Provincial Transport Planning Forum: Address by the Limpopo MEC for Roads and Transport, Pinky Kekana, MPL, at The Ranch Hotel
5 Dec 2011
Chairperson of SALGA, Mayor Mogobo David Magabe;
Executive Mayor of Capricorn District Municipality, Cllr Lawrence Mapoulo;
Executive Mayor of Polokwane Municipality, Cllr Freddy Greaver;
Head of Department of Roads and Transport, Mr Ntau Letebele;
Senior management from the Department of Roads and Transport and Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs;
Officials from GAAL and RAL;
Officials from the Road Accident Fund and Operating Licencing Board;
Officials from the Limpopo Provincial Taxi Council and Transnet Freight Rail;
It is an honour for us to have you in our presence and also to have this opportunity to share with you our commitment to the Limpopo Transport Planning Forum. This Forum will be a first for us, as it will afford us an opportunity to plan together with the people of the province, on whose behalf we lead the Department of Roads and Transport in Limpopo. We are duly bound to be informed of their needs and report back to them so that they can be able to know and understand the direction their government should take. We are indeed honoured and we promise our people that only the ANC-led government cares and listens to their problems.
Through this Transport Planning Forum, we seek to address the issues which undermine the competitive advantage of the transport system in Limpopo and to render it competitive and relevant locally as well as at district level. With it we aim to ensure cooperation, coordination and collaboration between and amongst the three spheres of government to ensure an effective and properly aligned planning cycle.
As a collective, we must address current shortcomings in the transport sector that restrict us from our common goal of ensuring a better life for all. For example, our public transport system is currently not user-friendly. We have inherited many harsh realities and difficulties for public transport, brought about by past governmental policies of segregated development. The National Household Travel Survey (released in 2005) revealed that nearly two-thirds of households in South Africa do not have access to public transport.
We must remain committed to correcting this legacy by transforming the public transport system to enable all South Africans to enjoy greater access to economic and employment opportunities as well as social recreation. The intermodal transport facility which is being constructed in Thohoyandou, bears testimony to this commitment. It will provide user-friendly and accessible transport between buses, minibus-taxis and metered taxis within one location. Through this Forum, we must ensure that we transform the public transport system into a safer, more affordable and accessible one. We must be able to say that our public transport is accessible to all users, including persons with disabilities.
In a study by the South African Roads Federation, potholes are estimated to cost the economy R50 billion annually in vehicle repairs and injuries. As the responsible authority on secondary and gravel roads our role must steadily move away from the current practice of reactionary maintenance on repairing potholes to preventative maintenance so as to keep the roads in good condition so that potholes do not develop. We must also find quicker ways of dealing with our backlog in tarring roads, which stands at well over 15 000 kilometres. We are making huge strides here but, together, we can do more.
Our transport system is faced with the challenge of lacking integrated planning. Based on that there is a need for an institutional structure which will respond to the rising demands of the economy. Also the lack of consolidated information needs to be rectified to ensure the maximum utilisation of the transport system.
As the custodian of transport planning, today we see the fruits of an elaborate process that of establishing the Transport Planning Forum as a platform for cooperation, coordination and collaboration on all planning matters across the sector. It is therefore imperative that we encourage the involvement of all transport planning units within the districts and local municipalities in order to ensure a cohesive transport planning spectrum.
We in the Transport family have a rallying song or Action Agenda: “Moving South Africa”, which notes the relevance of corridors in promoting prime movement of goods and services, which further intensifies the importance of developing a national platform supported by provincial platforms for planning and exchanging ideas amongst all three spheres of government.
With the establishment of the Transport Planning Forum we aim to create a platform to ensure and encourage the participation of all three spheres of government and organised labour, and agencies with the purpose of creating a provincial transport planning structure that will deliberate on issues that affect all relevant modes of transport, as well as cross-border and inter-modal interfaces.
Of critical importance in the implementation of the Forum is the development of an integrated plan, including but not limited to public and private entities, both from an infrastructure and operations perspective. Of utmost importance is the development of the institutional framework to deliver on the mandate as per the Minister’s Delivery Agreement and the subsequent industry mandates.
Overall objectives of the Transport Planning Forum have been identified which are meant to keep the Forum afloat. In short the objectives of the Transport Planning Forum are as follows:
- To ensure an effective planning cycle across the three (3)
spheres of government
- To enhance collaboration, cooperation and coordination in transport
- To ensure synergy and alignment of plans
- To revive regional trade and attract new investments and
- To draft an Implementation Plan.
There are key deliverables that accompany this Transport Planning Forum. These are:
- Develop, implement, monitor and update strategies and plans in respect of transport operations, planning, provision and management systems across national, provincial, municipal and regional and continental plans and corridors;
- A consolidated Project Implementation Plan on Transport Planning Forum and district Transport Planning Forums, incorporating the views of all relevant stakeholders;
- Develop and implement corridor systems that integrate the province with the region and other provinces;
- Development of an integrated transport planning tool across the various spheres of government with respect to both operations and infrastructure;
- Develop and implement an integrated information system that integrates planning and delivery system management across and within all spheres of government;
- Identification of key and strategic projects within the province and municipalities and where applicable neighbouring countries and analysis thereof; and
- Develop and implement a strategy to improve the operations and infrastructure at our key freight border posts, this must include developing a system that integrates work of Limpopo and provinces that share key border posts.
To deal with the task as dictated by the Transport Planning Forum, there has to be engagement and participation in regular and mutually agreed working group meetings, political and stakeholder processes, business case and case study development, pilot projects and final project implementation. To achieve this, it has to be done in an inclusive and transparent communication environment.
We wish the Transport Planning Forum everything of the best as it embarks on its duties. We hope that members will commit themselves to the task of ensuring that all transport related issues are deliberated upon in a manner that will be consistent with our plan for sustainable transport infrastructure. My office practices an open door policy and whenever you encounter problems and challenges in your duties, come straight to my office and, together, let us deal with those challenges so that we can move forward without hindrances. I am confident that in the spirit of the leaders of our struggle for freedom, we will achieve what the ruling ANC has set out to achieve since its formation in 1912 – a better life for all, by all.
Issued by: Limpopo Roads and Transport
5 Dec 2011
[ Top ]