Address at the National Assembly
Ladies and Gentlemen
One of the foremost thinkers of our time, former President of India Dr APJ Abdul
Kalam is passionate about technology, children and development.
After a talk delivered by Dr Kalam, a ten-year old once came up to him for an autograph.
"What is your ambition he asked her?" "I want to live in a developed India," she
replied without hesitation.
The ambition of that ten-year old is shared by 48million people in this country
and 800million on the continent. Like the rest of the world we want development.
We have moved away from a state of underdevelopment which was induced by apartheid
We now characterise ourselves, and are characterised by others, as a developing
country. A country is developed when it has peace, democracy, water, energy, transport
In his book titled INDIA: A vision for the New Millennium, Kalam asks an important
question about development. I quote:
"The next question which comes to mind is how can it be made possible? We have to
build and strengthen our national infrastructure in a big way", end quote.
Later in this presentation we will turn our attention to infrastructure as a route
President Jacob Zuma told the taxi industry in April to defer negotiations on the
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system until after the elections. During the State of the
Nation Address President Zuma said the Minister of Transport would resume discussions
with the industry by 11 June 2009.
Indeed on 11 June 2009 we met over 2000 representatives of the industry made up
of taxi associations and their organized structures nationally. Prior to that, we
held fruitful discussions with leaders of the South African National Taxi Council.
On 26 June 2009 we met the leadership of the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) and held
similar consultations with provincial departments and affected municipalities. We
are now all ready to start a "CODESA" of the taxi industry.
We will encourage the industry to participate in the entire transport value chain.
This includes buses, freight, rail, transport finance and fuel to mention a few.
For a start our structured engagement focuses on five strategic areas:
- Implementing the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and other Integrated Public Transport
Network (IPTN) Projects;
- Taxi Subsidization and the Taxi Recapitalization Programme;
- Legislation, Licensing and Regulatory Issues;
- Enterprise Development; and
- Communication and Stakeholder Engagement.
In August the Working Group will submit an interim report and implementation will
start by October 2009.
In this vein we would like to acknowledge the presence of the taxi industry in the
house today. Your presence indicates a new leaf in our relationship as partners
and stakeholders in the transport sector. We can say we have now entered a phase
that is not going to be characterised by conflict.
We take a leaf from the Book of Galatians 5 Verse 15 and I quote:
"Kepha uma nidlana, nilumana, qaphelani ukuba ningaqedani".
If 2009 is a turning point let it not be said that the taxi industry did not turn.
INTEGRATED PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Our experience teaches us that the mere building of road and parking facilities
can neither be sufficient nor sustainable. The integration of taxis, buses and rail
in all municipalities is therefore of paramount importance.
We will implement integrated ticketing to ensure seamless movement between the various
transport modes. We are thus planning to implement the Integrated Rapid Public Transport
Networks in eight major cities and identified rural networks.
These are Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, eThekwini, Polokwane, Nelson Mandela,
Mbombela and Mangaung.
We must acknowledge that the bus sector is experiencing problems and requires urgent
intervention. Durban Transport, one of our subsidized bus services is beset with
problems. The present operator opted to discontinue services within eThekwini as
from 1 July 2009.
The operator cited inadequate subsidies and escalating fuel costs as key to their
difficulties. Together with the eThekwini Metro and the KwaZulu-Natal Department
of Transport we will find alternative operators as a matter of urgency.
We will appoint new operators who will start on 1 August 2009 for a period of 12
months. The city is finalizing discussions with taxi and other bus services to provide
additional trips during July to maintain ongoing services.
The new operators will only provide management services and drivers since the fleet
and depot facilities are owned by the municipality. We will soon release a plan
to grow the bus sector as part of local integrated networks and city-to-city services.
The Bus Rapid Transit system and the subsidy system are part of this initiative.
Government is investing R25 billion over the MTEF period to stabilize and upgrade
rail passenger transport services in our country. Of these, R14 billion is being
spent to upgrade rail passenger infrastructure and rolling stock whilst the balance
will be funding for rail operations.
PRASA, formerly the South African Rail Commuter Corporation, has shown its capacity
to absorb the huge capital allocations, and in some instances, has exceeded the
capital funds allocated to it. Increased spending on rail infrastructure will be
of vital importance in the current economic climate and in sustaining jobs.
South Africa has gone a long way in arresting the decline in commuter rail services
over the past few years.
PRASA has since the 2006/07 financial Year accelerated the rolling stock investment
programme. This has resulted in over 1 500 coaches being refurbished to the tune
of R5bn. An additional 700 coaches will go through this programme this year at an
estimated R2billion. PRASA in on course to eliminate the historical backlogs in
the General Overhaul (GO) and Upgrades for Rolling stock.
Whilst the R25 billion allocated by Government remains vital to the upgrading of
the current rail passenger transport, we need to recognize that this intervention
will not resolve the key underlying challenges facing rail in the long-term. We
should be forward-looking and start investing in a manner that will meet future
The future for inter-city travel, for example, will be in high-speed rail where
the travel times for passengers will be significantly reduced. This will allow passengers
and freight to move with speed, and that the competitiveness of rail will be enhanced.
A tender for the upgrade of the entire signalling system has already been issued.
This will result in the introduction of a single, modern signalling platform that
will enable our rail operators to increase frequencies, move trains with greater
speed and ensure safety in rail operations.
The GAUTRAIN is one of our key infrastructure projects to date. The GAUTRAIN Management
Agency and the Bombela Consortium assure us that their recovery plan will ensure
that Phase 1- between OR Tambo Airport and Sandton- is ready before the FIFA World
To date GAUTRAIN has sustained more than 12 600 local direct jobs and an estimated
total of more than 68 000 direct, indirect jobs. It has also contributed to Black
When we speak of poverty, we make a distinction between poor people as individuals
and families, and poor communities. A community is poor if it does not have water,
roads, electricity and communication.
Correcting the legacy of apartheid on rural South Africa calls for the creation
of an equitable road network. No school, no hospital, no clinic or public facility
should be unreachable just because there is no road. To begin with, all public facilities
in all communities should be reachable by car.
We will build pedestrian bridges where necessary to ensure life continues regardless
of whether it has rained or not. To fund this, the budget of the Rural Transport
Development Programme (RTDP) needs to increase.
We are also looking at Non-Motorised Transport such as the Shova Kalula bicycle
programme to enable communities less costly access to socio-economic opportunities.
Shova Kalula is part of the War on Poverty Campaign. A total of 26 100 bicycles
were distributed during 2008/09 and the Department intends distributing 15 000 by
We will pay particular attention to combating fraud and corruption in procurement
and tender processes, the Road Accident Fund and drivers’ licences.
Mr Speaker, there are four important documents in the life of a human being. These
are the Birth Certificate and Identity Document which confirm that you exist. A
Drivers Licence, Passport and Marriage Certificate define your well-being.
Working with Home Affairs we will ensure our documents have enhanced security and
unquestionable integrity to be accepted in our country and internationally.
The contract of the current service provider for the drivers’ smart cards expired
on 30 April 2009. It was extended to 31 December 2009 to allow for a proper tender
process. We will appoint a new service provider by the end of the year.
A new computerised examination system for learner licences will root out fraud and
corruption. Plans to computerise all learner licence centres will start immediately.
For rural communities new Mobile licence testing centres will bring access closer
KwaZulu-Natal already has 21 fixed stations and two mobile stations; Gauteng has
1 fixed station and 2 mobile stations; Mpumalanga has 3 fixed stations and 1 mobile
In the State of the Nation Address, President Zuma said and I quote:
"Another important element of our drive to create job opportunities is the Expanded
Public Works Programme (EPWP)…
The second phase of the programme aims to create about four million job opportunities
by 2014. Between now and December 2009, we plan to create about 500 000 job opportunities."
President Zuma said further:
"… The newly-formed Infrastructure Development Cluster of government will ensure
that the planned R787 billion infrastructure expenditure as provided for in the
budget earlier this year is properly planned for and executed. This funding includes
allocations for the school building programme, public transport including the bus
rapid transit system, housing, water and sanitation." End quote.
Mr. Speaker, the EPWP infrastructure sector aims to create 2,374,000 work opportunities
using labour-intensive methods over five years. There are very good examples of
labour-intensive programmes in many of our provinces which we intend to roll out
nationally. We will systematize this approach as we build bridges, roads and other
infrastructure throughout the country and in the process create sustainable jobs.
The Rural Road Maintenance programme in KwaZulu-Natal has to date created 42 000
sustainable jobs. These women maintain 21 000 km of road. We will identify 100 000km
of road to maintain nationally, which will create 200 000 sustainable jobs. This
is part of our contribution to the 500 000 jobs that the President mentioned in
the State of the Nation Address.
The emerging contractor programme in road construction creates thousands of job
opportunities and promotes Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment. These programmes
will be funded from the rural roads component of the Infrastructure Grant of R5
Lawlessness detracts from our drive to become a developed country that respects
human life. The carnage on our road is unacceptable and can be stopped. The complete
road safety strategy will be released soon.
Having completed the pilot Road Traffic Infringement Agency in Tshwane and Johannesburg
the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) is now ready for
This will include the demerit system which is like acquiring yellow cards until
a red card becomes inevitable. The same is now going to apply to your driver’s licence.
This is what the demerit means.
You retain or lose your driver’s licence according to your conduct on our shared
space, the public roads. This is what the demerit system is all about. It is now
going to be part of our lives on South Africa roads. Road safety is no longer going
to be left to individual conscience.
We will also bolster traffic law enforcement and education. A total of 145 patrol
cars, 20 roadblock trailers and other law enforcement equipment will assist the
Special Operations Unit (SOUs) at high accident frequency locations.
We will ensure that the Road Accident Fund creates an equitable, affordable and
sustainable funding system for South Africa. The system must eliminate wastages
and protect victims and families.
The draft policy framework for maritime regulation and ship registration is ready
for Cabinet approval. We are in the process of positioning South Africa as an international
maritime centre. This involves growing the maritime sector’s contribution to our
GDP by providing competitive products for the industry internationally and drawing
more traffic onto our shores.
The road infrastructure strategic framework and its action plan will help us assess,
prioritise and reclassify the road network. In addition we have developed the SANRAL
Strategic Road Network and infrastructure investment plans.
The three-year Gauteng freeway improvement scheme comprises lane additions and interchange
upgrades of approximately 185 km. A further 65 km will be completed in Gauteng by
2012 at an estimated cost of R14.3 billion.
On the issue of the N2 Wild Coast the Minister of Intergovernmental Cooperation
and I, will together with the stakeholders ensure that all issues are addressed.
Mr Speaker, transport-related planning must take place at local, district and provincial
level and must form part of our national plan. The National Land Transport Strategic
Framework of 2008-2011 takes into account the Provincial Land Transport Frameworks
of our nine provinces and the IDPs of Municipalities. This is a key example of a
coordinated and planned approach.
We are currently implementing the Road Infrastructure Strategic Framework for SA
and the National Logistics Strategic Framework. We are also working towards a framework
for the creation of a single Transport Regulator.
ACSA has embarked on R20bn infrastructure development in anticipation of the increase
in the number of passengers travelling to South Africa by year 2010. At present
ACSA handles more than 32million passengers annually. The number will be 43million
in year 2010 and will continue to grow.
44.4 million passengers and handle 611 631 aircraft landings. Major airport developments
are taking place at OR Tambo, La Mercy, Cape Town, Polokwane and Bloemfontein.
We hope to have finalized the formal naming of the new airport at La Mercy in accordance
with national legislation and the regulations of the International Civil Aviation
This process is under way. This has become urgent taking into account the rules
of ICAO which say that a name must be formally filed by the country for it to be
registered as an official name. The coming FIFA WORLD CUP calls on us to speed up
this process so it can be ready for use.
Mr. Speaker the health of a country’s road network determines its wealth and net
worth. Africa’s economic health is critical and requires urgent unsteady resuscitation
through transport infrastructure. With this in mind DoT will actively develop closer
links with counterparts in Africa.
SADC Ministers who deal with infrastructure met recently in Windhoek Namibia. A
government delegation of several ministers from South Africa made presentations
to the gathering.
We have also been invited to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on 8 July this year to address
a conference under the theme, Make Roads Safe Africa 2009. All these interactions
form part of the region’s plan to prioritise the provision of transport infrastructure
which is a key driver of economic growth in the region.
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP
The CONFEDERATIONS CUP has underlined that the 2010 World Cup is not just about
sport, but it is also about transport. Twenty two (22) players on the field do not
make a soccer match, but merely a practice.
It is only a match when fans fill the stadium and the fan parks. A coordinating
structure of transport has been established to look at all matters around transport
and report to the relevant structures dealing with 2010. It is inclusive of all
Soon, I will personally visit the host cities to assess transport plans for 2010.
We will also hold a Transport Lekgotla at the end of August to ensure that our planning
is coordinated and synchronized accordingly.
Transport remains critical for a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup because every fan
and official at the stadium will use our transport system during the tournament.
Through our planned public transport infrastructure of R19.6bn we will ensure the
tournament leaves a rich legacy for our country and continent.
Honourable Members the Budget of the Department of Transport for 2009/10 is R23.7
Our receipts come mainly from dividends received from the Airports Company of South
Africa (ACSA), and share revenue from salvage tugs that provide oil pollution prevention
services. In 2007/08 the department received ACSA dividends of R100.7m. No dividends
have been declared for 2008/09.
In 2008/09, the Department received R140.9 million from transaction fees collected
at driving licence testing centres for the maintenance of the electronic national
information system (ENATIS).
The bulk of the funds go to Integrated Planning and Inter-sphere Coordination (R
8.8billion) and Public Transport (R 14.2billion).
The budget is allocated as follows:
Transport Policy and Economic Regulation
Transport Regulation and Accident and Incident Investigation
Transport Logistics and Corridor Development
(R14, 191, 689bn)
Public Entity Oversight and Border Operations and Control
In conclusion Mr Speaker, Honourable Members, efficient, affordable and modern transport
systems can redefine Africa as a developed world.
Like that ten year old in India we all wish to live in a developed country and continent.
It is not the wealth of the country that builds roads; it is the roads that build
the wealth of the country.
Let us all make it happen.
I would like to thank my predecessor, the Honourable Jeff Radebe for laying the
foundation for the work we do today. I also want to thank the Director-General,
Ms. Mpumi Mpofu and her team for their hard work and dedication.
I thank the Portfolio Committee and Chairperson Ruth Bhengu for the constructive
way in which they engaged DoT so we can fine-tune our programmes for the benefit
of our people and country.
I hereby request the house to pass the Department of Transport’s 2009/2010 budget
of R23.7 billion.