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Single Transport Economic Regulator in the Pipeline

August 2, 2019

Department of Transport

2 August 2019

Legislation to set up a Single Transport Economic Regulator (STER) has been delayed by prolonged discussions with the public enterprises department and Nedlac.

The transport department revealed this in a briefing to the national council of provinces on its 2019/20 annual performance plan.

The plan is to now table the Draft STER Bill in parliament in the 2020/21 financial year.

Speaking during the department’s 2019 Budget Vote Speech in parliament last month, the transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, described economic regulation as an important lever in “delivering a transport system that enables economic activity and stimulate growth, by giving practical effect to our commitment to lowering the cost of doing business”.

“This starts with eliminating delays and cancellations in our commuter rail network so that those who rely on this mode to get to places of economic activity are able to maximise their productivity by being at work on time,” he said.

According to the minister, the envisaged Regulator will level the playing fields in the rail, maritime and roads sectors.

During the briefing, the department also announced that awareness campaigns on the Green Transport Strategy had been conducted in all provinces.

The strategy was approved at the end of last year.

Some of its objectives include helping the transport sector to contribute towards fighting climate change, promoting sustainable and cleaner mobility development and facilitating the transport sector’s transition to a low carbon economy and society.

The strategy deals with Transport-Related Environmental Taxation and Fiscal Policy Instruments, overview of the transport sector, strategic focus, strategic initiatives, communications strategy, sustainable transport programme, enablers and barriers and green transport funding.

The department also indicated that the Draft White Paper on the National Transport Policy has been approved for submission to cabinet.

A revised Draft White Paper was published for comment in March 2018.

The Draft Policy provides policy direction with regards to the development of the transport sector in line with National Development Frameworks, the New Growth Path and National Development Plan 2030.

It also aims to position transport as a means of improving South Africa’s competitiveness and that of its transport infrastructure and operations both locally and internationally.

Other legislative developments include that finalization of the Draft National Rail Bill is dependent on the approval of the National Rail Policy, the Draft Rail Safety Bill to be re-submitted to cabinet for approval in the current financial year, the Draft Air Services Bill to be tabled in cabinet in the 2020/21 financial year and a Draft Merchant Shipping Bill approved to be submitted to cabinet for approval.