Department of Transport
The review of founding laws of road traffic entities to ascertain areas of duplication, drivers of inefficiency and areas that require streamlining is underway.
The transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, announced this during the transport department’s 2021/22 Budget Vote Speech in parliament.
The minister added that the process of looking into the possibility of streamlining and rationalising road traffic entities is part of efforts to strengthen the traffic management value chain.
The mandates of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) and the Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA) trading entity are under scrutiny.
Other developments highlighted by the minister include:
• Review of the service delivery model of driver and vehicle licencing – focus on challenges confronting Driving Licence Testing Centres – a range of measures devised to address challenges relating to driver and vehicle licensing – measures include longer operating hours, use of technology to eliminate queues and the introduction of an online interface for optometrist and medical practitioners to upload on the eNatis eye test results;
• Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act – on track with target to proclaim 1 July 2021 as the effective date for the nationwide rollout of AARTO;
• Work underway to develop guidelines for testing, licencing and legislation of autonomous vehicle technology – requisite regulations for electric vehicles under development; and
• Final amendments to the Integrated Fare System Regulations to be gazetted in 2021 – enable the introduction of an integrated single ticketing system for public transport – system to operate on the Transaction Clearing House of the South African National Roads Agency.
The deputy minister of transport, Dikeledi Magadzi, during her Budget Vote Speech, referred to the Railway Safety Bill tabled in parliament in March 2021.
The deputy minister pointed out that the bill seeks among others to improve the safety of passengers and freight and to repeal the National Railway Safety Regulator Act.
The proposed legislation is aligned to the Draft White Paper on National Rail Policy and government’s plan to move passengers and freight from road to rail.
According to the department, once enacted, the bill will facilitate an improvement in general safety within the railway environment.
This will ensure that rail becomes an attractive mode of transport and contributes towards economic growth.
The bill seeks to:
• provide for the regulation of railway safety in the Republic;
• provide for the continued existence of the Railway Safety Regulator;
• provide for the board and governance structures of the Regulator;
• provide for railway safety permits;
• provide for railway safety critical grades and safety management systems;
• provide for a national railway safety information and monitoring system;
• provide for a legal framework to enforce compliance with the Act and to deal with railway occurrences;
• provide for an appeal mechanism;
• provide for transitional arrangements and the repeal of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
The portfolio committee on transport will process the bill.