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As members of parliament return to the national assembly for the first sitting of the third term, there is a new Minister at the helm of the Transport Department. It has come to the DA's attention that many programs in the Department have come to a standstill awaiting instructions from the new Ministerial team around policy direction and a programme of action.
The former Minister S’bu Ndebele left an avalanche of unfinished business which requires urgent attention from the newly appointed Ben Martins. The DA believes that the Minister should prioritise the following issues:
The unresolved Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and two court cases involving the E-toll debacle which are causing financial stress to the South African National Road Agency Limited (SANRAL).
The low passenger numbers on the Gautrain (38 000 per day) and Gautrain busses resulting in losses of over R300 million, over the past financial year, which the taxpayer has to fund.
The 2700 kilometres of Eastern Cape provincial roads needing urgent repair or replacement were transferred to the SANRAL without funding - this amounts to an unfunded mandate for SANRAL which has no money to do the work.
The bankruptcy of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) after R200 million was misspent.
Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) is slowly becoming bankrupt as the costs for collection of traffic fines are higher than the income received from the actual fines.
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is in need of an urgent review. It's debt has grown by R1.6 Billion to R42 Billion in the past year and now has an extra R1.3 Billion debt to deal with arising from urgent amendments before parliament
The increasing Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) fees causing air traffic to divert to airports elsewhere such as Maputo.
The unbudgeted costs related to rescuing ships in trouble or ships stranded on our shoreline.
The collapsing service of Metrorail due to a decade of poor maintenance on their rolling stock.
The high number of un-roadworthy busses and taxis leading to large number of recent road crashes, deaths and serious injuries.
We want to start seeing strong action from Minister Martins on these issues and will ask for a briefing from his department to the Portfolio Committee on Transport on its strategic direction.