MEC out­lines pri­or­i­ties

Roads and trans­port to use bud­get to fo­cus on key chal­lenges and in­no­vate a new sys­tem

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - Gauteng News - NTOMBI NKOSI ntombin@the­newage.co.za

ON­LINE re­newal of mo­tor ve­hi­cle li­cences, deal­ing de­ci­sively with taxi vi­o­lence and the launch of an APP to re­port and mon­i­tor pot­holes along pro­vin­cial roads. Th­ese are among the pri­or­i­ties of the Gaut­eng roads and trans­port depart­ment, MEC Is­mail Vadi said yes­ter­day as he de­liv­ered his R6.8bn bud­get vote in the leg­is­la­ture.

“As part of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to mod­ernise and in­te­grate the trans­port sys­tem, the depart­ment will launch the pi­lot project for sin­gle e-ticket in Oc­to­ber later this year,” Vadi said.

He said the project was one of the key de­liv­er­ables of the In­te­grated Trans­port Master Plan to de­velop a fully in­te­grated Au­to­matic Fare Col­lec­tion (AFC) sys­tem in­clud­ing en­abling Euro­pay, MasterCard and Visa card com­pli­ance to of­fer a pre­paid prod­uct that al­lows for in­ter­op­er­abil­ity and in­te­gra­tion.

Road in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment will in­clude the con­struc­tion of the first new free­way in 40 years, the PWV15, to re­duce con­ges­tion and sup­port the aerotropo­lis de­vel­op­ment.

“We will mo­bilise re­sources for road in­fra­struc­ture in ways that will avoid the con­tro­versy linked to the e-tolls. There will be no e-tolls on our newly con­structed free­ways,” Vadi said.

The depart­ment has com­pleted 12 ma­jor road re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion projects.

“On the rev­enue side, the depart­ment re­mains one of the key sources of fund­ing for our pro­vin­cial trea­sury. Over the past three years, it has col­lected mo­tor ve­hi­cle and other li­cens­ing fees amount­ing to R9.6bn,” he said.

In the past three years, Gaut­eng has seen sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in roads and pub­lic trans­port in­fra­struc­ture aimed at sup­port­ing the econ­omy.

“The mas­sive roll­out of mod­ernised pub­lic trans­port in­fra­struc­ture such as the Gau­train Rapid Rail Ser­vice, the slow but pro­gres­sive ex­pan­sion of metropoli­tan BRT ser­vices and the de­vel­op­ment of the Aerotropo­lis are ex­am­ples of mega projects that are grad­u­ally trans­form­ing our ur­ban land­scape and cre­at­ing jobs,” Vadi said.

De­spite the cor­po­rate gov­er­nance chal­lenges con­fronting the Pas­sen­ger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), the Metro­rail re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion pro­gramme in our prov­ince had seen the in­tro­duc­tion of 18 of the new trains on the Pien­aar­spoort-Pre­to­ria cor­ri­dor.

The Gi­bela Rail Man­u­fac­tur­ing Plant will be ready later this year, Vadi said, while the Tambo-Springs Freight and Lo­gis­tics Hub is to be launched in 2018.

He said the depart­ment would con­tinue to work with taxi op­er­a­tors to ad­dress is­sues re­lat­ing to op­er­at­ing li­cences.

“I wish to an­nounce that I in­tend to in­sti­tute ex­traor­di­nary mea­sures in terms of Sec­tion 91 of the Na­tional Land Trans­port Act to close all ranks and routes reg­is­tered in the name of Nan­duwe and Wata in Soweto.

“The route dis­pute and re­sult­ing vi­o­lent con­flicts between th­ese two as­so­ci­a­tions have been on­go­ing and all ef­forts at re­solv­ing the dis­pute, in­clud­ing the Sec­tion 79 ruling of the Pro­vin­cial Reg­u­la­tory En­tity, has not helped to sta­bilise trans­port oper­a­tions in the area.”

He said the depart­ment has dis­cussed the on­go­ing vi­o­lent con­flicts between Uber and Tax­ify part­ners and me­tered taxi op­er­a­tors with the min­is­ters of po­lice and trans­port.

“The gov­ern­ment as a whole is ab­so­lutely clear that un­law­ful and crim­i­nal acts of cer­tain me­tered taxi op­er­a­tors will be dealt de­ci­sively.”

PIC­TURE: PHUMLANI THABETHE

EX­TRAOR­DI­NARY MEA­SURES: Trans­port MEC Is­mail Vadi says they will deal de­ci­sively with taxi vi­o­lence and op­er­at­ing li­cens­ing is­sues.

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