Chang­ing at­ti­tudes the plan

Trans­port min­is­ter an­nounces slew of pro­cure­ment re­forms to em­power Africans in par­tic­u­lar

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - ALWYN VILJOEN

DUR­ING his bud­get speech last week, MEC for Trans­port in KZN, Mx­olisi Kaunda said al­most three quar­ters (73%) of the R9,96 bil­lion bud­get al­lo­ca­tion for 2017/18 will be in­vested into ex­pand­ing roads and trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture.

How­ever, the Pro­vin­cial Roads Main­te­nance Grant has been re­duced by R210 mil­lion for 2017/18; with fur­ther cuts of R224 mil­lion in 2018/19 and R86 mil­lion in 2019/20.

“We are very con­scious of the eco­nomic pres­sures in our coun­try and the world, hence we will be pru­dent in our in­vest­ments.

“Im­por­tantly, we are com­mit­ting 73% of the to­tal bud­get into trans­for­ma­tive roads and trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture, to aid and catal­yse eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and growth in the province,” said Kaunda.

He added the depart­ment had cre­ated 132 649 work op­por­tu­ni­ties in the last three years — of which 43 360 were cre­ated in the last fi­nan­cial year through the Ex­panded Pub­lic Works Pro­gramme (EPWP), in­cor­po­rat­ing the Zibam­bele Roads Main­te­nance pro­gramme.

“We ex­pect to main­tain this per­for­mance amid bud­getary con­straints,” he said.

Kaunda said KZN will be over­haul­ing its trans­port depart­ment’s poli­cies, sys­tems and pro­cesses to ef­fec­tively in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion of par­tic­u­larly Africans and blacks in gen­eral in the trans­port sec­tor value chain.

“We will pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to chang­ing at­ti­tudes and mind­sets of both mem­bers of staff and our ex­ter­nal stake­hold­ers, es­pe­cially our main ser­vice providers.

He said the ap­proach will en­tail “a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort to in­volve all stake­hold­ers in trans­port sub­sec­tors” in­clud­ing:

• Bus com­muter and coach services;

• the taxi in­dus­try; • Pub­lic trans­port providers;

• Road freight;

• Mar­itime trans­port and ser­vice in­dus­try;

• For­ward­ing and clear­ing as well as rail.

Kaunda said trans­port’s pro­gramme, “Igula” is an acro­nym for the “In­clu­sive Growth, Unity and Eco­nomic Lib­er­a­tion of Africans.

He said the In­te­grated Trans­port Sec­tor So­cioE­co­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion will be sup­ported by pro­cure­ment re­forms that in­clude Off-Take Agree­ments to pro­mote in­dus­trial pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ships in the strate­gic sec­tors such as as­phalt and bi­tu­men pro­duc­tion, road ag­gre­gates and yel­low paint.

The depart­ment will also re­sus­ci­tate the Gov­ern­ment Garage through off-take agree­ments in or­der to up­skill in­for­mal and non-trade tested me­chan­i­cal and panel beat­ing ser­vice providers in the town­ships and ru­ral areas.

Through the En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment and Con­trac­tor In­cu­ba­tion Pro­gramme, the depart­ment also plans to im­ple­ment the 30% min­i­mum lo­cal con­tent re­quire­ment, and in­cu­bate a crit­i­cal base of con­trac­tors (es­ti­mated at 50 per district for the next three years).

PHOTO: ZULULAND OB­SERVER — KYLE COWAN

MEC for Trans­port in KZN, Mx­olisi Kaunda in ac­tion.

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