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Address by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Honourable Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga, MP on the occasion of the 2016 National Department of Transport Budget Vote 35 Chairperson

11 May 2016

Minister of Transport, Honourable Dipuo Peters
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers present
Honourable Members of Parliament
Distinguished guests
Fellow South Africans

Introduction

The Preamble of our Constitution places a responsibility to all elected representatives such as Honourable members of this House. It state that and I quote: "We have a responsibility to improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations" close quote.

The Constitution calls on us to be patriotic men and women so that a living nation can spring forth from ourselves birthing seeds of hope that will nourish generations to come. Chairperson; As the National department of Transport, we have a mandate to develop legislation, policies and programmes that will ensure an 2 efficient and integrated transport services and infrastructure network that serves as a catalyst for social and economic development. We are truly the heartbeat of South Africa's socioeconomic development.

1. Maritime

The Department of Transport (DoT) together with its Maritime Transport Entities has over the 2015/16 financial year implemented a portfolio of programmes and strategic initiatives that sought to enhance maritime safety, and environmental protection of the 3000 kilometer coastal maritime space. In 2016/17 we are fast-tracking the processing of the Maritime Transport Policy, the Cabotage Policy and the Inland Waterways Strategy.

We have planned to commence the overhaul of the Merchant Shipping Act envisaged for completion by 2017/18. Our allocated budget for the 2016/17 is R121 million rand for the Departmental Maritime branch, and R329 million for South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). Since the launch of Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy seventeen months ago and the announcement of the Nine Point Plan in 2015 by His Excellency, The President; the Department of Transport has mobilised the maritime sector and its stakeholders to accelerate the implementation of Oceans Economy initiatives. The Marine Transport Manufacturing Delivery Unit led by the Department of Transport has re-written history, and achieved the following: We have an active Ship Register, which now has merchant vessels registered under the South African flag. It is essential Honourable Members to remember that South Africa did not have registered commercial vessels over the last 30 years.

As a way of attracting and incentivising vessels that are registered in South Africa, the Ports Regulator has approved discounts, and made concessions for Ships registered in terms of Chapter 4, Part 1 of the Ship Registration Act. The discount is applicable for a period of three years up to 31 March 2019. 3 Vessels registered in 2016/17 will receive a 30% discount; and those that will register in 2017/18will get 20% and vessels registered in 208/19 will obtain 10% discount. This is good news for our Ship Register; we applaud the Ports Regulator's CEO Mr. Mahesh Fakir and the leadership of the board for this patriotic initiative On Skills and Capacity Building, SAMSA facilitated the establishment of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) that is responsible for Maritime Skill Development in South Africa. Two additional colleges have been identified for a pilot project and will commence in January 2017, and two new High Schools specialising in maritime studies were launched and commenced in January 2016. Transnet has made tremendous progress on the procurement of infrastructure projects in all our ports, ensuring that 60% local content requirements on investments are adhered too. Honourable Members; Oceans Economy initiatives is on course in creating one million jobs and contributing R177 billion to the GDP by 2030.

2. Transformation of the transport sector

2.1. Women and Youth Empowerment: Enterprise Development & Job Creation Honourable Chairperson; This year marks our first anniversary since we held our very successful Women in Transport Summit 2015 which was attended by more than 700 women across the Transport sector, and adopted the Ekurhuleni Women In Transport Declaration, coupled 4 with a five year Programme of Action aimed at advancing women and the youth emancipation agenda in all sub-sectors of Transport. Chairperson; For women, youth and people living with disabilities as the DoT and our State Owned Entities we are strategically focusing on:

  • Improving access to economic opportunities
  • Improving access to employment and on Skills Development and Capacity Building; and
  • Designing programmes to develop women at the workplace.

To date we have developed an Aviation Transformation Strategy which seeks to change the status quo and create access for previously disadvantaged groups. Our Transport Entities have improved their Enterprise Development Portfolios and continue to sponsor procurement training and empowerment for companies aligned to SANWIT.

For example, SANRAL has through the Road maintenance programme empowered seventeen (17) women SMMEs. SACAA has in the last 11 months spent over R5 million on women-owned companies for the provision of goods and services just to mention but a few. Our planned key initiatives in 2016/17 include:

  • Finalisation of our transport gender empowerment policy.
  • Implementation of a 50% target for women representation in Board of Directors in transport sector entities; and
  • Recruitment and selection which will prioritise women and youth. As we entrench and advance the emancipation of women and youth, the transport sector, through its entities have received recognition and accolades in this regard.

SACCA's CEO Ms Khoza received the Top Empowered Public Service Leader of the Year Award at the 15th Annual Oliver Empowerment Awards Ceremony in April 2016.

Under the theme 'Women United in Moving SA Forward, The Road Accident Fund (RAF), received the 2015 Gauteng Regional Business Achievers Award.

ACSA was recognised for its women empowerment role at the 12th Annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards.

2.2 Skills Development

Our response to government skills development agenda is aimed to address the human capacity gaps in the Transport sector. In 2016 academic year, 22 Engineers are receiving training through Alstom in Europe and Brazil. We have sent 14 postgraduate students to the World Maritime University in Sweden. We have planned to train a total of two thousand five hundred and ninety (2590) students on transport related studies this financial year. In 2015/16, were able to train two thousand seven hundred and ten (2710) students.

3. Rail

Chairperson; In 2015/16 the Rail Safety Regulator was able to develop six Regulations to promote safety in the rail environment. In 2016/17, the regulator has received a budget of two hundred and fifty three million (R 253 million) to fulfill its mandate. The prioritised programmes for 2016/17 include among others; (a)Heightened Signaling Inspection in Metropolitan Areas, (b)Overhaul of the Long Distance Train Operations (c)Initiate the implementation of the High Speed Rail Standard; and (d)(d) Study the Impact of poor maintenance in the Rail Industry

4. Roads

In the road space, the AARTO Bill has been submitted to parliament, once approved AARTO will be rolled-out nationwide. The Road Traffic Infringement Agency's (RTIA) has created more than 600 jobs through its One Million Signature Campaign for Road Safety.

5. Aviation

Chairperson; In the aviation sector we have an exceptional story to tell. However, the time I have will not allow me to tell the depth and intensity of this chronicle. Let me acknowledge the presence of our young, black, vibrant female pilots, who are ready to conquer the skies. They are SACAA's Bursary recipients who have completed their CPL and have received their licenses as Pilots. As they rise. Please give a round of applause to:

Miss Faith Mhlambi

Ms Ditebogo Koenaite and

Miss Khosini Ngobese, a helicopter licence holder who is now employed by SACAA.

We are also graced by the presence of Mpho Dube, Lesedi Mofokeng and Mduduzi Dube who have completed their studies and are now employed as avionic specialists at Denel. Honourable Members, we are radically transforming an intransigent aviation industry. We are in the process of finalising the following policies:

The National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP)
The National Airports Development Plan (NADP);

The ACSA and ATNS Amendment Bills The propellants behind the sterling work and achievements of ACSA, ATNS and SACAA the Transport Aviation entities is their commitment to excellence, diligence, and the drive to the transformation agenda of the aviation sector. These are in areas of airport management and infrastructure development, aviation 7 safety, and quality airspace navigation services. These distinction qualities to their work have seen these aviation transport entities remarkably recognised both nationally and internationally.

Mr Thabane Mthiyane, ATNS CEO is the Chairperson of Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) Africa Region and an Executive Committee member of CANSO Global. In 2016 our international airports that are Cape Town, King Shaka and OR Tambo are still rated amongst the best 40 airports in the world, out of 455 audited world airports by Skytrax a United Kingdom Auditing company. In terms of good governance and performance management, most of our Transport State Owned Entities have performed admirably well; their Balance Sheets are healthy. Clean and unqualified audit outcomes from the Auditor-General bare testimony to this fact.

Allow me to extend appreciation to our Minister for her patriotic and revolutionary leadership.

Together we are Moving South Africa forward, Siyaqhuba!

I thank you.

     
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