Speaker, since the dawn of democracy, the IFP and South Africans have been calling for development and reform in this sector. Unfortunately the ANC led government does not see this sector as a strategic mechanism to drive South Africa’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Rather the current government’s commitment is to, use this sector to pay into the pockets of their comrades. Recently the Road Accident Benefit Scheme Bill (RABS) was introduced and pushed through by the ruling party which gave the minister another method to loot state resources.
With the constant rise of fuel, E-Tolls in Gauteng are adding to the financial strain on South Africans and ultimately discouraging productivity. Premier Makhura had promised to remove and pay the debt of the E-tolls which in effect means tax payers will pay for it. Furthermore, he did not propose an actual time line to achieve this. His efforts were further diminished as the Minister has no will to fast track this change.
The lack of alternative means of transportation, pins South Africans into a tight corner to whereby we are forced to use E-tolls and pay the ridiculously high rates to use it. Metro Rail is not an alternative we can currently rely on to ease the road network, as it is one of the worst managed and policed systems in this country. Daily people face uncertainty, as to whether they will come home safe or get home before nightfall. It is a system that through its uncertainty of service and efficiency, place people in danger on and off the network. It also forces people to be late for work which results in the loss of productivity and loss of wages.
With the current unreliable public transportation system, people are forced to make use of the road network. The road network as a result is under huge pressure to accommodate high levels of traffic. Currently the department is failing to ensure the safety of road users as South Africa experiences an unacceptable a high level of deaths on our roads.
The department itself has been failing to achieve its targets which simply means money has been wasted and not efficiently used. Government wants to increase tax and further burden the tax payer and when they do not deliver they simply ask for more money without consequence. This must come to an end.
South Africans and the IFP feel that the transport sector needs reform and development that drives South Africa’s GDP, ensures safety and security and promises efficiency.
The IFP calls for the premier together with the Minister of Transport to immediately scrap E-tolls in order to speed up and encourage the productivity of our GDP. Furthermore, the state must heavily invest on a mass transportation network for inner-city and inter-city transportation. This network must be affordable, efficient and safe. It must be placed on the primary agenda of development of the state and be corruption, collusion and patronage free. In the meantime, the department must ensure that all current transportation systems are safe and that they reach 95% of its efficiency before the next annual budget vote. Finally we set a target for this department to, reduce road fatalities by 50% during the December festive period. In order to achieve this, the department must work to reduce potholes and unsafe road infrastructure. It must collaborate with the Police, to clamp down on drunk drivers, un-roadworthy cars and taxis.
The IFP supports this budget on these conditions, I thank you
Mr KP Sitole,