Budget Debate On Vote 35: Transport

Budget Vote Debate- Extended Public Committee
National Assembly
Mr KP Sithole, MP

Honourable Chairperson,

At the outset allow me to extend the heartfelt condolences of the IFP to the many families and friends of those who have recently lost their lives on our roads. Daily we hear of horror accidents occurring throughout all of our provinces. Our roads must be made safer!

Transport infrastructure in South Africa remains at critical levels. Many of our roads are in state of poor disrepair. This is not only poses a great safety threat to our road users, but also causes additional and unnecessary damage to vehicles.

Road accidents remain of serious concern. We again call for zero-tolerance on those caught drinking and driving, and for greater and more visible policing on our roads. Un-roadworthy vehicles are death-traps and accidents waiting to happen.

Public transport has seen a number of fatal accidents this year already. Over -crowding in taxi’s, bus drivers falling asleep at the wheel, or being recklessly negligent, have resulted in a large number of unnecessary deaths. There should be greater and more stringent regulation in respect of public transport and those found guilty of reckless and negligent action should receive the harshest criminal sanction.

E-Tolls are hurting and not helping our economy and citizens. We are already witnessing exorbitant increases in the prices of goods and foodstuffs as business begins passing on the higher costs of transport to the consumer. In Johannesburg a loaf of bread will now cost you R15. Watch this space Honourable Chairperson, the ANC is about to fail horribly because of E-Tolls come August 3!

Whilst the IFP does support the principle of “user pay” we do not support the manner in which this system is being conducted. People are receiving accounts for thousands of rand’s and being threatened with legal action for non-payment. E-tolls should be on a “user pay” cash basis as is the case currently in KwaZulu Natal.
Another point of contention is the large outflow of E-Toll revenues to companies overseas. This money, or at the very least a significant portion of it should be channelled back into domestic roads and transport infrastructure projects.

Taxi permits are still not being issued by municipalities because they are competing for the same municipal bus routes that the taxis are using. This is unfair competition by the municipalities. What remedy does the department have to assist taxis in obtaining permits?

PRASA remains a hit-and-miss affair with a long history of bad management decisions affecting its business operations and acquisitions. How PRASA chairperson, Mr Popo Molefe, has managed to escape disciplinary action is beyond me. When is he going to answer for the train smash that is PRASA? Is this man untouchable? What steps have been taken against him?

In conclusion, we do support the budget vote debate, but would like to see greater departmental action on the concerns we have raised.

I thank you.

Honourable KP Sithole, MP
079 311 9995
IFP Media, Parliament