems grant for public transport to the rural municipalities.
I make this plea because I read in the budget that this grant is used to fund public transport networks in cities, including bus rapid transit systems. I know that implementing this system in rural areas might be a challenge because of the complexities and the dynamics of the rural areas, but, as I have said, innovative approaches to transport provision and a structured approach are needed for rural areas.
This brings me to the issue of the taxi recapitalisation programme. Taxis are the main modes of transport in the rural areas, but some of them are dangerous as well. The lives of our people are put at risk by unroadworthy taxis and the less I talk about how the drivers of these taxis drive, the better. Here, Minister, radical transformation is needed as a matter of urgency. So let's find a way to speed up the taxi recapitalisation programme.
In conclusion, I want to use transport language and say, Minister, our people need a lift. You just confirmed in your speech that you are going to give them a lift, and I believe that with this budget you will be able to give them a lift to a better life. We support your Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
I think that is definitely unparliamentary. We do not have pretty boys here. We have hon members. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Definitely, hon Chairperson; most definitely.
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Transport, colleagues, I just want to begin by declaring that it is after three on Friday afternoon and the whole of the IFP component is still present. [Laughter.]
The public transport system of our country can be divided into three main categories, a public transport system for the cities; a public transport system for the townships; and a public transport system for the rural and deep rural areas.
The first category is a much better public transport system, one close to world-class if not world-class, that enjoys immediate and spontaneous attention from both the public and the private sector, and that enjoys a bigger slice of our financial resources from both the public and private sector.
The second category, involving high volumes of the population, which is getting less attention, is highly active in driving and contributing to the economy of our country and gets a very small piece of the pie of the country's economy from both the public and the private sectors.
The last category is only remembered when everything else has been done, has no private sector support and gets very limited public sector attention. When it comes to the life and the lifespan of resources, the rule of the jungle prevails - survival of the fittest.
This scenario paints the picture - and this goes without saying - that the efforts and movement towards achieving the Integrated Public Transport System for all areas in our country must be expedited. It is 20 years into democracy, and our transport system still reflects this kind of projection. This is not acceptable.
The state of our national road network is in good to excellent condition, receiving world-class management, and there is excellent monitoring and maintenance. Most of our provincial roads are in a state of deterioration. There is a shortage of skilled personnel, financial resources are not adequate to face the challenges and thus the situation gets worse and worse.
With our municipal roads, it depends on where you are. Metros and secondary cities have excellent road network infrastructure, but as you move away from the city centres the situation gets unacceptable.
The condition of the country's gravel roads, which constitute around 70% of the country's road network, are in a state of neglect. One, however, acknowledges the department's report that in order to deal with all the road infrastructure repair backlogs in this country a total of about R149 billion would be needed, yet the department's total budget for all its programmes for this year is only R48,7 billion.
The department needs to speed up the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme. We hope that when the process has been completed under this programme, there will be improvements in the way this industry is regulated and run.
A matter of grave concern with our transport these days is the Gauteng e- tolls and the manner that this issue has been handled so far. We, as government, need to devise a single approach to solutions on this matter. We cannot afford a situation where we appear to be competing against one another, national, provincial and local.
All the controversies that have so far surrounded this issue show that the problem is bigger than was anticipated. However, setting up one government sphere against another will not help to solve the problem. It would rather perpetuate it until it reaches uncontrollable levels. Sanity must prevail and something sensible needs to happen. I am glad that the hon Minister also spoke about the rail system. The directors-general and the acting directors-general know about it because I spoke about these at the select committee meeting. The rail between Harding and Port Shepstone, especially, must be used to remove the big trucks from our road; so that the rail can assist in eliminating the accidents. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Peters, MECs present, in particular our MEC from Gauteng, Madame Faith Mazibuko, an interesting thing about transport is that our mayor of Ekurhuleni yesterday expressed deep emotions when a six-year-old child was killed in a hijacking incident. We in the ANC are equally grieved, particularly at this time when the people of Palestine - while they are celebrating Eid - have to suffer such pain, particularly the people of Gaza. We want to say to all our Muslims in South Africa: Eid Mubarak!
My paper will concentrate on transport, ANC policy and the National Development Plan, NDP. The ANC's 52nd National Conference characterised our emerging developmental state as one that must maintain its strategic role in shaping the key sectors of the economy, including the national transport and logistics system. It went on to declare that whilst the forms of state intervention would differ, the overriding objective would be to intervene strategically in transport to drive growth in the economy and, more broadly, development.
Critical for the debate in the NCOP is to answer the question what the impact of the Budget Vote and the policies is that underpin it, on improving the quality of life of those who reside in the provinces and the rural areas. This means examining the impact and implications of the vote over the next 12 months.
A key ingredient of future success will be a vision for transport shared by all key role-players, backed by co-ordinated and integrated planning and decision-making. The ultimate objective should be to ensure that the road and the rail networks are not in competition, but rather complement one another.
The department's strategic objectives seek to respond to the governing party's policy directives that shape and influence programmes and the budget. The strategic plan has been integrated with the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plan, as reflected in the infrastructure roll- out. The assessment of the implications of the NDP for the improvement of public transport planning and integration with spatial planning has been undertaken.
We want to put on record our appreciation to the words expressed here on behalf of the DA, in also supporting the NDP. Together, we can do more.
The assessment of the NDP as a programme guide to 2030 reflects the need for the renewal of the commuter rail fleet. Furthermore, the NDP proposes a number of policies and planning priorities, including creating workable urban transport solutions, strengthening and optimising freight corridors, providing long-distance passenger transport options and ensuring rural access and mobility.
At its 52nd National Conference in 2007, the ANC resolved that government should maintain its strategic role in shaping the key sectors of the economy. This included the national transport and logistics system with the overriding objective to intervene strategically in these sectors to drive the growth, development and transformation of the structure of our economy.
We are informed that this morning some people working here in Parliament had difficulty travelling by train from Goodwood to Cape Town. Something must be done. We are, in terms of rail infrastructure, concerned that the major challenge is that the bulk of the rail stock is nearing the end of its working life.
Transnet is therefore embarking on a comprehensive rail upgrade that intends to place rail at the centre our freight and commuter movement, with over R40 billion to be invested in transport rail infrastructure and services over the next few years.
These new investments in new signalling and rolling stock will go a long way to positioning rail as the mode of choice, and a reliable and efficient mass mover both in the commuter and long distance environment.
Recapitalising the rail business also means reinvesting in the existing rail network and investing in new lines in order to respond in a decisive way to the changing spatial and economic imperatives.
We have not done enough in terms of sharing the maritime transport element of the budget. The mandate of maritime transport is to contribute to a safe, secure, environmentally friendly and efficient industry. Maritime transport has to enhance economic development and to this end we are encouraged by the progress that is being made with the crafting of a maritime shipping policy, which we are informed should be ready by the end of 2014. This will provide a framework for promoting businesses such as ship recycling and ship repair within the maritime transport industry. Being players in Brics, we recognise even more the importance of maritime transport.
The ANC-led government's strategic global maritime interests and international obligations include providing safety in navigation and shipping, ensuring freedom of the seas and security of shipping supply chains, as well as the protection of the marine environment.
Let me go to road transport. An important objective is to maintain and preserve coal haulage roads through the rehabilitation of 2 200 km of roads by 2014 and engaging Transnet and Eskom to facilitate the ongoing migration of coal from road to rail.
In its assessment of social and economic development, the NDP emphasises the necessity of sound economic infrastructure as a precondition for economic growth. We have also looked at the Medium-Term Strategic Framework and transport and to say that, firstly, there is the intensification of the passenger rail programme; secondly, improving public transport systems through an integrated transport approach; thirdly, ensuring a sustainable road transport infrastructure network through the provincial roads maintenance grant; and, fourthly, the continuation of investment in the upgrading and expansion of the country's rail, port and pipeline infrastructure as part of the effort to shift freight transport from road to rail.
The ANC's manifesto is an important tool in our arriving at these policy positions. The commitments that we have from the manifesto 2014-19 are, firstly, that the freight rail system will be modernised over the next five years with 1 100 km of new railway lines, 15 000 new train coaches and wagons and 1 300 new locomotives that will be manufactured. The plant has already started the manufacturing in the west of Pretoria, as we heard during the debate with Minister Rob Davies.
The ports system will be expanded, with additional capacity added at major ports such as Ngqura, Durban and Cape Town. Already we have heard earlier in the comment from the MEC of Transport of the Eastern Cape the processes that are unfolding with the airport and it is not good enough to have a good airport - we know that the Ngqura development will lead to a lot of business happening in that part of our beloved country.
Thirdly, world-class passenger trains will be introduced from 2015 as 3 600 new, modern coaches will replace outdated trains. The safety and comfort of millions of commuters, in addition to opening of new passenger railway lines, are important. Investment in improved passenger transport systems through the development of bus rapid transit systems to more cities, such as Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, East London, Polokwane, Msunduzi, Ekurhuleni and George are part of this ANC manifesto.
Finally, the improvement of our public transport system, we believe, will create many new jobs and contribute to skills development as buses, taxis, locomotives and trains will be manufactured and assembled locally. Localisation will create jobs. These interventions are game changers. Halala ANC, Halala! [Applause.] Mr T M KAUNDA (KwaZulu-Natal): Hon Chairperson of this House, the hon Minister and her team, the hon Chief Whip, chairperson of the select committee, hon members and all dignitaries, good afternoon. It is indeed a great honour to be invited to participate in this departmental budget debate of 2014-15.
At the outset, it is important to indicate that the Department of Transport has inherited narrow road networks, narrow from apartheid, because they were designed to cater for the minority. Consequently, our infrastructure is visibly ageing and therefore evidently unable to cope with the volume of traffic that is ever increasing. This has a direct impact on the carnage and fatalities that we are experiencing on our roads, which are currently costing the South African economy an estimated amount of R306 billion each year.
The late former President of the ANC and the President of the Republic, Dr Nelson Mandela, on 14 April 1992, when addressing the National African Federated Transport Organisation, Nafto, at a gala dinner had this to say and I quote:
It is our view that the transport industry in South Africa serves as a basic integrating factor. We wish to encourage further co-ordinated development of this sector, since people's mobility has an enormous impact on access to education, health, information and communication.
True to his assertion, the ANC-led government has, through its strategic investment in this sector, made it possible that with every passing day since 1994 South Africa has enjoyed good connectivity on road networks, thus making access to services, places of work, places of study and entertainment not only possible, but also easy to access.
The KwaZulu-Natal portfolio committee, in its quest to entrench democracy through public participation during Transport Month convened a number of stakeholder interactive sessions. The following issues were raised.
Firstly, the proposed tollgate in Isipingo, which is part of the N2 Wild Coast toll road development, which links KwaZulu-Natal and East London, should not continue and we must clarify the position of the KwaZulu-Natal government and the legislature. We are not opposed to the user-pay method, because this is a valid principle and the system that is applied in many countries.
Given over-tolling in the province, the portfolio committee made the resolution to liaise with the national portfolio committee with the view of persuading the portfolio committee against this proposed toll. We made our representations in 2011. In this regard, we are, however, still awaiting the response from the Department of Transport, of course through the SA National Road Agency Limited, Sanral. Secondly, regarding learner transport, we have been informed that there is no final policy relating to the implementation of this service and responsibility. Hence, there is still a high level of fragmentation. This responsibility is located in different departments and provinces, and we do appeal to the Department of Transport to fast-track the process of finalising this important policy.
Thirdly, regarding motor licences, the issues that were raised very sharply were that the provinces are charging different tariffs. As a result, people are looking for the cheapest provinces. For better control and accountability, it is suggested, given the unitary nature of South Africa, that the process of developing a policy that is unfolding in the department in this regard should be fast-tracked.
Furthermore, it was raised that tariffs should be standardised and no vehicle should be tested outside its area of jurisdiction in order to eliminate the element of fraud and corruption. Consistent with concerns raised by the truck drivers is the fact that owners insist on testing vehicles outside the province of KwaZulu-Natal to get roadworthiness approvals that they don't deserve.
With due respect, the province that is always quoted in this regard is the Mpumalanga province. To avoid fraudulent roadworthiness certificates, which have caused most truck accidents in KwaZulu-Natal, it is recommended that the Department of Transport finalises the alignment of this proposal with policies and legislation where possible.
Truck drivers also proposed that an amendment should be effected in relation to the issuing of fines and sentences relating to fraudulent motor certificates and roadworthiness certificates. They proposed that fines should be directed to owners, as most drivers are forced to break these traffic laws by driving trucks that are unroadworthy, due to the socioeconomic challenges. They fear losing employment and they become vulnerable and unable to say no. In this regard, it is clear that only the Department of Transport can intervene.
The above proposed changes are not intended to encourage people to breach traffic laws and regulations. Law-enforcement is sacrosanct.
The last issue that we wish to raise is that most of the communities and stakeholders in KwaZulu-Natal have commended the Department of Transport for its investment in the development and maintenance of road infrastructure. This is evident in the impact that infrastructure has on the lives of ordinary people, especially those who are living in deep rural areas. Indeed, the construction of vehicle and pedestrian bridges, new roads and their maintenance, through Operation S'hamba Sonke, have totally changed the face of our rural communities. Government has introduced a progressive Taxi Recapitalisation Programme in 1999 as an attempt to address challenges in the taxi industry. Admittedly, significant progress has been made thus far, though we think the Department of Transport and the taxi industry must do more to win over those who are still cynical about this programme.
While there are some challenges in the transport sector, it can be said in no uncertain terms that through better transport and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, today is better than yesterday and tomorrow is guaranteed to be even better than today. It is on this basis that it is impossible not to support this budget allocation, as it is geared towards moving South Africa forward by creating a safe, reliable, efficient, affordable, accessible and quality transport system. I thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, ladies and gentlemen, as the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport and Public Works, it is a pleasure to participate in this debate. Every morning while most people are asleep in warm beds, KwaNdebele-based Nomakhosazana Mahlangu wakes up at two 2:00 to get ready for a four-hour bus ride to work in Pretoria. This was alluded to by the Minister. She makes this journey every day. [Interjections.]
Hon Max, there is a point of order.
Hon Chair, on a point of order: Regarding the word "KwaNdebele", we do not have a "KwaNdebele". Can the hon member withdraw that? He is taking us back to apartheid. [Laughter.] It is the wrong pronunciation of whatever he was saying. I don't know what that was. [Laughter.]
The point of order is taken, hon member. Hon Max, KwaNdebele was a homeland; we are now in a democratic South Africa. Thank you.
Thank you. The hon member has withdrawn.
She undertakes this journey every day on the Moloto road, which the Minister has already alluded to, because it is cheaper than living in Pretoria.
The situation is the same for many South Africans, as well as for the people living in the Western Cape who are in the labour market, education, etc, and whose existence and living standards depend on accessible, effective and safe transportation. The National Household Travel Survey, NHTS, which is conducted every 10 years by Statistics SA, indicates that taxis are the main means of transport for most households, at 41,6%, as compared to private cars at 13,7%, buses at 10,2%, car passengers at 13,7% and trains at 4,4%. One reason why commuters used taxis as opposed to other forms of transport such as buses and trains was that those other kinds of transport were unavailable close to their homes or workplaces.
There can be no doubt that those who predominantly use taxis are the poorest of the poor. Although taxis are the main source of transport for most people, they are not happy with these services. At least 54% of all taxi commuters are unhappy with the state of taxi rank facilities and 51% are unhappy with taxi fares.
Most commuters are schoolchildren. About 60,9% of the schoolchildren travel between 07:00 and 09:00. Of those who use public transport, about 70% use taxis, 25% use buses and 6% use trains.
There is a challenge with regard to the safety of our children and adults on our taxis. Crime, murder and attempted murder remain a challenge. Between July 2012 and March 2014, we experienced 26 murders, 13 attempted murders and 15 arrests, but the challenge is that these were no convictions. The SA Police Service claims that intimidation and reprisals are the causes of these unsolved crimes.
According to the City of Cape Town's Integrated Transport Plan approximately 622 000 passenger trips are made on the Metrorail network on an average weekday. As many as 216 568, or 34,8%, of these trips occur during the morning peak period. Approximately 680 train trips are made daily and approximately 750 000 commuters use trains daily.
Now, the Golden Arrow bus service uses 1 046 buses per day, with plus-minus 200 000 passengers per weekday, with fewer over weekends. For the month of June 2014, 4,6 million passengers were transported.
The bus rapid transit, BRT, system in Cape Town operates at 52 000 passenger journeys daily, which equates to around 1,15 million passenger journeys per month.
We know that in the Western Cape there are some dangerous roads, part of the dangerous roads in this country, and we are doing our best to reduce road fatalities. Between the financial years 2008-09 and 2013-14, we succeeded in reducing the number of road deaths by 464. Although it is not what we anticipated, there is a reduction and we are moving forward.
To ensure that these roads are safe, the Chief Directorate: Traffic Management has various road safety initiatives as part of its functional mandate. It includes traffic law enforcement on a 24-hour basis, fatigue management, overload control, weekly alcohol blitzes through roadblocks around this province, checkpoints, road safety education initiatives, focus on pedestrian safety, child awareness, etc.
In addition, the first in the Western Cape is the Safely Home programme, which includes the following two road safety initiatives: firstly, enforcement focus on drunk driving; and secondly, the average speed over distance technology, which has been introduced with great success on key routes, which include the R61 from Beaufort West towards Aberdeen; the N1 between Three Sisters and Beaufort West; the N1 Beaufort West - Laingsburg; the R27 sections between Atlantis and Saldanha; the N2 sections, currently in design phase with plan completion having taken place in December last year; seatbelt awareness; pedestrian hazards; road safety education; road safety partnership; and driver fatigue.
During the past few months, we negotiated an agreement between the Congress of Democratic Taxi Association, Codeta, in Khayelitsha, Route Six Taxi Association in Mitchells Plain and Golden Arrow bus services to form a joint venture vehicle-operating company and sign a three-year operating contract for the N2 Express Service. The first phase of the N2 Express Service, which is the top-up service serving the Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain areas, commenced on 5 July this year. The service commenced with 14 12-metre low-floor buses to accommodate 34 seated passengers, 34 standing passengers and 1 passenger in a wheelchair per trip and 10 9-metre, low- floor buses to accommodate 25 seated passengers, 25 standing passengers and 1 passenger in a wheelchair.
The objective of this top-up service is to provide residents with a safe and convenient alternative to travelling to Cape Town, the central business district, CBD, and beyond. This broadens residents' choice, as it starts a process of bringing quality transport to residents living on the periphery of the city. Between 21 June 2014 and 14 July 2014, 1 673 free MyConnect cards were issued.
Forty-one taxi drivers from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha are currently undergoing a 10-week-long training programme at Golden Arrow Bus Services' Learning and Assessment Centre in Montana to become MyCiTi bus drivers. The Western Cape is moving forward. [Applause.] [Interjections.]
In George, we have the Integrated Public Transport System Network, a project which is a first for South Africa. I want to remind MEC Mazibuko that everything starts in the Western Cape. [Interjections.] This project is aimed at launching a new improved public system for George and surrounding areas. With routes throughout the George Local Municipal area, the aim is to provide reliable scheduled services that operate 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, hon Minister. This service will be run by the operators of existing services in the George area.
The first phase started this year. At the heart of this project is a plan whereby current transport operators of minibus taxis and buses form a company to deliver a new, scheduled bus service on routes in and around George. The municipality, with the support of the province, negotiated ... [Interjections.]
Can you please round up, hon member.
Yes. I just want to say that I heard that the ANC has a good story. I must say, the DA has the best story! [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members and special delegates, as Salga, we are pleased to participate in this debate of the transport Budget Vote, as this is yet another opportunity for us to contribute regarding matters that directly affect roads and transport at local government level.
Hon Chairperson, we trust and hope that we will be able to continue to offer input and assistance to the Minister and her department. South African Local Government Association, Salga, would like to request the hon Minister to please consider including the following matters as priorities for this year.
The first one is the roads proclamation. Unproclaimed roads primarily in rural areas cover about 140 000 kms, which constitutes about 24% of the 593 000 kms of gravel road infrastructure network, and it remains a major and stubborn issue that must be addressed urgently. The consequence of unproclaimed roads is that monitoring of the condition and maintenance of this vast portfolio of roads falls between the cracks.
Consequently these roads are not upgraded and developed, which disadvantages municipalities and communities residing in those areas and using these specific roads. Despite these challenges, we would like to acknowledge the work of the Department of Transport through its rural road asset management grant. However, alignment needs to be sought between the data collected through this grant and the proclamation of the actual roads.
The sooner the proclamation process of identifying the role of district municipalities is completed in so far as road development is concerned, the better.
The second point is the funding of rural roads. Hon Chairperson, we wish to affirm that, with the exception of toll roads, the roads infrastructure is generally funded from taxes. In the case of local government, this tax is levied as property rates tax. Unfortunately, in the rural context, such tax is practically nonexistent.
Whilst the national fiscus contributes a limited amount through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant for the provision of basic levels of road infrastructure on behalf of fundamentally the poor, this funding is wholly insufficient. This is a result of a gap in poor households that are not reflected in the Statistics SA data as well as businesses that do not contribute to the costs of road infrastructure in their specific areas.
Since businesses and households in the rural areas are not paying an equitable share of their taxes, urban ratepayers end up subsidising the cost of roads for middle and high-income households and businesses in rural areas.
Funds from taxes are also limited, which further contributes to the deficit on funding and maintenance of rural road infrastructure. We therefore urge the department to work with National Treasury and Salga to find solutions to this challenge of underfunding of rural municipal roads and municipal roads in general.
The third point is getting freight off the roads. Hon Chairperson, Salga appreciates the declared focus of government over the next years on upgrading rail infrastructure services. The South African Local Government Association would like the hon Minister to stimulate a modal shift of freight from road to rail. This recommendation has been mentioned a few times today already. To this effect, the hon Minister needs to finalise the process of developing the rail policy for South Africa in order to guide future investments in rail for both freight and passenger movement.
The fourth point is efficient public transport. The South African Local Government Association notes the public transport allocation of R5 billion to be spent in 13 cities on planning, building and operating integrated public transport networks. We would like to appeal to the hon Minister also to prioritise efficient public transport in areas outside these 12 metropolitan and secondary city areas, as stipulated in the current Public Transport Strategy and Action Plan.
Although the majority of commuters are in these areas, public transport also needs to be promoted in rural and semi-urban areas. This requires a review of the current public transport strategy so that it is inclusive and nondiscriminatory in the future roll-out of public transport throughout the country.
The fifth point concerns the capacity within municipalities. Hon Chairperson, we welcome the programme through which 120 civil engineering graduates are being trained and are to be absorbed by municipalities. Towards ensuring the effective absorption of these and other graduates by local government, we need to determine a minimum benchmark organogram for each category of municipality, based on the functions of public transport and road infrastructure management. Obviously, we would also like to see these graduate programmes extended to the other spheres of the infrastructure, like water, electricity and sanitation.
The sixth point is the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, GFWIP, and electronic tolling in Gauteng. Hon Chairperson, it is the view of local government that charging users for the use of such infrastructure is acceptable revenue collection. Organised local government has been advocating for the consideration of socioeconomic and traffic impact assessment studies pertaining to proposed tollroads around metropolitan spaces.
We are pleased that Sanral now has an obligation to consider these issues in planning future projects. However, since these provisions came after the current phase of GFWIP as well as the electronic tolling in Gauteng, the detrimental impact of the traffic diversions onto municipal road network infrastructure remains to be seen.
In conclusion, hon Chairperson, Salga believes that attention to the five inter-related matters, namely: Roads proclamation; funding of rural roads; getting freight off the roads; efficient public transport and capacity- building within municipalities will go a long way towards meeting the mandate of the department and contributing to service delivery at the local level.
All these matters will contribute towards the National Transport Master Plan as the macro sector plan of the Department of Transport. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chair, hon Minister, hon MECs and fellow members, I am sure it would not be unparliamentary to greet my "groot manyane", big brother, brother Gabs. Ngimbonile lapha, yindoda ekulu begodu yindoda eyangikhulisa. [Ihleko.] Nami Mma Mazibuko, ngiyamfuna uNgamshishi loya. [Ihleko.] Bengisafuna nje ukumfaka umlevo kancani. [I saw him. He is here. He is a big man; he raised me. [Laughter.] And me, too Miss Mazibuko; I want that guy. [Laughter.] I was willing to talk to him just a little bit.]
On 27 June 2014, delivering his state of the province address in Nelspruit, the Premier of Mpumalanga, hon D D Mabuza, in advancing the Mpumalanga Vision 2030 Strategic Implementation Framework, which is the provincial expression of the key priorities, objectives and targets enumerated in the National Development Plan, made the commitment that together with the national Department of Transport, Mpumalanga prioritised strategic infrastructure projects, amongst others, the Moloto Rail Corridor. The hon Minister of Transport made again made that commitment in this august House, which we want to welcome with both hands.
Hon Minister, I am from that part of the country. I have been living in that area since 1983. I have learned politics and almost everything about life in that area. Since 1985 ... kukhulunywa ngaso isitimeleso bona siyeza ... [they have been referring to the railway project, that has long been coming] ... under the homeland government. Yes.
Our new government has taken an initiative only four years ago, but the initiative was abandoned again. A proper report was not given to the people to explain exactly what happened to the project. We therefore also commend your effort to go back on 13 July to report to that community. We want to advise the hon Minister, as you know, that street talk travels very fast; people have been fed street talk around that project and it nearly got out of hand. We hope that you will continue the consultations and communication process on a yearly basis, until the project gets off the ground, so that people do not rely on hearsay, but get the information from the horse's mouth. We also want to commend you for the fact that you went on record as saying that the project is now registered with Treasury as an Integrated Transport Project. [Interjections.]
There is a point of order, hon Mthimunye.
Hon Chair, on a point of order: The hon member is talking about the horse's mouth and I do not know who the horse is. [Laughter.]
Please proceed, hon Mthimunye. [Laughter.] Will hon members please stop horsing around? [Laughter.]
Many comrades have spoken about the ANC policy on transport and I will not bother the House and repeat that. I want to address the hon Faber. [Laughter.] [Interjections.] You know, there were 300 years of apartheid rule in this country and the ANC has been in government for only 20 years. Let me make this analogy first, before I put across my point. I made this point the day before yesterday. You know, when a husband and wife have three sons, and the one is National Party, the other one Patriotic Freedom Front or Progressive Freedom Front Party and the other one is Freedom Front. From where I am standing, their political DNA is exactly the same. They may not be homogeneous, but their political DNA is exactly the same. [Applause.] Therefore, I cannot draw a distinction between the DA and the whole lot that governed this country for over 300 years or so.
Hon member, there is a point of order again. [Laughter.]
Hon Chair, on a point of order: I believe that the hon member is misleading the House about the DNA. I do not know if he is a subject matter expert, but as far as I know, the DA has no DNA of the National Party. Hon Charel de Beer will tell you. [Laughter.]
On the point of DNA, hon Mthimunye, the political DNA and the scientific descriptions and so on are very difficult for this House to contemplate. Can we please proceed with the debate?
Hon Faber ... no, it is hon Max. He refers to the suffering of the people of KwaNdebele. I want to quote him verbatim and I know he was corrected. He was corrected for saying it was KwaNdebele. He made reference to Makhosazana Mahlangu as Makhosazana Mashlangu. I want to say to him that the unfortunate part of the DA is that they tend to pick and choose issues outside of the Western Cape, and conveniently so. When I started, I made mention of the fact that I have been living in that area since 1983 and I know exactly what the lives of the people there are like. I have been part of that life and a victim of all the bad things that happened there. To stand here and want to score political points off the misery of people to whom I belong really makes me feel so bad. But the unfortunate part ...
Ngesikhethu, nasimadoda sibhalelanako ngekulumo, kuthiwa asiyeni evadleni. Angikwazi ukutjho njalo ngombana umthetho awungivumeli. Khathana bewungivumela, yinye indoda bengizoyibizela evadleni lapha.
Besitjhwile nangaphambili bona ngapha ku-EFF, akunanto ebizwa ngehlangano, besitjhwile nangaphambili bona umntwana lo usesemncani. (Translation of isiNdebele paragraphs follows.)
[In our culture, if we don't agree on a particular issue as men, the best way to resolve it is to wrestle. But for now I cannot say that because the law does not permit me to do that. If the law permitted me to do that, I was going to challenge one man to a wrestling match.
We have mentioned earlier that when referring to the EFF, there is nothing called a political party there; we have mentioned that this child is still young.]
Hhayi-ke mfowethu, nsizwa yamabutho mfokaKhawula, ngizizwile izinduku zakho mfokababa, uyinsizwa impela. Kodwa ke angisho ukuthi maluju! [Uhleko.] Into engingayisho nje kuwena mfowethu, ukuthi hambani bafowethu keniyokhetha umholi. [Uhleko.] Ngicela ukuvala Sihlalo. Ngiyabonga. [Uhleko.] [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)
[Oh! Yes, my brother, son of Khawula, I felt your impact; you are a real warrior. However, I am not saying that I am giving up. [Laughter.] What I can say to you, my brother, is that you must go and elect your leader. [Laughter.] Let me stop at this point, Chairperson. Thank you. [Laughter.] [Applause.]]
The hon member has asked to be released. Do you still insist, hon Khawula?
I do. I do, Chairperson. I do.
It would be interesting to hear what the point of order is.
Chair, on a point of order: The hon member is inferring that the IFP does not have a leader, when the IFP does have a leader. [Laughter.] Can I ask that the hon member be respectfully asked to withdraw that?
Hon member, if I understood him correctly, he said that he encouraged you to go and elect a leader. You then concluded that he meant that the IFP did not have a leader.
[Yebo Sihlalo.] Yes, Chairperson.
It becomes very difficult for a presiding officer to interpret inferences. I will go the extra mile because I think that this House does need a break before we conclude. Hon Mthimunye, do you want to horse around ... [Laughter.] ... and explain yourself to the hon member of the IFP. He is 100% here.
Hon Chair, I will subject myself to the ruling of the Chair.
Hon Khawula insists that you withdraw that you had said that the IFP did not have a leader. I think that the hon member must withdraw the statement.
I withdraw, hon Chair.
[Mhlonishwa.] Hon member.
Tona yaDipalangwa: Ke lebogile Modulasetulo, Mmusakgotla wa Ntlo e ya kopano ya diporofensi. Ke batla go simolola ntlha ka go lemosa tsala ya ka e tona, ya tlhogo ya kgomo, e e tswang kwa Gauteng gore nna ke tswa kwa Kimberley le gone ga ke se o neng o re rre yole ke sona. Ke ene o ka nnang sona seo eseng nna. [Setshego.] (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)
[The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, Chairperson, the presiding officer of this National Council of Provinces. I would like to start off by making a big friend of mine from Gauteng aware that I am from Kimberley, and I am not what you said that gentleman is. He is the one that can be it, not me. [Laughter.]]
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the members for the valuable inputs that they've made, and also applaud the chairperson of the committee not only for the leadership that he is giving, but also for reminding us today that it is important that when we speak in this House, we must able to reach the people whom we are here for. So, it has been made possible that you speak in the vernacular. You have been enabled to interpret for the people of South Africa what we said in the budget speech.
I just want to say that today we had here people claiming easy victories. You know, all of us know that the MyCiti Integrated Rapid Transit System in Cape Town is a concept and a programme based on the policies of the ANC. [Applause.]
You would know, and your leaders have acknowledged, that South Africa is far better than it was in 1994, mainly because of the policies and the leadership of the ANC. So, I just wanted to remind you that whatever is happening in the Western Cape is happening because of the part of Integrated Public Transport Network that the ANC is driving. Cape Town, therefore, is one of the key cities in the country and we are not going to leave it out.
Remember that the MyCiti Project actually started long before the DA became the government of the Western Cape, before they swallowed the NNP and decided to be the democratic, or the confused, alliance. I also want to say that I've heard what the hon Khawula said about the Port Shepstone line. This line is part of the department's branch lines and I would believe that you would know when the branch line strategy or plan is finalised, when we will be able to put this in motion.
I am actually happy to indicate that, having been the Premier of the Northern Cape, I know that the pilot of the branch line strategy has actually succeeded in reviving the small town in the Northern Cape called Douglas. Today the people of Douglas could even tell you that they've got a shopping complex because of how the branch line strategy made it possible to increase its capacity in the agricultural sector, when we also made sure that we revived that particular town.
With regard to the Mthatha Airport, I am happy that the MEC spoke at length about it, and we are still going to be engaging as the national department and the Eastern Cape province with regard to this airport, as it can be a catalyst for the tourism industry, especially in that part of our country.
I've heard many comrades and hon members in the House speak about passenger rail, and I have given an indication of all the work that we are doing.
I also want to indicate here that we are going to be soon announcing the national transport forum, which will be a platform for co-ordination and integration of plans across the three spheres, hon Rademeyer from Salga, to make sure that you have a seamless standard of service provision in transport, so that you don't have a particular standard in one part of the country and another standard in another part of the country. We are one South Africa. Like we always say: Iivoti zethu ziyafana futhi ziyalingana. [Our votes are the same and are equal.]
So, what we do is to make sure that we cover the whole country. We are not going to behave like the members of the DA, who, wherever they are, whether it's Mpumalanga, they only talk about the Western Cape. Some of the people who always speak about this Western Cape do not know where the Western Cape is. [Laughter.]
Hon Chair, the point of order is that the people that should interpret did not quite get that, to be quite honest. [Laughter.] But I just want the correct translation. I don't know what kind of language that sound is that the Minister had made. Is that one of the nine official languages? Thank you. [Laughter.]
With regard to the Moloto Rail Project, I want to say to the hon Mthimunye that the President made a commitment which we are honouring. We are also committed to making sure that we give consistent reports to the communities and we will always make it possible that we do that.
Remember that we've got a Political Oversight Committee, POC, a steering committee, as well as the technical committee that works together with the two municipalities of Nkangala as well as Dr J S Moroka. We are also making sure that the districts, including the three provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga and all the Ministers that the President has identified, to avoid the back and forth between provinces and the municipalities.
The Premier of the Mpumalanga and I have been given the responsibility by the ruling party to champion this particular project so that we may be able to start seeing work happening. Like I said, I'm going to launch the project office at Prasa to show that the work has started.
I also want to say that, because it's a dual and an integrated plan, we believe that the road issue must be addressed. That is why we said that Sanral, with their capacity, would be able to do the R573. Chairperson, that road, because it carries the same volumes of people as the N1, must also be expanded and be extended to carry the same volume of people. Even when the rail comes in, it doesn't mean that it would be used by everybody. So, the discussion around the road is central to this development.
I also want to say that we would also be appointing a panel to advise the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the MECs on transport matters, an intermodal transport expertise, or experts, researchers, including academics and other stakeholders that are going to be central to this platform. So, this is one way of making sure that when we speak about integrated planning, we don't just do it on paper, we do it in reality and that we also respond to evidence, like we just indicated, about the national household travel survey. All the things that we have said, hon members, we will take them and integrate some of your proposals, including the proposals from KwaZulu- Natal with regard to the e-tolls. We know that KwaZulu-Natal has 18 toll plazas. That is why the premier is raising concerns about the electronic payment system. He was saying that he was not against it; he was just saying: "Don't add another toll plaza in KwaZulu-Natal."
We will therefore look at all those things, and we will address them because we believe that, in working together, we will move South Africa forward. Thank you. [Applause.]