Modern, Growing, Successful Province

SPEECH BY THE HONOURABLE MEC FOR TRANSPORT, SAFETY AND LIAISON, MS. MARTHA BARTLETT, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2015/16 BUDGET VOTE 3 AT THE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE, KIMBERLEY, NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCE

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker;
Honourable Premier of our Province, Ms Sylvia Lucas;
Honourable Members of the Executive Council;
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature;
Executive Mayors and Speakers;
Director General of the Northern Cape Province;
Collective SAPS Management;
The Head of the Department and senior officials;
Stakeholders in the Transport and Safety fraternity;
Veterans of our beloved movement;
Religious and Community leaders;
Representatives of Political parties;
Representatives from Labour Unions;
Representatives from various media houses;
Distinguished Guests; Ladies and Gentleman;
Comrades and Friends;

 

Today, I stand once more here proud of the collective

efforts of our people`s government in the construct of a better tomorrow in pursued of changing the quality of lives of our people. This policy statement will give progress report, and make new commitments for this government which remains absolutely committed to alter the course of history and together create a new-alternative path for people centred development.

As a nation, we can be proud of our achievements and the progress we have made over the past 21 years of our democracy in transforming our country, but we are also not oblivious to the obtaining material concrete conditions in the realization of a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it. Yes, that is why we can distinguish that more needs to be done to address the interrelatedness and interconnections of poverty,  unemployment and inequality in ensuring that we indeed bring change to every household in our beloved country.

Two days ago, we have celebrated Freedom Day, its values, ethos, responsibilities and corresponding rights of our people and all conscious progressives remembers South Africa on that day when they casted their votes in unison based on a shared tomorrow, as we actively participated in the first free and fair democratic elections in 1994.

This year’s we also commemorate the 60th anniversary of the historic adoption of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, Soweto, the People’s Charter.

The values as espoused in the Freedom Charter still hold true and they are an overall vision for a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa and many of its values are also imbued in our celebrated Constitution. Chief Albert Luthuli captured it perfectly when he said, “If the Freedom Charter is examined it will be seen that freedom means the opening up of the opportunity to all South Africans to live full and abundant lives in terms of country, community and individual.”

Honourable Speaker, The opening words of the Freedom Charter should remain the heartbeat of all South Africans: “We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people.” And their will has since been placed in the hands of the ANC led government and we shall not distort it, changed it or undermine it.

The ANC led government remains the only choice and hope for our people, with the overwhelming majority of people who firmly placed their confidence and hopes in the African National Congress and its allies, locally and abroad.

The essence of the Freedom Charter is captured in our current manifesto, you will inevitably come to the conclusion that it contains exactly what our people needs and desires. President Jacob Zuma rightfully declared the year 2015, “the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom”. It is the year of going the extra mile, the beginning of our third decade of freedom towards radical social and economic transformation.

In order to establish a South Africa, which our liberation heroes and heroines envisioned in 1955 through the Freedom Charter, we have put the necessary plans and systems in place.

Honourable members, the ANC Government has continued to prioritise seven (7) areas for the term of its administration, in line with the National Development Plan -Vision 2030, as we collectively move our country forward in this policy postulation we shall focus on access to Transport that is reliable, safe and accessible, as well as safer environment for all our people who must stay and feel safe at all times.

The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, as defined, covers all matters which relate to the safety of our people and transportation in the Northern Cape. This budget speech covers both of these responsibilities and functions.  

In our fight against crime, Premier Sylvia Lucas in her State of the Province Address rightfully indicated that positive progress has been made. This is a matter that affects all of us in some or other way and we should approach it collectively with the South African Police Services. We must allude to the fact that fighting crime is not the sole responsibility of government alone, but the responsibility of all of us, and we are confident that soon we will be turning the corner.

The continuous collective efforts should serve as instruments in creating an environment where we all feel and are safe at home, at work and at school, and enjoy a community life free of fear. Women walk freely in the streets and children play safely outside their homes. Through the implementation of these joint partnerships we are strengthening community participation in the fight against crime and to free our communities from criminals, unlicensed liquor outlets and drug dealers.

When communities do not feel safe and live in fear, the country’s economic development and people’s wellbeing will be affected, hindering the ability and potential for growth.

All vulnerable groups such as women, children and especially the elderly in our rural communities must enjoy equal protection through effective and coordinated involvement of the police, business and civil society in general.

In discharging our function of the department we will continue to assure quality services and the safety of drivers, commuters and pedestrians in the Province through the provision of a safe and reliable transport system. We share our roads as a nation and have a choice to enjoy our good infrastructure as responsible citizens or to be part of the irresponsible behaviour which can or ends up tragic. The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison together with all our stakeholders will ensure that we reduce road fatalities by 50% at the end of the United Nations Decade of Road Safety in 2020.

The transport sector is a significant enabler of economic growth and social development, and we must promote the continued and sustained investments by our government and the private sector across the four modes of transport namely: road, rail, maritime and aviation. A good public transport system shapes urban and rural landscapes, encourages economic growth and development, and influences people’s decisions on where they would like to reside, their education and employment.

We have no doubt that our major transport projects will start to contribute immensely in the short horizon towards a new economic trajectory, eradication of poverty, creation of decent jobs, skills development and contribution to an efficient and effective transport system in the Northern Cape and South Africa.

Honourable Speaker, please allow me to then reflect on the commitments made in the financial year 2014/2015.

Honourable members, I deemed it crucial that we reflect on how we have taken forward our service delivery programme in responding to the needs of our people. This is aimed at critically evaluating ourselves in the interest of improving the quality of lives of our people. Services to our communities should remain at the heart of our Departmental functional output. The commitments made in the policy statement in 2014/2015, we can proudly say 99,9% of all of this have been achieved.

In achieving the goals to address unemployment, poverty and inequality we needed a budget that covered all areas relating to the needs of our people in proportion to our mandate. We have spent 93, 24% of our allocated budget of R334,406 million for the 2014/2015 financial period. Firstly, we have made sure that service providers we have conducted business with are paid within 10 days in the overall. The Department’s audit action plan is progressing very well, and we are on route to receive another unqualified report.

Significant progress was also made with regards to the collection of our outstanding debt on motor vehicle licences from the January 2014 to December 2014. This amount is reduced tremendously from R123 million to R61 million. I am sure that this challenge would be comprehensively addressed by the end of 2015/2016.

Honourable Speaker, this budget indeed made a difference to the lives of our people and enabled us to employ 400 EPWP Safety Volunteers that assisted the South African Police Services with crime prevention initiatives throughout our Province. This initiative for the youth of our Province did not only benefit these individuals alone, but also contributed immensely in the fight against crime.

The personal development of all our employees is very crucial for the benefit of service delivery. We have set aside R300 000 for the Training and Development which resulted in 57 officials completing their training in Human Resources and Customer Care Training. A further 51 officials will complete their studies before the end of this financial year. Indeed the doors of learning shall be opened in the development of a skilled workforce.

The Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy in line with the National Development Plan takes centre stage in our efforts to fight the scourge of crime in our beautiful Province. The Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy was implemented at local level through local community safety programmes. This strategy aimed to strengthen our support towards crime prevention and serves as our safety net at local level. A comprehensive analysis on the impact made through the implementation of the strategy will be done to serve as a basis to review the strategy towards the last quarter of the year.

In order to monitor and analyse whether we are creating an environment where all people are and feel safe, we have conducted continuous community research surveys. We have completed the surveys in Phillipstown, Kanoneiland and Kathu after which the results were released to SAPS and the CPF’s. Improvement plans were compiled and follow up visits were conducted to monitor the progress in these areas.

We have also assessed the operations and functionality of our CPF’s in Nababeep, Kuruman, Olifantshoek, Ritchie and Port Nolloth to prioritise their needs and challenges they encounter. I am pleased to announce that starting from this year, all CPF’s will be subjected to training and induction by SAPS and they will be assisted by the Department and SAPS based on the POA and its implementation plan that is costed and budgeted for the first time and it is expected to be completed by the end of June. Indeed there shall be peace and friendship for all.

I’ve conducted visits to our four (4) major transport projects and I am pleased with the progress thereof. A steering committee that will be chaired by myself will be meeting before the end of May to consider improved ways to coordinate and influence the texture and the strategic tempo of the projects for the benefit our beloved people.  Providing effective public transport systems is one of the most important interventions a government can make to support economic and social activities in a country.

The Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison has appointed a Transaction Advisor to carry out a detailed bankable feasibility study in accordance with PPP guidelines on these projects.

The Transaction Advisor has completed the first deliverable namely the Gap Analysis report for the Port Nolloth/Boegoebaai and De Aar Freight Logistic Hub Development projects for Phase 2.

This gap analysis aims to identify chasms between studies that have been undertaken by the Project Management Unit (PMU) over the past 18 months and work that needs to be embarked on as part of the followon the next phases of the Port Nolloth Harbour Development/Boegoebaai Deep Sea Port Project and De Aar Freight Logistic Hub.

The safety on our roads remains the responsibility of all of us. Despite our vigorous law enforcement campaigns, road safety awareness campaigns, speed chains and operations, we are still losing lives on our roads. We have adopted a 365 day road safety program aligned with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety global campaign.

Honourable members, I am pleased to announce that 100 learners participated in the youth education and training in learner and driving licences. We appointed 190 EPWP Road Safety Council Volunteers to assist with road safety awareness programmes in our schools and communities.

All 5 Districts participated in the Youth debates on road safety of which 10 students attended the National competition where our Province obtained 3 position.

Indeed all of us are road safety ambassadors and should advocate the message of road safety, every day.

In order to restore the dignity of our public transport system in the Province, I have met with SANTACO and all regional taxi associations, except Namakwa which we will be meeting soon, to strengthen and improve working relations in order to create a safe and reliable transport system. These interventions will culminate into a Taxi Summit, where the consolidated report will be presented and a POA will be adopted, including the new policy considerations as framed by the National Transport Land Act that will look at the overall environment including applications, licencing and awarding of licences.

We provide learner transport to learners where the distance to schools exceeds 5 kilometres. In January 2015 we have entered into 195 new negotiated contracts to transport 18 798 learners of 410 schools in our Province. We are confident that the review process which has started, will help us a great deal to attend to this recurring challenge starting from this year and moving forward.

The SAPS has made significant strides over the past year to increase human capital as well as resources that will assist us to render professional services to the communities. We are meeting with SAPS management on a quarterly basis to monitor and evaluate the way SAPS discharge its constitutional mandate, and this shall continue as part of our oversight role.

We have witnessed the successful appointment of one hundred and sixty two (162) recruits in September 2014, thirty five (35) entry level personnel and the advertisement of 20 reservists in February 2015.

SAPS successfully implemented three (3) Men for Change projects in the 2014/15 financial year with a number of stakeholders. The projects are:

  • Refurbishment of a burnt down crèche in Green point. The goal of this project was to ensure that one hundred (100) learners get a warm meal on a daily basis and are kept safe from the dangers of society.
  • Keep me warm, keep me safe blanket drive project which has been distributed, twenty two thousand (22 000) blankets to the under privileged community members.
  • Cleaning of Hotspots for crime project. Open spaces which serve as crime hotspots were identified and cleaned during the implementation of this project.

The successful implementation of these projects led to the Northern Cape SAPS’ Lieutenant Sergio Kok winning the Man of the Year award during the SAPS National Excellence Awards. Congratulations once more to him and all men and women in blue.

The SAPS has managed to establish five (5) Victim Support Facilities together with sixty nine (69) Victim Friendly Rooms in operation in the Province. We welcome the appointment of three (3) Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Commanders, however we still await the appointment of three (3) Forensic Social Workers, which remains scarce skill for the whole country. The purchase of one hundred and ninety four (194) vehicles and one hundred (100) radios’ is proof that the visibility of SAPS will further increase to make our communities safer. SAPS is also improving access to their services as we welcome completion of the new Keimoes Police Station and upgrading of other police stations.

Given the vastness and demographics of our province, we have collectively implemented the Rural Safety Strategy, which is currently under review. This called for action through crime prevention initiatives and safety programmes with all stakeholders, led by SAPS, to curb the prevalence of crime especially in our rural areas. We need to urgently bring other departments on board in this regard.

Over the past year, three hundred and eighty (380) offenders were sentenced for imprisonment of which twelve (12) were sentenced to life. Through this action we are sending a clear message to those who think they are above our law and destroy the lives of innocent people and our children.

Honourable members, you will agree with me that we live in an ever-changing environment and it has become imperative that we continuously appraise ourselves through personal development to respond to the needs of our people. Thirty two members (32) of SAPS received training in the past year relating to the Detectives Services to ensure that offenders are apprehended and placed behind bars, where they belong and we will continue with our attempt to respond to the increasing number of detectives who exit the system for better service remuneration in the Private Sector, because we really need them in the fight against crime and criminals.

There is no doubt that we have intensified the fight against crime as we continuously improve and expand our resources to the benefit of our people but we are indeed concerned that one murder is just too much and our people deserve to feel and live safe.

Honourable Members, please allow me after that progress report of the past commitments to now reflect on the Priorities for 2015/2016.We are indeed at work and in action; re ya bereka; re mo tirong.

Programme Plans 2015/16 - Total Budget 341,985 million

Programme 1 – Administration is allocated R63, 003 million

The major orientation for the Department is to render effective, efficient and sustainable services. In accordance with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, all services rendered must be commensurate with the resources ploughed in.

The ability to plan and to align resources with the budget availed, needs to be enhanced, so that our plans are credible and can be carried over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework period.

We have re-viewed our Organogram and it is in the final stages of approval. Our vacancy rate needs to be reduced and the recruitment will be prioritised in the filling of all funded vacant posts this financial year. We are also reviewing our Bursary scheme with a view to expand it and broaden access to the public.

Programme 2 and 3 – Civilian Oversight is allocated  R19, 893 million

As of the financial year 2015/16 we will be implementing and giving effect to the Civilian Secretariat for Police Act 2011, where Programme 2 and 3 has been merged into one Programme, the Civilian Secretariat.

The Department is in a process to determine the impact of the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy and as I alluded earlier that this Strategy is also under review and this will also culminate into a Provincial Crime Summit. We will intensify and enhance our POA towards more accountability meetings and Imbizos, conducted throughout the year in “hotspot” areas to mobilize the communities to partner with government to curb the prevalence of crime.

This year will also give birth to the establishment of Community Safety Forums, Street Committees under the umbrella of our CPF’s to actively involve our communities in the fight against crime. These initiatives will be done jointly with SAPS and all our stakeholders to ensure that they are visible and actively involved in combatting crime.

Social Crime prevention initiatives will also be unfolding throughout the year in line with our theme for every month and as marked by national government such as, Youth Month, Women’s Month and 16 Days of Activism campaign and with specific focus on rural safety of all vulnerable groups.

Programme 4 – Transport Operations is allocated  R185, 099 million

Honourable members, we remain committed to the full emancipation of women. I am pleased to announce that SANTACO in partnership with the Department has established the SANTACO Women’s Desk which is the first of its kind in the country. The aim of the Women’s Desk is to recognize the contribution that women are making in the taxi industry and to create further opportunities for women by diversifying transport services within the transport industry. We recently held a SANTACO Women’s workshop on the 14 to 15 April 2015 where we came up with a working policy document that will guide all women who aspire to enter the transport industry on the various opportunities that exists and how they can make their business succeed in this male dominated industry.

The Department through its Public Transport Operations Grant has expanded the public transport subsidy in the Pixley Ka Seme Region this year to afford all commuters the opportunity to safe and affordable transport services. We are now having 195 concluded negotiated contracts on Learner Transport with the current operators in terms of the National Land Transport Act (NLTA). The contracts now clearly stipulate the duties of the operator, the safety measures that must be implemented from both the operator and the learners, penalty clauses and pre-trip inspections that must be undertaken by the operator.

Honourable Members, the mandate to increase access to rural areas is amplified by the focus on rural development with specific reference to increased mobility and accessibility is a priority for this term of government. I am pleased to announce that we have extended the much needed service of fifteen (15) additional routes in the John Taolo Gaetsewe Region through additional funding received by Provincial Treasury over the Medium Term. The Department, through the collaboration with National Department of Transport, will be distributing 350 bicycles to learners in the rural areas that need to travel between two (2) to five (5) kilometres to school. We will also be assisting communities with the procurement and provision of 10 animal drawn carts in areas where the accessibility is much needed by the communities.

Through transport we aim to create an enabling environment that will stimulate the economy of the province.  As part of this aim, we have managed to register two Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) with National Treasury for the development of the De-Aar Hub and the port at Port of Boegoebaai. The role of the Department is to ensure that goods are moved from road to rail and to ensure that the target groups in and around the area, benefits through the creation of sustainable employment opportunities. The Department will be an observer in the evaluation of the proposals to ensure that government`s priorities are catered for within the proposals of the preferred bidders without interfering with the process and compromising the set guidelines.

Honourable Speaker, in our efforts to continue to provide alternative transport modes that can easily link our people between various towns within the province; we are pleased to announce that the Intra-Provincial Air Service, as resolved by Provincial Government, will continue for the next financial year with a reviewed model for funding. The service will be provided for between Kimberley and Upington on Mondays and Wednesdays. We are also exploring the opportunity to provide scheduled flights between Kimberley and Lanseria and this we hope to conclude within the 2015/2016 financial year.

We are also in the process to complete the Transport framework which will then create a basis to immediately work towards a Northern Cape Transport Strategy that will be inclusive and respond to the new Transport dynamics, economics, environmental and socioeconomic complexities but further explore alternative means of transport in the Province to benefit majority of our people.

Programme 5 – Transport Regulations is allocated R73 990 million
The implementation of the 2015/ 2016 annual performance plan will be driven by the United Nations Decade of Action on road safety 2020 with 365 days of road safety and Joint Ventures with the Road Traffic Management Corporation and other role-players and stakeholders.

The implementation will be focusing on Safer roads, Safer road users and Safety management which will culminate in the deployment of new technologies for effective management of road safety such as the:

  • Prolaser 4 Speed Monitoring Cameras at our major roads;
  • The utilization of New Alcohol Screeners to reduce the incidences of driving under the influence of alcohol;
  • The New Portable radio communication devices for our traffic stations in order to improve coordination of implementation strategies.

The delivery environment will also be infused with 18 new Traffic vehicles to improve our law enforcement environment in particular at our most critical National and Provincial arterial routes to reduce fatal road crashes.

The following factors though not exhaustive, have been identified as the primary contributing factors to road crashes; speeding, driving while using cellphones, dangerous overtaking at steep inclined areas of our roads, un-roadworthy vehicles, drinking and walking on our roads whilst under the influence of alcohol and Pedestrian negligence. We will continue with the empowerment of school patrols and road safety awareness programmes in our schools. 
In order to optimally use our Law enforcement operations, we will be informed by strategic analysis of road crashes in our province so that deployment of these limited resources can best achieve desired outcomes.

We will continue to work with the National Department of Transport to increase our number of traffic officers on our roads and we will make an announcement in due course.

As the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison we are geared up and ready to curb the unnecessary loss of lives on our roads.

SAPS Commitments for 2015/2016

This year part of responding to controlled access and habitable stations will include the repairs and renovations of about fourteen (14) police stations, making police facilities easily accessible to the community and addressing unemployment and poverty through infrastructure development. These stations are:

  • Port Nolloth;
  • Barkly West;
  • Kenhardt;
  • Koopmansfontein;
  • Plooysburg;
  • Carnavon;
  • Calvinia;
  • Van Wyksvlei;
  • Danielskuil;
  • Hondeklipbaai;
  • Kimberley;
  • Colesburg;
  • Upington K9;
  • Noenieput;

In consultation with community based organisations such as CPF, schools and churches, SAPS allocated four hundred and eighty nine (489) entry level police trainee posts in line with the SAPS Recruitment Strategy. Five hundred and twenty six applicants (526) were taken to a Grooming Camp which served as a final selection process to identify suitable candidates. Three hundred and fifteen (315) recruits were successful and started their basic training at All Saints and Oudtshoorn SAPS Training Academy on 20 April 2015.

This financial year will see light to additional 210 vehicles that will assist with an increased police visibility and improvement of response time in attending to the needs of our people. In addition, generators will be installed at 23 police stations and serve as electricity back-up during load shedding and give assurance that service delivery won’t be compromised.

Honourable members, for the first time SAPS will establish an Anti-Corruption Unit in the Province which will operate under the detective services.

Due to the high prevalence of protest in the JTG District, a Satellite POPS Centre will be established in Kuruman to service the surrounding areas, preventing the protests to spiralling out of control.

For us to succeed, we will strengthen all our relations with all stakeholders and labour unions for the benefit of our electorate masses.

We want to extend our gratitude to the people of Northern Cape, as to date no incidents of violence towards foreign nationals have been reported.

SAPS together with other stakeholders, have put plans in place and are ready in dealing with Xenophobic attacks, public protest and possible land grabs, with Provincial Joint Operations Committee briefing me every morning and afternoon.

I can also report to this august house that as from yesterday 340 soldiers are stationed in the Province, at the border and inland as well as an Air wing capabilities which is also on standby for any possibilities to support all government departments playing a role in our joint efforts against possible Xenophobic attacks.

This demonstrates the concerted effort by government to break the back of crime in the country, with no illusions of challenges ahead. As proud, caring and responsible South Africans, we should always live with the remembrance of our past. During apartheid, Africa opened its doors and became home for many South Africans who fled the prosecution and persecution of the apartheid government. For many decades Africans fought side by side with South Africans in a war against apartheid contributing to the freedom we have today. Since the dawn of democracy South Africans and fellow Africans have lived together in harmony across the country.

The late President Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”.

I urge you to say NO to Xenophobia, Afrophobia and other similar manifestations. Let’s unite against the attacks on foreign nationals because we are all Africans and in the build-up to Africa Month, in May, as we celebrate our rich history and our common cultures as Africans.

In conclusion

Honourable Premier and Honourable Members, when we say indeed we have done our best, we don’t say we have reached our limits, because the sky is the limit.

When we say we have done more, we do not exaggerate our capabilities,

And when we say we can do more, we do not ride on a misplaced confidence, and

When we say we have a long way to go, we do not mean the spatial distance, But, when we say Together we can move South Africa Forward, we know that it is indeed through partnership, collaboration and working together that an alternative world based on the will of the people, mutual Love, Peace and Justice for a humane world indeed it is possible.

Finally, through our collective progress and efforts we can confidently say;

Re ya bereka;

Ons werk tot diens van ons mense;

We are at work and in action with and for our people, the poor;

Siya qhuba;

Sise msebenzini;

God bless you and I thank you all.

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Office of the Premier 
Private Bag X5016 
Kimberley 
8301

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