Speech by the Gauteng MEC for Transport and Logistics, Honourable Kedibone Diale-Tlabela, on the occasion of the tabling of the 2023/24 Budget Vote for the Department of Roads and Transport, delivered to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
Madam Speaker and Deputy Speaker,
The Honourable Premier, Ntate Panyaza Lesufi, and Colleagues in the Executive Council,
The Honourable Chief Whip of the majority party, Leader of the official opposition and Political party leaders present here today
Honourable Members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
The Gauteng Transport sector and all the Guests present here today,
The People of Gauteng,
It is with great humility that I stand in front of this august house to deliver my maiden Budget Vote Speech for the Department of Roads and Transport’s 2023/24 Financial Year.
Madam Speaker, our speech today is inspired by the story of MaMkhize in eTwatwa, an elderly woman who looks after of her grandchild who lost his mobility in a road crash and now wheelchair-bound. While she expresses her disquiet with the fact that our government could have done better to assist them, MaMkhize equally acknowledged the challenges faced by government and stated that all citizens need to play their role, to contribute and make government work. Important to her is that we must Fix the Potholes, improve the conditions of our Roads, help reduce the Accidents and for all of us to take responsibility for road safety.
Madam Speaker, there are interesting lessons of governance and accountability in the message from Ma-Mkhize. That is why we conceptualised Aga-Lerona as a service delivery accelerator programme.
#AgaLeRona is our programmatic response to the call by Honourable Premier Lesufi to ensure that all the previously neglected areas in Gauteng are “better and respectable”.
We are inspired by our forebears who led our people during even more difficult days in the past and we are encouraged today by the action oriented leadership approach always demonstrated by our Honourable Premier Panyaza Lesufi, who, in his State of the Province Address enjoined us to “talk less and do more.” This departmental budget speech being tabled here today serves to demonstrate how we are going to implement the Gauteng Intergrated Transport Master Plan in the context of elevated priorities as pronounced in the State of the Province Address.
Madam Speaker, of the R 8,478 597 billion budget, R345 624 million is allocated to Administration. Transport Infrastructure is allocated R2 173 967 billion to fast track the Planning, Design, Construction and Maintenance of road infrastructure projects. The Transport Operations is allocated R3,1 billion, whilst Transport Regulations has been allocated R339 448 million, and the Gautrain R2 506 958 billion.
Programme 1 (Administration)
We have adopted a recruitment plan to fill all funded vacancies especially the technical and general workers critical to monitor our 5000 kilometre road network.
Madam Speaker, we are doubling our efforts to ensure improvement from the 2021/22 audit outcomes. We are reviewing our Supply Chain Management policy to ensure compliance with the 2022 Preferential Procurement Regulations. We have adopted strategies to deal with the high rate of litigation, corruption, and lack of capacity amongst other hindrances derailing our work.
Revival of Koedoespoort Laboratory
Madam Speaker, we have taken a decision to revive the Koedoespoort Laboratory in this financial year and restore it to its full functionality to assist with quality testing of materials for our road infrastructure programme.
Programme 2 (Transport Infrastructure)
Honourable Members, Transport infrastructure development is critical to the spatial transformation and the overall improvement of mobility across the more than 5000-kilometer provincial road network.
In our efforts to lead the economic recovery of our province, we are building eighteen (18) major arterial roads, upgraded to support Special Economic Zones (SEZs). These roads will facilitate seamless mobility, unlock economic opportunities.
Before the end of this Financial Year, we would have completed the construction of the following roads projects:
- K69 Solomon Mahlangu Drive (Mamelodi),
- P241 (Lenasia),
- D483 (Cullinan)
- K174 Vaal River City Interchange (Vanderbijilpark)
- K73 Allandale Road (Midrand)
- K46 William Nicol Drive (Diepsloot)
Madam Speaker, the people of Gauteng have told us that they are less interested in whether the road belongs to national government, provincial government or municipality. All they want to see is that the roads are maintained, grass is cut and potholes are fixed in Gauteng.
We have concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with municipalities which will allow the province to intervene in municipalities on road maintenance.
Smart Mobility preventative Maintenance in the 26 Townships Madam Speaker, we are on a daily basis in the 26 identified townships as pronounced in the SOPA. We are also fast tracking the refurbishment of 40 Municipal Roads in Emfuleni Local Municipality.
Serope se a benya road in sedibeng region will be fixed, Tsamaya Road in Mamelodi e ya tsamaega.
In collaboration with the Taxi Industry and stakeholders within the Taxi Economy we are finalising consultations on “The Taxi Rank of the future”. The Vereeniging Intermodal Facility estimated at R300 million will serve as a pilot for the one stop facility offering shops, banks, restaurants, and different businesses.
Programme 3 (Transport Operations).
Honourable members, we are turning the tide against chronic underspending of the Public Transport Operations Grant (PTOG). We are finalising negotiated bus subsidy contracts and shall make announcements before end of June 2023 on the changes we are introducing to transform the bus sector and ensure that our commuters are serviced properly. The allocated PTOG is R2, 633, 077 Billion in the current Financial Year and we plan to spend it.
Programme 4 (Public Transport Regulation)
In collaboration with DED we are determined to ensure local taxi operators become not only consumers but active participants in the transport value chain.
Implementing recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Taxi Violence
Together with transport sector in our Province, we will ensure stability in the public transport system especially amongst operators including minibus Taxis, Buses, Learner or Scholar Transport, E-hailing and Metered Taxi Services.
In our fight against crime and lawlessness, we have reopened the Benoni impound facility and will also be reopening three (3) other such facilities in the current Financial Year.
The New Number Plate system
In this financial year, we will be introducing a smart, tamper-proof and secure, new number plate system which we aim to launch in October.
Expansion of frontline services
Honourable Speaker, we have committed to expand frontline licensing services (i.e. Driver Licensing Testing Centres, (DLTC’s), Motor Vehicle licensing, Transport Operating License Administrative Bodies (TOLABS) and provision of Personalised Number Plates in the 26 Prioritised townships with the objective of increasing access to services and extending the department’s reach and channels to deliver licensing services closer to where communities are.
We are finalising feasibility studies on suitable sites including township malls.
Road Safety Campaign
Honourable Speaker, our province is one of the six provinces that have marked an increase in fatal road crashes, according to Easter Road Traffic Statistics released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation this year. We will continue to partner with other stakeholders to implement an effective road safety campaign.
Madam Speaker, our departmental revenue is generated through tax receipts which comprises of motor vehicle registration and licensing fees.
Motor Vehicle License Tax revenues have increased to R4,548 billion in 2022/23 which is over R140 million from the R 4, 407 billion collected in the 2021/22 Financial Year.
We have adopted a deliberate approach to achieve peak performance in all our entities.
G-Fleet Management and the added mandate on Logistics
We are hard at work to repurpose g-FleeT by integrating the added mandate of Logistics, as directed by the Honourable Premier.
Transport Authority of Gauteng (TAG)
TAG has commenced with the updating of the Integrated Transport Master Plan (ITMP25) which will redefine Gauteng’s transport sector for the next 25 years and will conclude this process in the next 18 months.
Gautrain Management Agency (GMA)
I am pleased to announce that the GMA has become one of only three entities in the province to achieve the gold standard of ten consecutive clean audits and that its ridership growth combined with continued management and reprioritisation of the GMA budget means that the GMA will not require any additional funds from the Provincial Treasury or the Department in the coming financial year.
Gauteng to Limpopo Rail Link
Following the Premier’s announcement of renewed efforts to improve rail links between Gauteng and Limpopo provinces, the GMA is assisting with the establishment of a technical working group.
The proposed Gauteng-Limpopo Rail Link (“GLRL”) will enable the development and implementation of an efficient and effective passenger and freight rail system between these two provinces and relieve the N1 of high volumes of traffic.
Expanding the PRASA train lines to townships
We have established an Intergovernmental forum that includes PRASA to look at fast tracking the resuscitation of rail links to Gauteng townships. Lack of adequate rail connectivity adds to the costs of travel and increase traffic congestion for the Gau people especially those living in townships, informal settlements and hostels.
Creating job opportunities and reducing poverty in #TISH areas
We will contribute up to eleven thousand (11 000) job and training opportunities across the transport sector. These includes the first group of 6000 EPWP Sivalazonke workers and the 1200 Points persons to ease traffic and mobility during loadshedding and peak hours.
Creating unity and strengthening the voice of the public transport sector
In second quarter we will be establishing an inclusive Gauteng Public Transport Advisory Forum to create a platform for strategic engagement on policy and regulatory matters. Plans are underway to host an Inter-provincial Road Transport Summit in the third quarter to identify common challenges, exchange experiences in dealing with road transport issues, and find ways of creating policy and regulatory synergies on matters of common interest affecting public transport between ourselves as Gauteng and our neighbouring provinces.
Speaker, we are making significant progress in implementing and achieving all service delivery targets in the delivery agreement signed between ourselves and the Honourable Premier in the context of elevated priorities and shall report regularly throughout the Financial Year.
I wish to conclude by thanking all who contributed towards this maiden budget vote speech especially the teams led by the Head of Department, DR. Thulani Mdadane, the Boards and Chief Executives of Entities, and all officials dedicated to serve the people of Gauteng.
I thank you all!