Speech by Honourable Patrick Sibande, Chairperson : Select Committee on Finance during the consideration report on Transport Laws Repeal Bill

02 November 2010

Honourable members, the Department of Transport Commission, together with the South African Law Commission is to undertake the task of revising the South African statute book with a view of identifying and recommending for the repeal or amendment of legislation that is inconsistent, redundant or absolute in terms of the equality clause in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

The South African Laws Commission, in partnership with the Department of Transport, conducted a research into a transport legislation and established that there are 2 800 acts in the statute book. Of these, 218 were identified as acts administered by the Department of Transport. The results of the research indicated that there are statutes administered by the Department of Transport that needed to be repealed as a whole and others to be repealed partially.

The repeal processes affected a total of 51 acts. At the same time, certain provisions of 14 acts were to be repealed. The committee had to consider the fact that certain acts and the provisions were at odds with the Constitution and whose purpose was no longer relevant to the new democratic order.

These Amendments Bills must be viewed in the context of the government policy that seeks to ensure integrated services. One of the main features to achieve this is ensuring that we do not have legislation that will hinder these processes and ultimately slow down the processes of transformation.

As far back as 1995, discussions took place to ensure that the future transport system in the new democratic dispensation had, as its emphasis, a sound publicity owned transport system that functioned well and provided quality services to our people.

We should note that the progress over the past 15 years has led to substantial improvement in the transport system which has ensured greater safety and efficient and affordable transportation. This momentum constituted a conscious and dedicated effort to ensure, not only better service delivery but equally, ways how to address the creation of decent jobs within the sector. This Amendment Bill is in accordance with these broad principles.

In addressing the objectives of the Bill, they seek to repeal the number of redundant or absolute laws. The Bill contains two schedules. Schedule one lists acts that may be repealed in their entirety. These acts, which were enacted for a specific purpose that have been achieved, currently need to be repealed. Schedule two seeks to repeal certain provisions of the law listed therein as a consequence of schedule one or became absolute.

The Department of Transport presented the Bill to the committee and placed in context what informed the crafting of the Bill. The committee noted the two distinctive schedules, one listing acts that needed to be repealed in their entirety, whilst schedule two sought to list laws where only certain provisions needed to be repealed.

The Select Committee on Public Services, having considered the Transport Laws Repeal Bill, unanimously adopted the Bill without amendments. Members expressed their satisfaction and unanimously approved the motion and report, supporting the Bill.

In conclusion, the Bill has progress intention, in line with the drive towards ensuring better administration of the transport system and strategic goals of the Department, as outlined in the medium-term strategic framework. In this regard, this Bill seeks to lay the basis for new legislation and the transport processes to ensure safe, reliable and efficient public transport. It should build a process of infrastructure, momentum and should create decent jobs and a caring economy.

The Select Committee on Public Services, having considered the Transport Laws Repeal Bill, B 19(b)-2010, as the National Assembly referred to it, supported the Bill without amendments.

Thank you.