Budget Vote 36 -
Transport

 

Remarks by Mr Eric Lucas MP
 

National Assembly: 13 April 2010

 

Honourable Speaker,

 

The Department of Transport has acknowledged the importance of an efficient and sustainable transport system, one which will help boost the economy of our country whilst at the same time provide commuters with a cheaper and more reliable system of transport.

 

The Departmental challenges in 2010 are big but not insurmountable.

Government has acknowledged these challenges and allocated R25-billion to the Department in order to see to it that these challenges are met and overcome.  The budget however is not unlimited and in this regard the IFP urges the Department to make haste slowly and to do things correctly the first time.

 

In Limpopo province sub-standard bridges and roads were washed away within weeks of their completion. This is totally unacceptable and in this regard the IFP urges the Department to conduct the necessary due diligence before awarding tenders to unsuitable companies.

 

State of our road conditions

 

Many of our roads are in dire need of immediate repair particularly in KZN where 85% of the roads in the province are in a very poor state of disrepair. In fact, poor road maintenance is directly responsible for a large number of deaths on our roads. Furthermore, these poor road conditions are having a negative impact on our economy which we can ill afford at this time.

 

2010 readiness

 

Are we ready for 2010? Will all of our transport upgrades and infrastructural development be completed by then? Are we prepared to handle a possible taxi strike during the WC? Are the negotiations around sabotage with the major airlines concluded yet? We are 58 days away from the biggest sporting event ever hosted in South Africa and its success or failure will depend largely on our transport readiness.

 

Taxi's and Bus Rapid Transport System

 

The IFP is very concerned that the Department is not doing enough to calm tensions that are arising in the taxi industry as a result of some provinces rolling out the Bus Rapid Transport System. We therefore urge the Minister to engage to a greater extent with the taxi industry to ensure that we have no upsets during or after the World Cup.

 

Airports

 

The revamping of our Airports has been a great success and the Department must be commended on this.

 

Railways

 

It is vitally important to improve our rail infrastructure in order to reduce the heavy duty vehicles on our roads. These heavy duty vehicles which often carry loads far in excess of legal limits are destroying our roads and a great number of these vehicles are coming in from neighbouring countries.

 

Road Accident Fund

 

The Road Accident Fund must take cognisance of the fact of the great responsibility that they shoulder on behalf of all the road accident victims in this country. To this end we urge the fund to engage itself in greater public awareness and educational campaigns regarding claim procedures and policy so that the man on the street is able to competently lodge a claim in the event that he is the involved in a motor vehicle accident on our roads.

 

Visible Policing

 

The IFP welcomes the increase of visible policing by the municipalities.

Visible policing sends a clear message to citizens that we are serious about road safety and that we will not tolerate transgressions thereof. In this vein, we commend the Minister and the Department on the decrease in road accidents over the Easter weekend; this is a sure sign of the success of the Arrive Alive and visible policing campaigns.

 

In conclusion we would like to re-iterate the Minister's own words when he said in the 2009 Budget Vote Speech that "It's not the wealth of a country that builds roads; it is roads that build the wealth of a country."

 

The IFP supports the vote.

 

I thank you.

 

Contact:
Mr Eric Lucas MP
082 557 2481