MEC outlines priorities
Roads and transport to use budget to focus on key challenges and innovate a new system
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.”
EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES: Transport MEC Ismail Vadi says they will deal decisively with taxi violence and operating licensing issues.