Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison MEC Lebogang Motlhaping Budget Speech

06 June 2018 | Department of Transport


Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Premier of our Province, Ms Sylvia Lucas
Honourable Members of the Executive Council
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Executive Mayors, Mayors and Speakers
Director General of the Northern Cape
Provincial Commissioner and the Collective SAPS Management
The Head of the Department and Senior Officials
Stakeholders in the Transport and Safety Fraternity
Veterans of our beloved Movement
Religious and Community Leaders
Representatives of Political Parties
Representatives from Labour Unions
Representatives from various Media Houses
Government Officials
Distinguished Guests
Fellow citizens of the Northern Cape
Ladies and Gentlemen


It is a profound moment and an honour to deliver to you the Department of Transport, Safety & Liaison Budget Speech 2018/19. 
Today, in our treasured country of birth, inherited from our fore-fathers, located at the southern tip of Africa, we can proclaim that we are indeed free and for all constitutional purposes, we can also further say we have equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities in our co-existence with our colonizer’s in the same country with the only asset they possess - the land which was dispossessed and taken away from its aborigine. 

In living through that reality we are charged by both our past and present, to rise and fall, pushing ever forward, with much conviction and resolve. Our people expect us to push back against the constraints of the shackles of our separate and collective pasts and to redefine and find our place, so we can step into an alternative future based on hope, peace and a better tomorrow.

Honourable Speaker, there can be no growth, no human endeavour and no attainment of our developmental agenda in an environment where our people are and feel unsafe. 

If we read on Abraham Maslow and his ascending hierarchy of pre-potent needs, our need for safety and security is preceded only by our physiological needs such as water, food and shelter. In our country where we have yet to achieve significantly higher levels of employment and address inequalities, how devastating it must be to live in abject poverty, conditions of squalor and in a neighbourhood where no one is safe.

What higher goal can we chase when our people are faced with the indignity of crime and violence and what higher law or obligation can there be but for public safety? How is it that we may break the self-perpetuating poverty-crime cycle, so we may free our people, not from an oppressive past only, but to a new trajectory of development and safe environment for all? In the pursuit of this fundamental goal and responding to the questions above, our department is charged with the responsibility to build safer communities.  

Our Department is also charged with advancing a public transport system that is safe, accessible, reliable and affordable. In advancing this objective, the Department will also be developing regulations to respond to current gaps in legislation.  

In less than 50 days the world will mark and celebrate a centenary of a colossus life of one of the most outstanding human beings this country and the world has come to know - a father of our democratic nation, Nelson Mandela. We are also celebrating the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu, who selflessly cared for communities beyond the call of duty – the kind of compassion that flows from one’s keen understanding of human suffering and development.  

Honourable Speaker, our task is immediate and important. It is with this in mind, that we are presenting our Policy Statement with due regard for the challenges we need to address as a Department towards the realization of our organizational and constitutional mandate. 

REFLECTIONS AND APPRAISAL
PROGRAMME 1

Since May 2017, the renewal function of motor vehicle licenses has been located with the South African Post Office (SAPO) in the Province, with ten (10) sites operational since June 2017. 

With some delays in rolling out the functions to other sites, an engagement with the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) took place and a commitment was made to roll out fifteen (15) additional sites.  Indeed, this has taken place. We are set and ready to roll out the remaining sites by the end of 2018. 

In order to recover all outstanding municipal debt, the Department will work closely with Provincial Treasury and the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements & Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA) to ensure that monies previously collected by municipalities, are optimally recovered, so as to increase the revenue collection of the Provincial Government. 

We commend municipalities like Dawid Kruiper, amongst others, who have aggressively addressed their debt and made tremendous strides to bring this down to manageable proportions. It is, however, a fact that some municipalities have allowed their debt to escalate, resulting in the Department to under-collect its revenue budget by thirty million rand (R30 000 000) in the previous financial year.
Meetings with SALGA and presentations to relevant government forums will result in a plan to visit all municipalities to solicit debt repayment plans. Implementation of resolutions taken during the Technical Provincial Intergovernmental Forum in September 2017, have become effective since April 2018.

Honourable Speaker, a project plan has been drafted in collaboration with the Office of the Premier, to review the organizational structure of the Department. The Service Delivery Model and Organisational Functionality Assessment have been approved, with consultations with the different units currently underway. It is envisaged that the Department will receive concurrence by the Minister of Public Service and Administration during the 3rd Quarter of the financial year. 

The result of our Skills Audit of last year has been a fuller understanding of our competency and skill levels in relation to organizational requirements. With our structure underway, we are now better able to place our employees in their suitable positions, as well as, through our newly established Bursary and Training Committee, prepare and plan for the attainment of required skills where necessary. It is vital that we engender an institutional environment characterized by the continuous striving for betterment, coupled with a consistent enthusiasm to achieve our goals.

To this end we have granted 18 internal bursaries to enhance our skills profile, as well as 2 external bursaries to promote opportunities for youth in the transport sector. 

In pursuing rationality and both efficiency and effectiveness, the Gender unit has recently been moved to the Office of the HOD. This has happened because we believe firmly that we need to elevate issues facing youth, women and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) employees and members of our communities. Officials in this unit are actively involved in a range of activities, forums and events to address issues of equality, discrimination, and awareness. 

REFLECTIONS AND APPRAISAL ON PROGRAMME 2
CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT

Honourable Speaker, our Civilian Oversight Directorate is responsible to keep the South African Police Services accountable to the communities they serve. The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison has established a Task Team to sustain the campaign against human trafficking and missing children. Several programmes were rolled out in line with the campaign objectives. These projects were not limited to, but included awareness and information sharing on children’s rights and human trafficking in both the Kathu and Batlharos areas, reaching one hundred and ninety seven (197) children and youth. 

A number of support campaigns were also rolled out in Postmasburg, Pofadder, Kuruman and Galeshewe, focusing on themes of Human Trafficking and Child Safety.

A workshop for fifty two (52) women took place in Carnarvon to raise awareness during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children. To ensure that we relay our message to our children, we staged an educational puppet show in Pofadder, teaching them to identify and report violence inflicted against them. 

A Youth Dialogue discussing the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse was held at the Lerato Place of Safety in Kimberley, targeting fifty (50) young people.  

Building from information sourced by our Profile of Street Children initiative, in partnership with the Department of Social Development, we reached thirty six (36) children who live and work on the streets of Hartswater and Prieska through our Stop Violence Campaign.

Honourable Speaker, in relation to raising awareness on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse, the Department held a workshop on the prevention of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.  Two hundred and twelve (212) pregnant women took part in this programme in Maranteng, Nababeep, Roodepan and Upington. 

We can further announce that we have reviewed the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy and will be launching the School Safety Protocol with the Department of Education in the second quarter. As part of combating crime in the Taxi Industry, an Anti-Taxi Violence Plan has been developed to holistically address violence in the taxi industry.

REFLECTIONS AND APPRAISAL ON PROGRAMME 3
TRANSPORT OPERATIONS

Honourable Speaker, with regards to the subsidization of Public Transport, Public Transport Service Contracts were monitored in Frances Baard, John Taolo Gaetsewe and Namakwa regions.  

To ensure that our children receive access to education, the Department provided subsidized transportation, on a daily basis, to 24 764 learners who live more than 5 kilometers from their respective schools. The provision of Learner Transport was a shared function between the Department of Transport, Safety & Liaison and the Department of Education. As per EXCO Resolution 2017, the Department of Transport, Safety & Liaison has successfully relocated the function back to the Department of Education as of 01 April 2018.  

In a bid to promote non-motorised transport in all districts, learners who reside within 3 kilometers of their school have been furnished with Shova Kalula bicycles and have been provided with training on Road Safety to safely cycle to and from school. 

To guide the planning environment with regard to economic development and implementation of public transport, seven (7) Municipalities were assisted with the development of Integrated Transport Plans (ITPs) to ensure compliance with the National Land Transport Act. Municipalities include Kgatelopele, Kheis, Dawid Kruiper, Kamiesberg, Umsombomvu, Kareeberg and Khai Ma.  

The sidewalk between Bergsig and Springbok, as well as the fencing of the Springbok Taxi Rank, are a result of completed Integrated Transport Plans. These projects are being implemented through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) promoting access to employment, as well as skills development opportunities for beneficiaries in the area. 

To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Land Transport Information System (NLTIS), the Department will be decentralizing the issuing of temporary operator licenses to ensure that operators in more remote areas have ready access to the system. The positive attribute of this is that the system is web based and can be reached remotely wherever internet connectivity is possible. This is a great stride for service delivery.

The decentralization of the temporary licensing function will include JTG and ZFM Districts, by deploying two fully equipped mobile operating licensing vehicles to these districts as a pilot project. The vehicle that will be stationed in ZFM will serve that area as well as Namakwa. The one stationed in Mothibistad will service the entire JTG District, and surrounding areas. The Kimberley Office will continue to service the Frances Baard and Pixley Ka Seme Districts.

During the period under review, there was a moratorium on the issuing of new operating licenses due to a backlog that had to be managed. As a result of this exercise, we can confirm that the total number of registered vehicles with operating Licenses on the system is 4 793. As a result, the Provincial Regulating Entity (PRE) can now implement major changes underpinned by control measures to eradicate the illicit issuance of operating licenses, as well as clear operational systems.
Honourable Speaker, the Department takes the illicit issuances of operating licenses in a serious light. To this end, we will continue to cooperate with investigating authorities to root out all forms of corruption.  We can confirm that there are investigations underway. 

During the period under review, the Department funded Women and Youth in Transport to the tune of R100 000 each. This funding is based on credible Business Plans and clear Memorandum of Understanding with proper governance procedures. SANTACO was assisted with their 2017/18 Financial Year Business Plan. The proposed business plan to the amount of R2.3 Million Rand was submitted, approved and transferred in tranches.

We have established a Provincial Transport Forum in November 2017. As part of their first tasks, the Forum will have to produce a Provincial Transport Strategy to refocus the program towards efficient Public Transport that will bring the industry together in an organized manner through which we ensure compliance to regulations. 

REFLECTIONS AND APPRAISAL ON PROGRAMME 4
TRANSPORT REGULATIONS

Approval for a Driver License Testing Centre in Galeshewe was received in the year under review. The Department and Provincial Traffic are currently engaging the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) – Information Technology Unit for the installation of ENATIS equipment to realize this centre. 

The Department has an important role to play in reducing fatal road crashes through integrated and multi-disciplinary law enforcement operations, especially during festive periods where there is an influx of vehicles on our roads. 
The Festive Season Campaign reported that the number of vehicles stopped and checked amounted to 35 135 from 01 December 2017 to 04 January 2018 through the 39 major roadblocks held across the province. 
The number of drivers tested for alcohol was 7 805 and arrests of 29 for amongst others, driving under the influence and exceeding the speed limit.  During this festive period, we unfortunately lost 27 lives on our roads, which we consider one life too many. 

Driver fatigue, speed and drunken driving remain worrying factors amongst drivers on our roads. It is critical that all road users must take cognizance of road safety and abide to the rules of the road and ensure that everyone Arrives Alive. 

Even though we have improved the scope and aggressiveness of our Operations and Road Safety Campaigns, we unfortunately have to report that the fatalities on our roads for the period under review, amounted to 305. 

Honourable Speaker, fraud and corruption remains a critical issue that must be addressed at our Vehicle Testing Stations and Driver Testing Centres, so as to ascertain that we have competent drivers and road worthy vehicles on our roads.  The Provincial Monitoring Unit and the NATIS Help Desk assisted this processes by conducting 18 compliance inspections during the year. 

As a Province, we have to report that we are not exempt from corruption amongst our traffic officials with three (3) officials having been arrested.   

To promote visibility on our roads, an amount of R750 000 was set aside to re-fleet the departmental traffic vehicles.  To date five (5) vehicles for law enforcement have been procured and dispatched at the Kimberley, Jan Kempdorp and Springbok Traffic Stations. 

The Department is currently considering ways to best improve the service and functioning of our 4 weighbridges and further to investigate the possibility of building a new one in the District of JTG, as well as dedicated capacity on a sustained basis. Although we are challenged with weighbridges that are old, the Department continues to run daily operations at these sites with a commitment towards a consideration for a 24 hour shift system.

Honourable Speaker, road safety is a 365 days initiative. The Department will intensify Road Safety Education and Awareness programmes during peak periods (Easter, Transport Month and Festive Season).  

REFLECTIONS AND APPRAISAL
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICES

This administration aims to reduce crime in the province. To this end an additional one hundred and sixty five (165) trainees reported for basic training at the Bisho Training Academy in March 2017. Of these, one hundred and sixty three (163) have finalized the Training Programme in December 2017. Trainees were placed in various environments and are currently performing duties and are deployed as follows: 

•    56 to Stations
•    11 to Crime Intelligence
•    17 to the Stock Theft Units
•    36 to Operational Response Services
•    32 to the Family, Child and Sexual Offenses Unit
•    6 to the K9 Unit
•    5 to the Flying Squad

A total of 48 Public Service Act Posts were also filled.
Multi-disciplinary approaches were employed through intelligence driven operations in order to reduce reported crimes:

•    Serious crimes reduced by 3.8% 
•    Contact crimes reduced by 4.1% 
•    Crimes against women reduced by 4.8%
•    Crimes against children reduced by 6.7%

The following actions were taken in order to reduce reported crimes:
•    Number of stop and searches: 323 770
•    Number of roadblocks: 992
•    Number of multi-disciplinary operations on illicit drugs: 589
•    Number of operations on high visibility of taverns/liquor premises: 2 372
•    Number of intelligence driven operations to recover lost/stolen firearms: 3 821
•    Number of unlicensed/ illegal liquor outlets closed down: 337
•    Number of awareness campaigns conducted: 49 551
•    Number of dangerous weapons confiscated: 1 946
•    Counterfeit goods confiscated
o    Cigarettes per stick: 53 313
o    Money per currency: R249 222 196
•    Confiscation of drugs:
o    Cannabis: 29 398 197g
o    Cannabis plants: 1 649
o    Mandrax tablets: 67 245
o    Tik: 8 488g
o    Tik pipes: 386
o    Cocaine: 31g
o    Liquor: 8 820 litres

COMMITMENTS 2018/19

PROGRAMME 1 HAS BEEN ALLOCATED: R79 661 MILLION

The Department is the main revenue generator in the Province. Motor Vehicle License Taxes constitute more than 90% of the departmental own receipts. 

As mentioned, the Department intends to fully implement the license renewal function at SAPO registering authorities in the province. This is a way of improving service delivery by increasing hours where motorists can renew their licenses anytime from 8am till 5pm, Monday till Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. Currently there is a dedicated counter for this service, with a speed point at all SAPO sites.  

To facilitate optimal revenue collection, the Department will conduct municipal visits in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, to ensure that municipalities commit themselves to repay their debt and adhere to repayment plans.

Honourable Speaker, the Department will continue to prioritise funding towards the filling of critical vacant posts, whilst still managing the departmental wage bill. This will thoroughly be dealt with, in consultation with Provincial Treasury. We will continue to maintain prudent budget management to avoid unauthorized, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and ensure all funds are utilised for its intended purposes. 

As part of the Department’s commitment for empowerment and sustainability of SMMEs, all payments will be done within 30 days, provided uncontested invoices and all necessary financial information has been submitted. The Northern Cape economy, as with the rest of the country is characterised by inequality, especially with regards to women’s participation with the mainstream economy. As part of the Department’s commitment to women empowerment, we will endeavour to award a minimum of 20% procurement opportunities to women in the Northern Cape. 

PROGRAMME 2: CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT HAS BEEN ALLOCATED: R27 859 MILLION

In line with the Northern Cape Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy the Department of Transport, Safety & Liaison will implement social crime prevention programmes to address the root causes of crime in the Province, including: 

•    Anti-Substance Awareness Programme
•    Stop violence against Children
•    Stop violence against Youth
•    Stop violence against Women
•    Stop violence against the LGBTQI Community

A Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign will continue to run at high risk areas identified in the Province, such as Postmasburg, Kuruman and Kathu. This is in an effort to educate children and youth about the dangers of human trafficking.
A Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign under the theme “Enough is Enough” will be implemented in the Province to educate our vulnerable communities on prevention of and reporting of Domestic Violence.  

The abuse of alcohol and drugs remains one of the main contributors towards contact crimes in the Province.  A Substance Abuse Awareness Campaign will run in Educational Institutions to inform our children and youth about the dangers of substance abuse.  These institutions include Crèches, Schools, Colleges, University, Places of Safety and Correctional Centres.  


Eight (8) community satisfaction surveys as directed by the National Development Plan (NDP), will be conducted at different communities in the Northern Cape Province. The purpose is to establish the impact of crime prevention programmes and people’s perception of the effectiveness of policing services. 

A total of one hundred and fifty five (155) EPWP Participants have been appointed in this financial year to assist with Social Crime Prevention programmes. These participants have been placed at forty five (45) identified police stations in the province. The purpose of the programme is to address unemployment, improve safety within our communities, whilst at the same time equipping youth with different skills to prepare them for the job market. 

Honourable Speaker, to strengthen our crime fighting efforts, we will streamline the delivery of our programmes to address sector specific considerations and proposals during our imbizo drives in the districts. We will, for example, be engaging with the religious, youth, business and farming sectors to develop suitable crime fighting interventions, aligned to the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy.

Community Police Forums (CPFs) remains an important element in the fight against crime. To this end we would like to acknowledge its members and the Board for their concerted efforts in combatting crime. The Department will be hosting an indaba during this financial year to engage the CPF on the work that they are doing in the communities in a bid to enhance their efforts. We must continue to establish, support and launch CPFs in different police precincts to ensure a more collaborative approach to crime prevention that speaks to community needs. 


PROGRAMME 3: TRANSPORT OPERATIONS HAS BEEN ALLOCATED: R93 134 MILLION

Honourable Speaker, the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison will reintroduce the subsidized services to the Pixley Ka Seme District and extend the service to the ZF Mgcawu District. 

The following six (6) municipalities will be assisted in this financial year to draft their Integrated Transport Plans:
•    Siyancuma
•    Siyathemba
•    Emthanjeni
•    Karoo Hoogland
•    Hantam
•    Thembelihle

The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison will distribute 300 bicycles in the new financial year. A non-motorised strategy will also be compiled and will assist in the identification of the impact of the Shova Kalula Bicycle Project in the Northern Cape Province, as well as flag challenges and possible solutions. 

We will continue to monitor the progress of the 4 Key Infrastructure Projects during this financial year. These projects are the Boegoebaai and De Aar Infrastructure Development Projects, the Upington Cargo Hub and the Douglas Belmont Railway Line. 

The Provincial Transport Inspectorate will be reintroduced in all five (5) Districts to assess and enforce compliance and service standards in the Public Transport industry and will be adequately resourced.  

We will be completing the consultation process with the taxi councils and associations to produce an annual programme of action with the team drawn from all stakeholders to monitor progress and implementation thereof.

PROGRAMME 4: TRANSPORT REGULATIONS HAS BEEN ALLOCATED: R91 042 MILLION

Honourable Speaker, the analysis of road accidents and fatalities in the province was conducted and findings reveal the following interesting data about road crashes and fatalities in the Province. We find, for example, that factors causing fatal crashes are mainly attributed to human error. More than 77% of those involved in crashes are male. 

In the age distribution curve, we also find a higher representation of youth in fatal accidents. Critical days of the week are between Thursdays and Sundays, between 4pm and 2am, particularly within the municipal boundaries. 

Going forward in 2018, we will develop interventions to change attitudes and behaviours across all segments of society, with regard to road safety. 
    
It is important to continue ensuring compliance with prescripts at our driver license and vehicle testing centres and report corruption to authorities. 

With an ever increasing number of vehicles on the road, the ARRIVE ALIVE campaign aims to save lives, improve safety, address the “culture of impunity” of reckless and negligent drivers and identify repeat offenders. This campaign remains very important in our bid to reduce road fatalities and inform our people how to stay safe on our roads.  

The Department intends to fill at least ten (10) vacant Traffic Officer Posts to strengthen our capacity and enforce compliance on our roads.  

SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICES

Honourable Speaker, two hundred and eight four (284) trainees have been recruited and reported to the Oudtshoorn and Bisho Basic Training Academies respectively on 19 March 2018, where they are undergoing basic training.     
Trainees will be placed at the following environments: 
•    Stations: 236 trainees
•    Crime Intelligence: 2 trainees
•    Operational Response Services: 42 trainees
•    Protection and Security Services: 4 trainees

Our commitment is to reduce serious crime by a further 2% in this financial year. 

Honourable Speaker, in conclusion, the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, will continue to strive to position itself as a leader in the creation of safe, secure and sustainable transport and policing systems for a crime free Northern Cape Province. 

I would like to profoundly thank the ANC-led alliance, Honourable Premier, my colleagues in the Executive, our stakeholders, departmental and ministerial officials. I would like to thank my family for their love, understanding and their unwavering support. 

In the words of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela whose centenary we are celebrating this year, “Belief in the possibility of change and renewal is perhaps one of the defining characteristics of politics and religions”.
 
Let`s continue to strive for this change and these ideals.

I thank you.
 

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