Department of Transport
12 November 2019
Continued consultations with key stakeholders to provide clarity and direction on the aim of the Single Transport Regulator (STER) Bill will be undertaken.
The transport department confirmed this during a briefing to the national council of provinces on its annual report for 2018/19.
Earlier this year, during a briefing on its annual performance plan for 2019/20, the department indicated that proposed legislation to set up a Single Transport Economic Regulator has been delayed by prolonged discussions with the public enterprises department and Nedlac.
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 July 2019, 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 annual report briefing, the department pointed out that a Draft National Rail Bill had been developed but not submitted to Cabinet as planned.
Continued engagements with the public enterprises department and national treasury will take place in finalising the draft bill.
The department also indicated that regulations for the Airports Company Amendment Bill and Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Amendment Bill will be developed once the legislative process for both bills is completed. Both bills are currently before the national assembly.
Stakeholder consultations on the Draft Air Services Bill will be speeded up and finalised in the 2019/20 financial year.
The department also highlighted 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 developments highlighted include the Draft Railway Safety Bill submitted and presented to the FOSAD Cluster and subsequently approved for submission to cabinet; Draft Roads Policy finalised and approved for tabling in cabinet; Draft Merchant Shipping Bill finalised and approved for tabling in cabinet and the Draft Transport Appeal Tribunal Amendment Bill approved for submission to cabinet.