Transport Month 2006

OCTOBER 2006: Transport Month

Transport Month – October 2006

Transport Month (October) is an annual government initiative geared towards increasing public awareness regarding the DoT and its policy measures in respect of a number of strategic transport issues, such as the promotion of the use of public transport in particular.

In light of aforementioned, the Minister of Transport, Mr Jeff Radebe and MECs responsible for Transport first declared October 2005 as National Transport Month in order to promote sustainable transport solutions such as walking, cycling, public transport and car travel with two or more occupants, as well as to stimulate public reflection on the need to manage unsustainable car use, especially in the metropolitan cities of South Africa. Key objectives of transport month campaign include:


  • Raising awareness of the important role and benefits of public transport in the South African economy and society as a whole;
  • Ensuring enthusiastic participation and partnerships for public transport transformation;
  • Showcasing government's initiatives for immediate improvements in public transport service delivery; and
  • Preparing South Africans for impending measures to control private car use in favour of public transport in metropolitan areas.

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Transport Month Themes

The following strategic issues will be highlighted during Transport Month 2006:

Safety in All Modes of Transport  
Week One


  • The Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP)

The taxi industry by far transports the largest number of passengers on any given day compared to both rail and bus sectors. As part of the government's intervention to improve the effectiveness of the industry since its deregulation, the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP) is on course. The TRP is an intervention by government to bring about safe, efficient, reliable, affordable and accessible taxi operations by introducing new taxi vehicles (NTVs) designed to undertake public transport functions in the taxi industry.

Through the introduction of the NTVs, the government has for the first time prescribed “compulsory safety and other requirements”, to ensure the safety and protection of passengers, operators, pedestrians and motorists. The compulsory requirements are also meant to ensure passenger comfort.

Through the TRP, the government has ensured the following:

  • Introduction of safety requirements for passengers in
     the NTVs;
  • Comfort for passengers by insisting on the size and number of seats in the NTV;
  • Promotion of accessibility for taxis for people with special needs;
  • Branding and colour-coding of taxi vehicles so that legal taxis could be identified and separated from illegal ones, and also that members of the public can easily identify a legitimate taxi vehicle.

The renewal of the old taxi fleet will encompass NTVs in three categories, namely:

  • M1 Minibus to carry: 9-16 people including the driver
  • M2 Minibus to carry:   17-28 people including the driver
  • M2 Minibus to carry: 29-35 people including the driver

The compulsory safety and other requirements for the taxis through the TRP are as follows:

  • Seatbelts for all passengers in the taxi;
  • The maximum speed of 100 km per hour;
  • Commercial 8-ply rated tyre of 14/185 or 14/195 for minibus taxis;
  • Reflective warning markings on the sides of the taxi,
  • Minimum seat size of 400mm;
  • No jockey or fold-up seats;
  • One passenger on the front seat of the taxi (to make
     provision for electronic ticketing system);
  • A passenger's door operated electronically, hydraulically or pneumatically;
  • An interior notice indicating how many passengers should be carried by taxi; and
  • Dimensions for the provision of wheelchairs in the taxi, should the operator opt to purchase a taxi that is special in this regard.

Other compulsory safety requirements to be introduced very soon through the SABS are:

  • Roll-over protection bars;
  • Anti-tyre burst stabilisers;
  • Speed governors; and
  • Type II A braking system.


  • Rail Safety and Security

Government has implemented the following measures to ensure rail safety and security:

  • The establishment of the Rail Safety Regulator in September 2002;
  • The launch of rail safety standards in May 2005;
  • The establishment of a Directorate of Inspections to inspect and monitor all rail operations in terms of safety;
  • 4 700 SAPS Rail Unit personnel to be deployed by 2008;
  • Installation of CCTV in rail stations and in trains starting later this year; and
  • Security upgrades for wagon parking areas (staging yards).

The Metrorail budget for safety and security has increased by 60 percent compared to 10 years ago. (1995/96 –      R 63 million; 2005/06 – R 257 million). The SARCC has partnered with SAPS to ensure effective safety patrol systems, and a budget of R70 million has been set aside for this purpose.

Cape Town stations are now being utilised as a pilot for the SAPS Rail unit with 400 police personnel deployed in Cape Town stations since last year. Four police stations (contact points) have been established and operate 24-hours a day. In addition, 1 000 police personnel are currently undergoing training for deployment in Wits area and KwaZulu-Natal. 4 700 posts are to be filled during the 2005 to 2008 period, on a countrywide basis. R80 million will be required for the construction of required facilities.

Training for police personnel will be diversified to include train operations, first aid, disaster management, e.g. chemical spills and fires; fire fighting and dealing with explosive/narcotic drugs. 64 staff members of the National Mobile SAPS Train Unit continue to fight crime on long distance trains.

Transport Infrastructure  -  Week Two

Issues pertaining to infrastructure improvement will be highlighted during this week.

Station upgrades at the following railway stations and routes have been implemented and some are still under construction:

Ikwezi (Soweto)
Kwesini (Kathlehong)
Mamelodi Gardens
Joe Gqabi

A security upgrade of stationary wagons in staging yards have been commissioned to prevent vandalism and theft of aluminum window and door frames, which happens to be the main cause of open doors while trains are in motion.

The following staging yards have been earmarked for upgrade: Durban, Wolmerton and Braamfontein

  • Road Infrastructure Framework

The recent Transport Lekgotla approved the submission to Cabinet of the Road Infrastructure Framework which aims to consolidate all aspects of road planning, construction and maintenance across all spheres of government. The framework includes proposals to re-classify the entire road system with emphasis on strategic economic roles and function. It also allows for a more rational definition of the roles and responsibilities of the different spheres of government.

Public Transport  -  Week Three

The Transport Lekgotla noted a public transport system that integrates all modes including buses, taxis, metered taxis and rail as well as the transformation of the current commuter based transport system to a safe, reliable and efficient public transport system that meets the requirements of the users.

In addressing traffic congestion and promoting public transport, communication interventions will be implemented in a planned and coordinated manner. Road space allocation in favour of public transport to ensure dedicated lanes for these modes on the N1 and M1 (Gauteng) will be introduced during October 2006.

The following strategic priorities have been identified by the DoT:

  • Public transport strategy;
  • Public transport safety and security;
  • Promotion of public transport over private car use; and
  • Transport plans for the Soccer World Cup 2010.

Non-motorised Transport  -  Week Four

Although the focus will be on transport in general and public transport in particular, Transport Month 2006 will also focus on non-motorised forms of transport such as walking, animal drawn carts and cycling.

Major Events

The following key activities and events, amongst others, will also form part of October Transport Month 2006:

  • The renaming of the Johannesburg International Airport to O.R. Tambo International Airport;
  • The Transport Indaba in Gauteng  (with special focus on transport plans pertaining to 2010);
  • Park and Ride;
  • Gauteng Car Free Day;
  • The Khayelitsha Rail Extension which is of historic significance;
  • Arrive Alive – DoT and Pick 'n Pay: Road Safety Initiative at Kyalami;
  • The launch of the Railway Safety Inspectorate;
  • The introduction of Public Transport Law Enforcement;
  • Safety in all modes of transport;
  • The launch of the Intelligent Transport Systems Project; and
  • The Taxi Recapitalization Project.

For more information on Transport Month, contact:

Mr Ntau Letebele,
Tel: (012) 309 3845
Ms Fatima Longwa,
Tel (012) 309 3779. 

Issued by:
The Department of Transport
Contact Details:
Mr Collen Msibi, Tel (012) 309 3214