Address by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Transport, Honourable Sindisiwe Chikunga (MP) on the Occasion of the Budget Vote Debate 40
18 May 2022
Honourable House Chairperson;
Minister of Transport, Honourable Fikile Mbalula;
MECs of Transport;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Our Honoured Guests; and
Ladies and Gentlemen.
There is no keener revelation of a nation’s soul than the way it embraces change; endures devastating adversity; and, amidst all, choose a purposed path of unity and ubuntu. As South Africans, we are a diverse, inclusive, and resilient nation. We are a country adorned with a fierce resolute tenacity. A people who are not afraid to rise, clear the path, rebuild, adapt and serve.
And as the Transport Sector, we are the heartbeat of economic growth and social development. We play a critical role in the economic recovery and reconstruction plan.
ON BUILDING THE CAPABILITIES OF THE STATE AND FAST-TRACKING THE TRANSFORMATION AGENDA IN THE TRANSPORT SECTOR
1. Skills Development and Training: Human Capital Development
In this regard, for this financial year, we have prioritized Skills Development and Training in order to organically build capabilities and capacity of the Transport Sector. We have also continued to recruit young talent, especially women and persons with disabilities either as interns or as new entrants or even senior executives.
The total budget for training and skills development for the year 2022/23 is R 26,8 million Rands. Of which R 15, 454,000.00 which is 57% is for our University Bursary Programme, from where we are funding 330 students per year who are studying various transport qualifications at 13 South African Tertiary Institutions. Some have graduated, others are graduating even this year.
I must appreciate the immense commitment by our SOEs who have recognized the importance of skills development and training as critical to the greater agenda of transforming and capacitating the sector.
We also appeal to the private sector to partner and/or collaborate with the department to ensure that our young people find employment and improve the skills capacity of the sector.
We applaud Coca-Cola Beverage South Africa (CCBSA) for collaborating with the department to drive skills development in transport freight and logistics, by ensuring placement for our students to gain practical work experience. This partnership will see ten students commencing their internship at CCBSA in June this year. More work will be done to create opportunities for participation by young people in the CCBSA learnership programme that accommodates 700 learners. Gender, Disability, Youth and Children It is important to highlight that through-out the transport sector we have ensured the implementation of a gender-responsive budgeting approach. Such a commitment will ensure that we fight the scourge of Gender Base-Violence and Femicide.
An effective Employee Wellness programmes Honourable members, As the transport sector, we were hard hit by COVID-19 and we lost quite a number of our capable employees. I must commend our National and Provincial Departments as well as SOEs Employee Health and Wellness units for heightening and strengthening preventative measures and providing tremendous psycho-social support to infected and affected employees and their families. We extend our heartfelt condolences to all the families of the fallen employees across the transport sector. Boards and CEOs Appointments
We committed ourselves to appoint the required skills, experience and expertise, especially at senior and executive levels, while ensuring that we continue to apply a gender, disability and youth sensitive strategy on human capital
To this end, we are proud to inform the House that we now have five (5) capable women CEOs in our twelve State-Owned Entities (SOEs). These women run the ATNS, ACSA, SACAA, PRSA and the RSR. We must commend our Ministry and Boards for responding so positively to the call to transform our sector.
We have also appointed Chief Executive Officer of the C-BRTA. We are in the process of Boards appointments where Board tenure are about to expire or have vacancies.
We have also appointed both the Air Services Licensing Council and the International Air Services Council. These appointments will clear the backlog of all the pending and amendment applications that have been lodged by the airlines.
1. PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Universal design and universal access
In relation to the implementation of Public Transport universal design and access, which seek to improve the mobility needs of persons with disabilities; all public and private transport operators will be required to conduct audits of existing infrastructure, fleet composition and operations against legislated minimum norms and standards.
PORTS REGULATOR OF SOUTH AFRICA
This financial year we have proposed a number of policy and legislative amendments in an effort to seek efficiencies and cost effectiveness in the running of our SOEs.
With a modest budget of R42m for the 2022/23 financial year, the Ports Regulator of South Africa will continue to implement the Multi-Year Tariff Methodology and Tariff Strategy to ensure that the pricing of both the port infrastructure, and the services and facilities provided in the eight commercial ports owned by the National Ports Authority (NPA) are cost-reflective and where applicable, adjusted for inflation.
The 2022/23 is not only the last financial year for which the current tariff methodology is applicable, it is also the first year that the Regulator will be setting tariffs for a corporatized NPA in line with section 3(2) of the National Ports Act, 12 of 2005.
With corporatization affecting the treatment of the various elements within the Tariff Methodology, the Ports Regulator will be reviewing the Tariff Methodology and its applicability for 2023/24.
This is to ensure the financial and operational sustainability of the NPA as a corporate entity under Transnet Group Pty Ltd with a focus on the valuation of the assets, taxation, and elements impacting on the credit metrics of the NPA.
The Ports Regulator approved an average inflation linked 4,5% tariff adjustment with discounts and incentives. These discounts include a 60% rebate on vessels taking on bunkers, 30 percent on license fees for license holders and lastly 30 percent discount for SA flagged vessels on marine charges. Rail Safety: The Rail Safety Regulator National Integrated Information System
On rail safety it is critical that we inform the House that in this financial year the RSR will commence with the development and implementation of a digitised and an integrated Information Management System (IMS) to meet the requirements set out in the RSR Act. The IMS will deliver data integrity to support operational intelligence in assuming the effectiveness of the RSR’s compliance activities.
The RSR concluded two research reports on level crossings and personal safety on trains. These research papers will create a body of knowledge on actions and strategies that are necessary to improve safety level in the reached areas as well as level crossings.
In this financial year the Rail Safety Regulator has been allocated a total budget of R278 million. TRANSPORT SAFETY AND SECURITY RTIA AARTO Roll Out
Honourable House Chair,
The Minister of Transport announced on 1st July 2021 that the AARTO roll out will be implemented in four (04) phases. Most of the activities in the implementation project schedule are close to completion.
However, some of the outstanding activities have been put on hold pending the decision on the appeal at the Constitutional Court.
For the current financial year, RTIA will embark on AARTO legislative training and awareness in all 44 districts with the view to increase readiness, ensure access particularly in rural areas for the anticipated national rollout. They will further, establish 37 AARTO Service Outlets and procure AARTO mobile offices in all 9 provinces creating 98 job opportunities.
The RTIA has been allocated a total budget of R486 000 000 (four hundred and eighty-six million Rands) for the current financial year.
2. CIVIL AVIATION: National Civil Aviation Policy Review
Civil aviation remains one of the sectors worst hit by the COVID pandemic; since the hardest lockdown restrictions of just over two years ago meant to curb the spread of the virus and to save lives. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicated that the impact of COVID-19 in 2020 resulted in:
• 64% of the global fleet grounded.
• Airports revenue around the world dropped by 54.6%.
• IATA has forecasted a potential overall improvement on traveller numbers to reach 4 billion in 2024, which exceed pre-COVID-19 levels.
IATA further estimate that “passenger numbers to/from/within Africa will recover more gradually than in other regions, reaching 76% of 2019 levels in 2022, surpassing pre-crisis levels in 2025”. Our aviation SOEs are readying themselves for this recovery.
To this end, the National Civil Aviation Policy Review process continues as it seeks to change the policy trajectory towards the promotion of national interests and domestic growth of the aviation sector and a realignment of the sector’s growth to the NDP 2030. SACAA
On civil aviation, South Africa will be audited on aviation security compliance by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). We were last audited in 2011 and achieved 81,3%.
We hope to improve our performance in the upcoming ICAO aviation security audit in August this year.
The SACAA launched a smart card licence for aviation professionals which replaces the booklet that have been used to identify personnel licenses. The launch took place in 2021 making South Africa one of only a few countries in the world to use a smart card where licence holders and operators can access the data of aviation personnel in real time from anywhere in the world and at any time.
Whilst as a country we are doing very well in commercial aviation we are concerned about the increase in the number of accidents in the general aviation. Stringent measures to curb these accidents have been communicated to all aviation stakeholders. However, the country has reduced the number of fatal accidents by 25%. This is an achievement towards meeting the Minister’s target of reducing aircraft accidents and fatalities by 50% in the current strategy cycle.
In 2022/23 SACAA will implement a R140 million automation project with a view to migrate into a complete paperless system to address the stakeholder needs of efficiency, agility and client-centricity.
For the Financial year 2022/23 SACAA has been allocated a total budget of R771 million.
As part of the recovery and reconstruction efforts in the current financial year, ACSA’s focal area will be on strengthening its cargo and logistics services with the main aim to diversify its revenue generation through supporting development of aerotropolis.
While ACSA is cognisant of the impact that COVID-19 had on the aviation and air travel industry; it will not extend any concessions on aeronautical fees as this is guided by the airport economic regulation and form the cornerstone of the airport revenue. It is worth noting that an extensive business support in the form of reprieves on the non-aeronautical revenue side was extended at the peak of the pandemic.
Since 2019, when the ATNS commenced the implementation of its Safety Strategy, notable improvement has been recorded in its SMS Standard of Excellence rating, due to the improvement in its Safety Ratio and the Serious Incident Rate.
The SMS maturity improved from Level A to Level C.
In the regional context ATNS continues to manage the satellite voice and data communication networks covering 27 African countries. The introduction of these networks or communications systems have gone a long way in improving aviation safety over African skies. 41st Session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly
Based on our known strengths as an important contributor in the civil aviation development and governance. South Africa will bid for re-election in the IACO Council at the 41st ICAO Elective Assembly scheduled to take place in Montreal, Canada from 27 September to 7 October 2022.
As I conclude, I wish to
• Thank the Honourable Minister Mbalula for providing strategic leadership and support.
• Thank the MECs of Transport in Provinces.
• The honourable members of the portfolio committee on Transport
• And, I also extend my appreciation to the acting DG and the staff of the DOT; as well as to the
• Chairs and CEOs of our State-Owned Companies for their commitment.
To all our stakeholders in the transport sector; we say now is the time, to actualize tangible strategic partnerships for the development of our country South Africa in general and our transport sector in particular.
To our People we say, all hands are on deck to fast-track service delivery and actualize the Khawuleza ethos! Let’s be patriotic, love and protect our country.
God Bless South Africa and its People.
I thank you.