HON S MOODLEY MPL (IFP)
There are imperative lessons learnt in Ireland and Ghana
Ireland has one of the best transporting industry in the world. This province and SA as a whole could achieve a lot if the following lessons from Ireland could be adopted.
For safety and reducing road carnages
South Africa lost 14 050 lives in road fatalities in year 2017 alone while Ireland only lost 187 people in the same year. This indicates the need to swiftly implement every possible intervention from other countries to deal with this national crisis.
a. Testing of Vehicles
In implementing parts of the Road Safety Strategy, Ireland embarks on testing vehicles which are older than 4 years to assess roadworthy aspect. Defective vehicles are dealt with strictly.
b. Monitoring of Road Transport
Our country could benefit a lot on ways to manage traffic more intensely. The Judiciary should be pushed to implement road related pieces of legislations faster as it currently takes longer than expected allowing things to get out of hand. The vehicle replacement policy should be reinforced and prioritized. All unroadworthy vehicles including private cars should be forced out of our roads. It could be an effective but costly idea to have public transport fitted with cameras and maximum speed in each vehicle locked. The policing of high speed should not only be in High Accidents Zones and towns but throughout the public routes of this province.
c. Taxi Fares Adjustment
Ireland government regulates and subsidizes the fare prices, increase or decrease. The government should consider subsidizing our ever-rising transport fares. This will lead to decrease of fares and will definitely entice locals to use public transport thus reducing traffic and road fatalities.
Currently in Ireland, there is a 2-year interval public transport reviewal period. Unlike in our country where prices are sensitive to petrol prices and currency trade changes and increase all the time making life a nightmare for majority of South Africans. Under-pricing also helps divert people from driving private cars into using rail or public transport. Our big cities should look into having adopting this strategy.
d. Learner Transport
Our province and the whole country have lost many learners in road carnages due to unworthy and the type of transport used to transport them to school. Our transport MEC should adopt a subsidized and safe transport specifically for learners in this province. Ireland taught us the importance of putting people’s lives and their safety first.
e. Better ticketing system
KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as a whole need a better ticketing system. One that will encourage law breakers to pay their fines and not owe the department.
f. Logistics and Ports/Maritime Industry
It would have been beneficial for our delegation to learn on how our country could deal with the ever-increasing cost of logistics which is now a cause for concern. Fuel prices remain a volatile and increasingly expensive cost in the logistics process which results in increasing poverty, unemployment while also driving investors away. However, Ireland logistics are not so different from us.
Also, in Ireland, private and foreign companies are responsible for cargo. It would be efficient if lessons could be learnt in other study tours on how South Africa’s 95% of total imports and exports trade volume could be handled by locals and local ships instead of the foreign ships which in turn employs 240,000 foreign seafarers.
Enhanced general public awareness, but especially among youth, about the multitude of career choices available in Maritime. The maritime sector has become a viable and critical option for addressing rising unemployment and providing for more women and black participation in the oceans economy.
There are some general similarities that are not only based on Transport sector between Ghana and South Africa.
As a country we have made strides to ensure that gender equality in our society is addressed in particular women representation in senior positions. Although more still needs to be done but we have raised a bar than Ghana compared to women representation in Parliament. In Ghanaian Parliament there are only 35 women whom are serving as Members of Parliament as opposed to 240 Men MPs. It is an undisputed fact that no country can develop if it fails to tap women’s talent for full participation in society.
The culture of executives to do as they please seem to be everywhere even in African countries not in this House only. Ghana is failing to hold it Ministers to account who doesn’t attend committee meetings. Although we know that MECs have other departmental commitments but they are expected to respect the Legislature sessions irrespective of whether they have other commitments.
a. Road Infrastructure
South Africa tops the list for having the most developed transport and logistics in Africa but intra-trade with Ghana and other African countries tends to be low in comparison to our global counterparts. This is worrying because our province and country is expected to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), which was signed by 44 African leaders in Kigali.
More infrastructure projects and networks should be encouraged in our region to significantly impact economic growth, alleviate poverty and create jobs of the citizens. This will yield great economic benefits especially big business, small companies and micro-traders. A well-developed road and transport network is therefore a pre-requisite for the access to less developed communities with agricultural production enclaves and other activities.
b. Road Safety Education & Role of Woman on Road Safety
The National Road Safety Commission in Ghana utilises strategies to train women on Road Safety and they transfer that knowledge to their partners or spouses. Our government should emulate the similar approach of involving women in road safety. But I concur more with Hon Sibhidla-Saphetha who emphasized that road safety should be part of the curriculum. If children are taught road safety early, they will carry with them throughout their lives.
c. Law Enforcement
Ghana Integrity Initiative named the Ghana Police Service among the most corrupt institutions in Ghana. Traffic officers are alleged to be corrupt by soliciting bribes from the offenders. It is the similar case in South Africa. This is indicative that there is a lack of law enforcement to push those traffic officers are found guilty of corruption. This begs serious question on who polices the police? It’s the people. The police can only be corrupt in a corrupt environment. If the society isn’t corrupt there’s no way the Police can be corrupt. There’s a question of attitudes; if the attitude is wrong on the part of the citizens, the police will get it wrong as well.
I thank you