Deputy Minister of Transport, Honourable Ms Lydia Sindisiwe Chikunga Budget Vote
- Honourable Chairperson / Speaker.
- Honourable Minister of Transport: Ms Dipuo Peters.
- Provincial MECs of Transport.
- Honourable Chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee of Transport.
- Transport Director-General: Mr Pule Selepe.
- Chairpersons of Boards and CEOs of Transport Public Entities.
- Distinguished guests.
- Members of the media.
- Ladies and gentlemen.
- South Africa is a nation in action.
The Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-19 prioritises two overarching areas, namely Radical Economic Transformation and Improving Service Delivery as the strategic themes and pillars for government over the next five years.
Madame Speaker / Chairperson
My address today will focus on progress we have made thus far with regards to our priorities and actions we intend doing in 2015/16 financial year and over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. These priorities are indeed catalysts for the transformation of our transport system.
The Department Of Transport in Action
Radical Economic Transformation (RET) is asserting and implementing game changing methods. To achieve this, government adopted the Big Fast High Impact Results approach; a key growth strategy for the development of our economy, which was launched as Operation Phakisa. The Initial Operations Phakisa focused on the Oceans Economy.
- We have a three thousand (3000) kilometer coastline, correctly positioned along the sea trading route.
- We have the world’s largest bulk coal terminal port in Richards Bay.
- The Durban Port is the busiest in Africa and the largest container facility in the Southern Africa.
- The Port of Ngqura is the deepest container terminal in Africa.
- The Port of Cape Town is the biggest refrigerated container facility in Africa.
- Saldhana Bay is the largest port in Africa by water footprint.
- South Africa is among the top fifteen (15) countries that trade by sea.
- In volume terms, more than 96 percent of the country’s imports and exports move by sea transportation.
- We have cargo.
We Are a Maritime Nation
The Maritime Sector: Operation Phakisa
Madam Speaker / Chairperson
Informed by this reality, Operation Phakisa focused on four priority areas identified as new growth areas in the oceans economy:
Marine transport and manufacturing of which we are responsible for (which includes coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boatbuilding, repair and refurbishment). The Department of Transport also plays a supportive role in the three focus areas which are:
- Offshore oil and gas exploration.
- Marine protection services and oceans governance.
To fast track the achievement of the Oceans Economy targets under the Marine Transport and manufacturing, to date we have:
- Established a Maritime Delivery Unit within the Department of Transport.
- From 1st January 2014, we have introduced a new shipping tax regime for international shipping which exempts the qualifying ship owners from paying:
- Income tax.
- Capital gains tax.
- Dividend tax; and
- The withholding tax on interest for years of assessment.
- We believe this tax exemption will undoubtedly encourage the South African Ship Register to be sought-after internationally.
- We are further engaging National Treasury to consider a special tax regime for coastal and regional shipping.
- We have also increased the mortgage ranking for financial institutions supporting the maritime sector – particularly, those that finance ship purchasers.
- The Port Regulator has also brought great certainty and predictability within our Ports Regulation framework by publishing a multi-year Tariff Methodology and manual on which, for instance, the 2015/16 tariff is to be based.
- SAMSA has rolled out the Maritime Safety Programme with specific focus on ship safety inspection programmes which have resulted to NO reported ship losses in our waters.
Madam Speaker / Chairperson
In this financial year we will focus on:
- Establishing a National Ship Register.
- Developing a private sector participation framework.
- Supporting the local ship building, and ship repairs industry as well as skills development.
- On matters of policy and legislative framework, we will finalize and implement the National Maritime Transport Policy; the Cabotage Policy and Strategy for coastal, regional, continental and international waters.
- A budget of R 392 million (R392 019 926) has been set aside for all maritime related programmes and projects.
The massive upgrades and expansion of both passenger and freight rail demands an expanded oversight on the rail safety mandate. To enhance its safety core mandate the Rail Safety Regulator has adopted a five-year plan in a phased-in approach on the revised risk based permit fee model. The multi-year permit fee strategy will enable operators to plan and further assist RSR to invest in human, intellectual, social and manufactured capital.
Women and Youth: Skills Development and Empowerment
Speaker / Chairperson
The slow pace of transformation within the transport sector has direct implications on the skills gap and economic emancipation for women, youth and People Living with Disabilities.
In this regard we had to take deliberate decisive action that all public entities in the transport sector must have specific allocated budgets for the mentioned groups.
In capital projects, SANRAL has ensured the recruitment of local women, youth and people living with disabilities. PRASA has allocated R3.5 billion over the MTEF period for the Women in Rail Programme. These are but two examples.
In August this year we are going to host a Women in Transport Summit which will resolve and adopt a five year programme of action for women and youth radical economic emancipation. The South African National Women In Transport will be the active vehicle in driving this programme.
We are about to complete a Transport Sector Gender Policy that will be instrumental in fast-tracking the transformation and gender parity agenda.
ACSA, ATNS, SACAA, and SAMSA have entered into national and international agreements to train and facilitate employment of seafearers, cadet pilots, aeronautical engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Marine engineers to mention but a few.
To date the SACAA has been given approval to develop an African Skills Assistance Plan to assist our neighbouring SADC countries with their skills needs on a cost-recovery basis.
RTMC has budgeted an amount of half a billion (R526 180 529) for training of Traffic related personnel, plans are well underway to establish Traffic Training Colleges.
Our State Owned Entities have internship programmes and bursary schemes that cater for the previously disadvantaged groups (PDIs). For instance, SANRAL has allocated 150 scholarships to deserving learners in the road sub-sector this current financial year.
Madam Speaker / Chairperson
The impact of the aviation industry in South Africa’s economy cannot be over-emphasized. In 2014 alone, over 35 million passengers were processed across our international airports countrywide. But it is also an industry experiencing significant changes – such as open skies et al,.
However South Africa:
- Has been able to implement international and our National Aviation Safety Plans, with our airports achieving impressive compliant safety records.
- Our 2014 results on the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audits have also been excellent. Consequently, South Africa has been appointed to serve as the Chairperson of the Aviation Security Panel in the UN Specialized Agency for Aviation.
- It is for the very first time that the African Continent, through South Africa is responsible for aviation security in the world. In this position South Africa is represented by our very own, woman SACAA CEO, Ms Poppy Khoza. And South Africa celebrates this achievement.
The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) have made major strides to improve our airspace management safety scenarios. Infrastructure investments to assist the programme include the continued renewal of terrestrial aeronautical navigation systems and continued maintenance of radar systems.
Our ACSA airports are rated best in the world and in Africa. When rated among the 400 World airports. The OR Tambo International Airport improved from position twenty six (26) in 2013 to position twenty four (24) in the current year. Currently OR Tambo airport holds Africa’s airport of the Year title.
The excellence that defines our aviation public entities make us a proud aviation NATION in ACTION.
In this financial year we will prioritize the following key aviation sector focus areas:
- We will finalise our National Airports Development Plan (NADP) and the White Paper on Civil Aviation Policy.
- We will also advance our transformation agenda by finalizing the sector’s Transformation Strategy.
- ATNS will continue to expand our infrastructure for the Airspace Management and continue to develop skills in this regard.
- To address the frequent accidents in general aviation, SACAA has integrated the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System. Regulatory enforcement will intensify once the new regulations come into effect this financial year.
- ACSA will continue to explore new business opportunities in Africa and in other emerging markets.
South Africa is a nation in action, led by the tried and tested leaders of a progressive movement. It is with honour that I congratulate our Honourable Minister Peter for her recent appointment as the Chairperson of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) Africa Ministers of Transport Task Team.
Finally Madam Speaker / Chairperson
As a Nation and a Department of Transport IN ACTION, our programmes will always seek to create an economy that is inclusive, equitable and fast growing, achieved through growing employment, supporting productivity, improving efficiency and moving towards greater equality.
Honourable chairperson, I wish to thank the Minister for her guidance and support, all Transport MECs, the Director-General and the entire staff of the Department of Transport, staff at Ministry in general and my office in particular, Boards and management of state entities, Chairperson and Members the Portfolio Committee, transport industry players, academia the public and the media for supporting our work.
South Africa, our country, is our land.
Our land is our home.
We travel through it. We enjoy its varied climate, landscape and vegetation.
South Africa is as diverse as we are.
We live and work in it, on it with care, preserving it for future generations.
We discover South Africa all the time. As it gives life to us, we honour the life in it.
We are the heartbeat of South Africa’s socio-economic development and we are moving South Africa forward.
Indeed we are a Nation in Action!
I thank you.