Our Policies/The Efficient Society/
At a glance
1. ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
- A dedicated road maintenance fund sourced primarily from the fuel levy
- A percentage of toll road profits must go towards community development or to subsidise rural transport
- Mobile weighbridges to regulate and penalise overloading by heavy duty vehicles
2. ROAD SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT
- 2000 new trained traffic officers on the roads within 18 months
- A massive safety drive targeting motorists and scholars to reduce serious accidents by 25% per year.
3. PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- A state subsidy via a single, multi-use ticket applicable to all certified public transport users
- Prioritise dedicated IRT and BRT systems across the country in order to modernise our public transport systems and work with the private sector to maximise effectiveness and efficiency
4. RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE
- Accelerated refurbishment and modernisation programme involving all private sector coach builders
- Expanding the Railway Police Service to reduce crime in taxi ranks, bus and train stations
5. AVIATION and AIRPORTS
- An 'Open skies' policy on services to and from South Africa, including encouraging charter flights to satisfy peak demand
- Ensuring that ACSA provide adequate facilities for coaches and shuttle services
6. SEA PORTS
- Privatisation or concessioning of port operations to encourage lower costs and a higher level of service
- Investment in dry docks as viable ship repair stations for foreign vessels, particularly for West African Petrol trade
- Reducing container congestion through improved port efficiency
- Possible establishment of niche ports specialising in various locality-specific commodities
Documents to Download
- Transport policy.pdf (236 kb)
The extent to which people are able to use the opportunities available to them depends on how easily they are able to move around their city and their country. When they cannot move around freely and easily, their own life chances are reduced and South Africa as a whole suffers from these lost opportunities.
South Africa has a well developed road network, but it is deteriorating, particularly in the rural areas. Our rail network is also extensive, but poor management of this sector means there are fewer and fewer trains. Taxis are cheap, but unsafe, uncontrolled. Thus individual life chances and national goals are both constrained. A DA government will work to address these constraints and create a seamless, well managed and affordable transport network.
A DA-led administration will:
South Africa's road network is deteriorating because of inadequate funding and rising costs of construction and maintenance. The state has increasingly relied on private concessions to deal with this backlog, thus pricing road usage beyond what many can afford. The DA will:
- Establish a dedicated Road Maintenance Fund, sourced primarily from the fuel levy, which will enable South Africa to eliminate the R120bn maintenance backlog over six years.
- Ensure that if toll road concessions are to be considered, a percentage of their profits must go towards community development or a pool for subsidising rural transport.
The DA will investigate innovative alternatives to bitumen like reinforced concrete and paving stones for use on various road types. A range of semi skilled work opportunities could be created in construction, and adjoining communities or SMME's along the road servitudes could be allocated sections for upkeep and repairs.
Overloading by heavy duty vehicles is destroying our roads. The DA will introduce mobile weighbridges and implement stringent measures to catch and severely punish offenders. We will also introduce legislation to enforce the transport of certain categories of goods by rail.
South Africa's unacceptably high accident rate costs the economy dearly. A culture of safe driving must be entrenched through education, zero tolerance for dangerous driving and higher driver testing and enforcement standards.
The DA will:
- Recruit, train and accredit at least 2000 traffic officers at all levels of government to international norms and standards within 18 months and in so doing ensure optimum visible policing on all our roads.
- Introduce a massive safety drive levelled at motorists and scholars alike in order to reduce our accident rate by 25% per annum.
- Make peed control devices for heavy-duty and public passenger vehicles mandatory.
- Make daylight running lights on all vehicles mandatory.
- Re-introduce compulsory basic balance of third party insurance.
Our cities and towns are increasingly congested as a direct result of the lack of efficient and safe public transport. Taxis, which transport 60% of commuters in the country, are seen to be unsafe and passengers often become the victims of rivalry and internal feuding. Buses on the other hand, exist only in the larger cities and are often unreliable and in short supply. Railway services are still plagued by delays, crime and safety problems.
The government must be responsible for deciding what services are needed and where, and for regulating the operation of the system. But the DA will place the operation of public transport services largely in the hands of the private sector.
The DA will introduce a state subsidy through a single, multi-use ticket applicable to all certified public transport users to make transport more accessible to everyone.
Commuter Rail is key to reducing city congestion. The expansion of the network, and the introduction of new and speedier services, will be prioritised, particularly from high density residential areas and airports.
DA-led cities and towns will investigate the introduction and expansion of BRTs, Monorails, commuter light rail, and speed trains wherever feasible and sustainable.
While the State should retain ownership of the rail infrastructure, state-owned assets and operations should be transferred to the private sector or competent metros through privatisation and concession agreements.
Signal failures and cable theft are prevalent across the rail network. The system needs modernizing and exposed cables in vulnerable areas must be placed underground. To improve this situation, the DA will:
- Embark on an accelerated refurbishment and modernisation programme involving all the private sector coachbuilders. All new coach acquisitions must be supplied in kit form to enable assembly and material beneficiation to be optimised locally.
- Expand the recently introduced Railway Police Service to curb crime and vandalism on trains, at bus stations, taxi ranks and railway stations in a people friendly way.
Aviation and Airports
The key to success in air transport is healthy private sector competition, with the State being involved in regulating, supporting and managing aspects such as safety, licensing, noise control and the environment.
SAA and SAX hold a monopoly on international and domestic routes and they are a continued burden on State funding. The fleet selection appears inappropriate and technical skills shortages have resulted in their maintenance programmes being undertaken outside the country and lost job opportunities. Many delays in aircraft departures have been as a result of technical problems directly associated with capacity and skills shortages.
The DA believes:
- SAA, SAX and Mango should not dictate the size of the market and other players should be allowed to fill whatever gaps that exist due to SAA lack of capacity.
- SAA should be privatized, providing the right buyer can be found. In the meantime, opportunity exists for SAA to lease out or concession some of its fleet and routes to private airline companies.
- Air services to and from South Africa should be liberalized and charter flights encouraged to satisfy peak demands within an 'open skies' policy.
The main airports of the country are undergoing major expansion and refurbishment programmes linked to increased domestic airline use, the influx of overseas visitors and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With any expansion comes the increased management and security of passengers and services. South African airports are the front desk to tourism and the international investor.
The DA will ensure that:
- Passenger service levels at our airports are increased dramatically and improvements made to passport and immigration control, passenger check-in facilities, baggage control, apron services and security.
- As demand dictates, a new freight or passenger/freight airport is constructed in Gauteng to alleviate congestion.
- ACSA is encouraged to embark on a programme of selling off State shares to ensure its improvement in certain key areas of operation while becoming more service orientated.
- Freight capacity and systems are expanded and improved at all other airports.
In order to encourage lower costs and a higher level of service, port operations must be privatised, leased or concessioned.
The DA believes that, with a small amount of capital expenditure, existing dry docks and ship building yards could be resuscitated at some of our ports to re-establish them as an affordable destination for repairs and construction. In Table Bay a new dry dock will have to be built to handle bigger ships - in particular those servicing the West African petroleum industry.This opportunity will not only create jobs but also generate foreign earnings.
Paramount to port efficiency is vessel turnaround. This requires the correct and most suitable use of cranes for the type of cargo being handled. In this regard the DA will review all current cranes in use at our harbours to ensure their appropriateness and step up training in their use where applicable.
The DA will investigate the establishment of niche ports specializing in various commodities depending on their locality, including, for example, coal, vehicles, fruit and gas (we propose a dedicated gas terminal/port on the West Coast).
South Africans, individuals and businesses, have had to suffer the irritations, inconvenience and costs of a wholly inadequate transport system for far too long. They deserve better.
The Democratic Alliance will ensure that the investments and processes put in place to deliver a transport system which is safe, reliable and affordable, are prioritized with a view to ensuring maximum opportunities for all the people of South Africa.