Speech by the honourable Premier of the Northern Cape, Mrs Hazel Jenkins, on the occasion of the launch of the new Government Fleet System, 12 December 2011

Programme Director
MEC for Public Works, Dawid Rooi
Members of the Executive Council Present
Government officials
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

As the Northern Cape Provincial Government, we are extremely delighted to officially launch the new government fleet system in the Province that will replace the old fleet services system.

This occasion undoubtedly represents a significant milestone in the management of our government transport system to enable us to deliver basic services to all our people, especially those residing in the far-flung areas of our province.

As a government, we have committed ourselves to deliver services to the doorstep of our communities to ensure that they access basic services that can make a significant difference in their lives.This can only happen with an operational and effective government transport system that is also managed properly and competently.

I would like to remind you of the words used by the former President of this country, Dr Nelson Mandela, during the President’s Budget Debate in the National Assembly on 18 August 1994, when he said: “At the end of the day, the yardstick that we shall all be judged by is one and one only: and that is, are we, through our endeavours here, creating the basis to better the lives of all South Africans! This is not because the people have some subjective expectations fanned during an election campaign. Neither is it because there is a magic wand that they see in the new government.”

Programme Director, inspired by this thought-provoking self-introspection, we remain determined to deliver on our mandate of providing “an effective government transport system for a better life for all”.

Ladies and gentlemen, this launch also marks a new beginning in many ways: including how we are going to manage government transport in an optimal manner.

This important decision emanated from the vision, foresight and absolute commitment by the Executive Council who decided to launch a new fleet system that will be cost effective, efficient and effective.

It must also be remembered that our government was compelled to change to this new model after Nyumbane was liquidated and the Northern Cape Government experienced a severe shortage of vehicles for the entire provincial administration because Nissan and Toyota withdrew their vehicles.

It should be categorically stated that the failure of Nyumbane was not caused by the non-payment of government; because we paid the latter religiously.

To prevent the total collapse of services, government was compelled to approach the private sector (Eurocar and Avis) as a matter of urgency to provide us with vehicles. The two service providers were approached as they were the only ones who could provide the required vehicles given the short timeframe. This, however, was never intended to be a permanent solution, because of the huge costs involved; thus making it economically unsustainable.

It is against this background that deliberate efforts were made to find a lasting and a more cost effective solution.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the introduction of the trading account was conceptualised to mitigate against the huge financial cost of what we are currently paying to the private sector. With the trading account we can now increase the fleet size, thus increasing the mobility of various departments towards achieving the respective service delivery targets.

By reducing the cost of the fleet, more funding would be available to pursue the strategic objectives of departments, thereby enabling them to concentrate on their core business.

A cost effective fleet will have other spin-offs, which includes, inter alia, the following:
Departments like Social Services, Education, Health etc would have suitable vehicles like 4x4’s to reach remote areas which bring services closer to the poor and to extend service delivery with the focus on rural development.

Departments would therefore no longer have to budget for capital expenditure, because the trading entity would replace vehicles at the end of their useful economic life.
Vehicles are procured at a reduced rate by buying directly from the manufacturers through the national contract.

Programme Director, one of our government’s priorities is to contribute to the development of a revived province. Transport is a key instrument to keep us in touch with communities and our constituencies, so as to touch their lives in a meaningful way.

This new fleet is intended to offer better quality services to our people to improve the overall quality of their lives.
Programme Director, I must hail this decision to change to a new model as a positive step in the right direction as it will save costs. The fleet management system enables management control over the utilisation of state-owned vehicles.

We are also extremely elated at the fact that the trading entity which is seen as the best option , will reduce expenditure, as the rates charged by the entity would be much lower then what we are currently paying. This process will lead to the reduction of the huge financial burden on various departments.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are also pleased to report that the procurement processes have started and the vehicles are arriving in earnest already. The total complement of the fleet will be received by the end of March 2012.

To date 160 of the 750 vehicles have been received which will be allocated by 15th December 2011. Currently, all the structures to manage the fleet are in place.
The objective now is to provide vehicles to the departments as soon as possible. This is also one of the reasons for the department not closing its doors until they have achieved the following:

  • Registration of all vehicles
  • Branding of the vehicles
  • Installation of tracker system

This provincial government is steadfastly working around the clock to find innovative ways and progressive solutions with the sole purpose to speed up change and bring about improved socio-economic conditions for all our people.

I thank you

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