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 ...
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: 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.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon MEC, are you prepared to take a question?
Nks W TIKANA (Eastern Cape): 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.]
Ms N F MAZIBUKO (Gauteng): 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.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, just hold on.
Mr C F B SMIT: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for someone to say the word “f*kol” in this House?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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”.
Ms N F MAZIBUKO (Gauteng): I withdraw the word “f*kol”. [Laughter.] It is “tsotsitaal”. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Just hold on, MEC, you are really inciting some excitement.
Mr S G THOBEJANE: 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?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Chief, the member at the podium is the hon Mazibuko, and I think the hon member behind you knows that.
Nksz T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: 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?]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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 ...]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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 ...
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Is it parliamentary?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, no. You used a word that I want to understand.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: 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”?]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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 ...]
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Ewe, ndithi njengomntu okhulele elokishini ... [Yes, I am saying as a person who grew up in a township ...]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Continue.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: The semantic meaning...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: No, no. I don’t want the semantic meaning. I want the word you used.
Ms T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: 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”?]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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.
Ms N F MAZIBUKO (Gauteng): 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.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M C Dikgale): Chairperson, Ministers, hon Members of the House, guests in the gallery ...
... ke be ke lebeletše moo mohl Tlake a dutšego gona ke nyaka go bona gore na a ka be a dutše le Mohl Mokwena goba o dutše a le tee. Ke lemogile gore o dutše a le tee. Se se ra gore MaAfrika ba lebeletše gomme ba a bona gore ba sentše diboutu tša bona ka gore EFF e itirela boithatelo. Ba ba emela ge ba nyaka, ge ba sa nyake ga ba ba emele. Mola gagešu re re EFF e ra gore: “E felela fa”, Bjale se se šupa 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.]
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson ... [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I think that is definitely unparliamentary. We do not have pretty boys here. We have hon members. [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
Mr M KHAWULA: 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.]
Mr E MAKUE: 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.]
Mr L MAX (Western Cape): 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.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Max, there is a point of order.
Ms L C DLAMINI: 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 CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The point of order is taken, hon member. Hon Max, KwaNdebele was a homeland; we are now in a democratic South Africa. Thank you.
Mr L MAX: I withdraw.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you. The hon member has withdrawn.
Mr L MAX: 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.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Can you please round up, hon member.
Mr L MAX: 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.]
Cllr J RADEMEYER (Salga): 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.]
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: 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.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: There is a point of order, hon Mthimunye.
Mr W F FABER: 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.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Please proceed, hon Mthimunye. [Laughter.] Will hon members please stop horsing around? [Laughter.]
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: 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.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, there is a point of order again. [Laughter.]
Mr W F FABER: 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.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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?
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: 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 CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The hon member has asked to be released. Do you still insist, hon Khawula?
Mr M KHAWULA: I do. I do, Chairperson. I do.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It would be interesting to hear what the point of order is.
Mr M KHAWULA: 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?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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.
Mr M KHAWULA: [Yebo Sihlalo.] Yes, Chairperson.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: Hon Chair, I will subject myself to the ruling of the Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: 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.
Mr S G MTHIMUNYE: I withdraw, hon Chair.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: [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.]
Mr W F FABER: 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.]
The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: 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.]
The Council adjourned at 16:11.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, TABLINGS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
ANNOUNCEMENTS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces The Speaker and the Chairperson 1. Assent by President in respect of Bills Customs Control Bill [B 45B – 2013] – Act No 31 of 2014 (assented to and signed by President on 21 July 2014).
Customs and Excise Amendment Bill[B 44B – 2013] – Act No 32 of 2014 (assented to and signed by President on 21 July 2014).
National Council of Provinces The Chairperson 1.Message from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces in respect of Bills passed and transmitted (1) Bill amended and passed by National Assembly on 25 July 2014 and transmitted for concurrence:
(a) Appropriation Bill [B 4 – 2014] (National Assembly – sec 77) (amended in accordance with section 14 of Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act (see Minutes of Proceedings of National Assembly, 25 July 2014)).
The Bill has been referred to the Select Committeeon Appropriations of the National Council of Provinces.
TABLINGS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces
Minister of Environmental Affairs
Yearly report to Parliament on international environmental instruments (2013‑14), tabled in terms of section 26(1) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act 107 of 1998).
The Minister of Public Enterprises
Report and Financial Statements of Eskom Holdings SOC Limited for 2013-14, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements and Performance Information for 2013-14.
Integrated Report of Eskom Holdings SOC Limited for 2013-14.
National Council of Provinces 1. The Chairperson (a) Rescission of the Intervention issued in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution, 1996 to Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, North West.
Referred to the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration.
(b) Termination of the Intervention issued in terms of section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution, 1996 to Maquassi Hills Local Municipality, North West.
Referred to the Select Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs for consideration and report.
COMMITTEE REPORTS National Assembly and National Council of Provinces The Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, as Chairpersons, present the First Report of 2014 of the Joint Rules Committee of the Fifth Parliament, dated 15 July 2014:
1. The Joint Rules Committee, having considered a proposal for the amendment of the Joint Rules, recommends that the Joint Rules be amended as follows:
Joint Rule 120B to be substituted as follows:
120B. Membership The Joint Standing Committee consists of the number of Assembly and Council members that the Joint Rules Committee may determine, subject to the provisions of section 228(3) of the Constitution, 1993, read with item 24(1) of Schedule 6 to the Constitution, 1996.
2. The Joint Rules Committee further recommends that the Joint Standing Committee on Defence of the Fifth Parliament be comprised of 13 members, as follows: ANC 9, DA 3 and EFF 1, the National Assembly to have 9 members on the committee and the National Council of Provinces 4 members.
Report to be considered.