Changing attitudes the plan
Transport minister announces slew of procurement reforms to empower Africans in particular
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).
MEC for Transport in KZN, Mxolisi Kaunda in action.