Second Reading of the Adjusted Estimates of Provincial Expenditure – Vote 10
Speech by Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works
- Honourable Speaker/Deputy Speaker
- Honourable Premier and Cabinet Colleagues
- Honourable Leader of the Opposition
- Honourable Members of the WCPP
- Director-General and other officials of the WCG
It is my privilege to present the adjusted estimates for Vote 10, the Department of Transport and Public Works, for 2020/21. This time last year I indicated how in a very short time in this portfolio I had come to appreciate the broad-ranging role which this department plays in the overall service delivery by the Western Cape Government to the residents of this province. The events of the last 8 months have served to confirm my early impressions, as this department has risen to all the challenges of the pandemic and delivered magnificent facilities and systems in record time.
It is not without justification that the HOD of this department, Jacqui Gooch, recently received the silver award as one of the top provincial HODs in this country and the DTPW was honoured with the joint gold award as the best functioning department. We in the Western Cape are indeed privileged to have people of the quality of HOD Gooch in leadership positions and hard-working, capable officials to keep the wheels of government turning.
Speaker, it is not my intention today to describe how parlous our country’s economic position is. This was eloquently done last week by my colleague, Minister Maynier, in his address. Hardly a day passes without a further economic body blow to our already staggering economy. As I pointed out yesterday in this House it is simply not true that we can lay all our challenges at the feet of the Corona virus. Our problems as a country predate the pandemic by many years and are systemic and entrenched.
Instead, Speaker, once I have set out briefly the major adjustments to the Main Appropriation for Vote 10, I want to table a few of the positive steps we have been able to take to restore the economy and to give people hope in the future. As is so often the case in life, it is not just the extent of the financial damage which counts but also the way in which we use what we still have.
The Main Appropriation of Vote 10 decreases by R354.581m or 4% from R8 945.769m to R8 591.188m and includes the following:
- National – R61 316 000 additional provision for the Provincial Road Maintenance Grant.
- Shifting of funds between votes - R97 924 000
- Programme 2: Public Works Infrastructure - R96 424 000
- R44 772 000 shifted from Vote 6: Health to fund the operational lease costs of Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) as Intermediate Care Facility.
- Programme 2: Public Works Infrastructure - R96 424 000
- Programme 4: Transport Operations - R1 500 000
- R1 500 000 shifted from Vote 14: Local Government to provide bicycles to community groups for the distribution of amongst others, medicine and food as part of the Western Cape Hotspot Strategy.
- Realignment of Provincial Budget - (R450 913 000)
- Programmes 1 - 5:
- R50 913 000 surrendered to the Provincial Revenue Fund due to the reduction on Compensation of Employees.
- Programme 2: Public Works Infrastructure
- R200 000 000 unspent Quarantine and Isolation facility funds surrendered to the Provincial Revenue Fund.
- Programmes 1 - 5:
- Self-financing expenditure – R80 000 000 (Decreased own revenue 2020/21)
- R80 000 000 baseline reduction of the provincial infrastructure budget as a result of projected under recovery of motor vehicle licence fees and lease revenue.
Roll-overs – R10 469 000
- Programme 2: Public Works Infrastructure - R8 258 000
- R5 725 000 rolled over from the 2019/20 financial year to fund the design and construction of the access road linking the Louwville community to the Community Day Centre in Saldanha.
- Programme 3: Transport Infrastructure - R2 211 000
- R1 879 000 rolled over from the 2019/20 financial year to fund the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Long and Station Street, Great Brak River, Mossel Bay.
Speaker, despite these significant reductions and the on-going uncertainty about future financial flows from the National Fiscus relating to the public service wage agreement, due to be addressed by the Labour Court today, the Department of Transport and Public Works has moved with speed to re-activate projects which were shut down as a result of the various lock down stages and to make it possible for new projects to commence.
The following details indicate our commitment to boosting the economy in such a way that employment is protected, job opportunities created and essential infrastructure is made available to enable further developments to take place:
- In August 239 contracts were awarded with a total value of R62 873 343.
- In September 176 contracts were awarded with a total value of R125 932 571.
- In October 383 contracts were awarded with a total value of R459 876 728.
Speaker, in those three months we injected close to R650 million into the economy – stimulating growth, enabling companies to do business, employing staff and making it possible for families to have food on the table.
Of the 798 contracts awarded in the three month period, 781 were awarded to BBBEE undertakings.
I am informed by my Department that during the course of this week a further 12 contracts to the value of R68 million are due to be adjudicated.
And it does not stop there.
DTPW will play a key role in assisting the WCED in planning for and then spending by the end of the First Quarter of 2021 the additional R192 million received in terms of the Policy Based Funding Facility. In addition, school fencing contracts to the value of R36 million as announced by Minister Maynier will also be awarded.
My department has also set aside an amount of R10 million to be available in partnership with PRASA to clear rail reserves. The meeting to finalise this arrangement is to take place with PRASA this week. Similarly, we will initiate the clearing of a number of properties as part of the EPWP programme.
Speaker, in these challenging times, these are significant injections into the economy. In fact, as large as they are considering the fiscal circumstances, they represent in terms of hope and belief in the future gigantic contributions to the well-being of the people of the Western Cape.
It would be remiss of me, Speaker, not to include in this snapshot of the positive steps taken by DTPW the innovative initiatives taken in the field of public transport. Not only did the Department achieve a partnership with the taxi industry to respond to urgent needs resulting from the pandemic to ensure the safety of front-line workers in the health sector and to transport people in need of isolation and quarantine, but we were also able to expand this into a concept which can benefit commuter needs in future. So, Red Dot Light and Red Dot, tested and shown to work, will produce the incentivized Blue Dot system.
The incentive payment envisaged in the scheme is not limited to operators but will be paid to operators and drivers. And this incentive payment is set at a level designed to bring about behavioural change and is linked to clear performance standards, all measured using appropriate technology. These standards relate to key indicators including speeding, harsh braking and cornering, lane-changing and off route driving. In addition to the technology at the disposal of the Department of Transport and Public Works to record and assess these indicators, a passenger feedback mechanism has been developed which allows for easy reporting on service safety and quality.
Very importantly, based on concerns identified by commuters, provision has been made, among others, for on-going driver training, vehicle inspection and roadworthiness assessment. For the first time, a direct link has been created between incentive payments and the quality, safety and dignity of the service.
Speaker, allow me to conclude with a reminder to all that we will soon once again be in the holiday and festive seasons. The need for responsible driving reinforced by sound traffic law enforcement will as always at these times be critical. This week on Thursday 3 of December, we will launch our intensive festive season road safety programme – which is already in operation. I appeal to all people on our roads to drive and behave responsibly.
I thank you.