National Council of Provinces - 28 May 2008

WEDNESDAY, 28 MAY 2008 __


The Council met at 14:03.

The Acting Chairperson took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.



The ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): Hon members, I would like to welcome to the plenary this afternoon the national Minister of Transport, hon J T Radebe. Welcome, sir, and I welcome all other Premiers or Acting Premiers. Thank you.

                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr M A MZIZI: Acting Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the NCOP, I shall move on behalf of the IFP:

That the Council -:

  1) notes that Thulani Ndlovu of Swanieville on the West Rand began his
     application for an ID in 1997 and has still not received this
     important document to date, despite submitting the required papers;

  2) further notes that the excuses given by the Department of Home
     Affairs for not issuing the ID include that he has two mothers and
     that his ID number had been issued and was being used by another

  3) realises that because of the incompetence of the Department of Home
     Affairs, Mr Ndlovu’s life has been put on hold and that he cannot
     even get permanent employment or buy a house because he has no ID;

  4) acknowledges that the incompetence within the various Home Affairs
     offices has disrupted lives and inconvenienced many South Africans;

  5) pleads with the relevant authorities and stakeholders to come
     together and find solutions to correct the situation within these
     offices in order to minimise the disruptions that people have to
     suffer because of incompetent officials within these offices.

Mr E M SOGONI: Acting Chairperson, I want to move:

That the Council –

  1) notes that on 28 May 2008 the Pretoria High Court ruled against a
     Johannesburg businessman Hugh Glenister on his application to
     prevent the disbanding of the Scorpions;

  2) further notes that, in dismissing the case, High Court Judge Willie
     van der Merwe specified in no uncertain terms that the court did
     not have the jurisdiction to decide on the matter, which is, by
     virtue of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, a
     responsibility and jurisdiction of Parliament; and

  3) takes this opportunity to request all structures of government and
     Parliament to put the wheels in motion to implement the decision of
     the 52nd ANC National Conference which was held in Polokwane, to
     disestablish the Scorpions in their present form.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Vote No 33 – Transport: The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Hon members, firstly, let me take this opportunity to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families and friends of the 28 people who were killed in a bus accident between Cedarville and Matatiele in the Eastern Cape yesterday morning. I also want to compliment the hard work of the emergency services, Metro Police and South African Police Service for their diligent work at the scene of the accident.

This accident once again illustrates the need for motorists to exercise extreme caution at all times. This matter points to the urgency of our implementation of the Road Safety Strategy. This strategy aims at prioritising law enforcement in public transport with the Road Traffic Management Corporation at the helm of that initiative and focusing on roadworthiness of vehicles. Chairperson, can I propose that this House stand for a moment of silence in memory of the deceased?

Last week I had the opportunity to address the Budget Vote for Transport in the National Assembly, and the copies of that speech have been distributed to members of the NCOP for their convenience. In summary, my address gave a comprehensive progress report on three specific priorities that we set ourselves after the third democratic elections in 2004. This was also reaffirmed by the ANC’s national conference in Polokwane, giving effect and clarity to both our political and electoral mandate as the ruling party.

We set as our priorities, firstly, the improvement of our public transport system to benefit the rural and urban poor; secondly, the acceleration of infrastructure development both as an instrument of growth and as an employment driver; and finally, the improvement of safety and security within the transport sector.

However, as you may have noticed, the theme throughout my address was our state of readiness in preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but also the lasting legacy this will have on improving our public transport system and infrastructure.

I need not remind this House that transport holds the key to economic growth in the country or in any country for that matter, because without the means and capacity to move people and goods efficiently, economic growth can only be a dream. On the other hand, our social role is to provide for the transport needs of our people on an affordable basis, whilst we also address the gross distortions inherited from the apartheid government with regards to disproportionate development. Therefore, we continue to be of the firm view that transport is indeed the heartbeat of our economy.

My intention this afternoon is not to traverse the same topics in the same detail as last week. I rather seek to highlight a few pertinent activities and challenges of the transport sector that require the direction and attention of provincial, metro and local governments. Put frankly, the Constitution of our Republic defines certain aspects of transport as a responsibility that cuts across all spheres of government which places the responsibility of an integrated, efficient and reliable transport system squarely on all of us.

Today I will confine my input to the most critical areas of our work, namely, the 2010 transport preparations, public transport, road and aviation infrastructure, rural transport and freight logistics. I am pleased to report that the majority of the 2010-related projects are on track and will be concluded before or on time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. All host cities have already started with their work and the investment for the 2010 projects through the Public Transport Infrastructure Fund, PTIF, has also increased from R9,2 billion to R13,6 billion in the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework that is ending in March 2011. This is in line with our objectives of wanting to achieve a lasting legacy to improve the socioeconomic conditions of our people.

We have also undertaken major initiatives in all spheres of government in preparation for the 2010 World Cup, as guided by the Public Transport Strategy and Action Plan for the realisation of a mass, rapid and efficient public transport network. For instance, construction is far advanced with regards to the Johannesburg Phase 1 of the Bus Rapid Transit, which links Soweto, Nazrec, the central business district, Ellis Park, Sandton and Alexandra.

Also, in Nelson Mandela Bay the Bus Rapid Transit system that links Motherwell and New Brighton with the central business district and the suburbs is at an advanced stage.

Finally, the Cape Town project which provides rapid transit services within the inner city and to the airport and also to the West Coast is also on track, thus providing badly needed public transport connections to communities such as Atlantis, Du Noon and Joe Slovo.

The aviation sector is also critical, particularly in our ability to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Construction at our airports, particularly those that will be directly affected by World Cup soccer activities, is progressing very well. Passenger traffic across the access network of 10 airports continues to surge, and is estimated to rise from the current 32,8 million passengers in 2006 to reach over 43 million per annum by 2010.

Meeting this growth in passenger demand has necessitated enormous investment in airport infrastructure. On the back of strong economic performance, passenger demand has largely been driven by the entry of low- cost carriers into a market where a growing proportion of the population can now afford air travel.

The central terminal building at O R Tambo International Airport the central terminal building has a budget of R2,3 billion; the upgrade of the international departures terminal, R105 million; the second multistorey parkade, R486 million; the remote aircraft aprons, R840 million; and the International Pier, R535 million. The central terminal building linking the current domestic and international terminals at O R Tambo and the reconfiguration and upgrade of the international arrival and departure areas is currently under construction.

The central building project is scheduled for final completion by the end of 2009, six months before the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The central building terminal will also be connected to the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link for easy access to train transportation to Johannesburg, Sandton and Tshwane.

At Cape Town International Airport we have two main projects, the central terminal building with a budget of R1,5 billion and the second multistorey parkade with a budget of R394 million. Airports Company South Africa, Acsa, is also developing a new greenfield international airport at La Mercy at a cost of R6,7 billion. We are also busy with runway and terminal refurbishments at Bloemfontein Airport at a cost of R121 million and R49 million respectively. There is also a terminal upgrade in East London of R98 million as well as runway refurbishments in Port Elizabeth to the value of R68 million.

All these efforts are aimed at enhancing the value of public transport and therefore help reduce traffic congestion on our roads. The escalating price of fuel also means we have a duty to lighten the heavy burden this has on the income of our people by providing them with efficient public transport. We have no doubt that our approach of an integrated, intermodal transport system will ensure this, with the taxi industry playing a very important role.

Let me also reiterate that the scrapping of old taxi vehicles is well on track. The outlook per province indicates that in the Eastern Cape we have scrapped 2 502 old taxis, 1 503 in Free State, 1 435 in Gauteng, 1 559 in KwaZulu-Natal, 2 301 in Limpopo, 223 in Northern Cape, 1 262 in Mpumalanga, 2 398 in North West and 350 in the Western Cape. This brings the total to 13 533 old taxis already scrapped. The amount of R676 million has also been paid to taxi operators as a scrapping allowance.

Currently, we are processing more than 25 679 applications for scrapping purposes. Let me also mention that the provincial Operating License Boards have approved more than 86 000 operating licences for taxi operators and we have concluded a turnaround strategy for Operating Licence Boards which will improve service delivery.

Regarding the Passenger Rail Service, I’m pleased to announce that both Metrorail and the South African Rail Commuter Corporation, SARCC, are being merged with Shosholoza Meyl as a way of reorganising our commuter service. We are far advanced with the process of bringing Shosholoza Meyl into Metrorail with the finalisation of the sale of business agreement with Transnet. The new entity will rationalise institutional operational arrangements and administrative structures, primarily to deliver its core mandate more clearly with no confusion about where responsibility lies for the provision of commuter passenger rail services.

A number of upgrading works on stations, rail track, signalling and rolling stock are proceeding in all SARCC’s areas of responsibility. As government we have also increased funding for passenger rail services to the tune of R18 billion over the MTEF period. This funding is vital for the turnaround strategy being implemented by the SA Rail Commuter Corporation SARCC, aimed at immediate and significant improvements through the upgrading of the current rolling stock fleet and the upgrading of the signalling infrastructure.

I’m aware that our metros and provinces have raised concerns in the past that there were no plans to upgrade the railway system. I wish to allay their fears and state that government has given clear instructions to SARCC to upgrade and strengthen the capacity of our rail system. Out of the 700 coaches to be upgraded this financial year, I’m satisfied that there is a fair balance in increasing the capacity of Metrorail in all the metropolitan areas.

The allocation for the Western Cape is 165 coaches at a cost of R400 million, which amounts to an additional 14 train sets to the 122 coaches or 10 sets introduced last year. For the Wits region in Gauteng, the allocation is 264 coaches at a cost of R460 million, which will mean an additional 20 train sets to the 194 coaches or 14 train sets reintroduced in this financial year. The allocated coaches for Tshwane is 115, which amounts to an additional eight train sets at a cost of R230 million compared to the 81 coaches or six train sets reintroduced last year.

The Eastern Cape, which remains the smallest operation of Metrorail, is allocated 24 coaches, which is an additional three train sets to the eight coaches. The SA Rail Commuter Co-operation, SARCC, experienced huge backlogs in its Durban Metropolitan area in terms of the upgrade and general overhaul of coaches. The allocation for Durban this year is 108 coaches, an additional eight train sets at a cost of R365 million to last year’s 87 coaches or seven train sets.

Personal safety continues to be treated as a priority to ensure that rail regains its market share in the public transport sector. Our co-operation agreement with the SA Police Service has seen the roll-out of more than 2000 railway police officers in various provinces which has produced more than 15 contact points throughout the country, and has contributed to the reduction of security incidents as well as the crime rate by 37,5%. Our plan is to ensure that 5 000 police personnel are deployed in our trains by 2010.

The department has also made impressive progress with the implementation of the Priority Rail Corridor Strategy for commuter rail performance. Our aim is to focus our rail resources on those corridors where rail transport has a clear comparative advantage, with high volume movement coinciding with corridors of preferred future development in line with the long-term Spatial Development Framework.

Two major projects in this category are the extension of the Khayelitsha Rail Line currently in progress and the Moloto Rail Corridor Development to be implemented jointly with the Mpumalanga government. The Moloto Rail Corridor Development was approved by the Cabinet in March this year, following a feasibility study. This project transverses three provinces, namely Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng and nine districts, metropolitan and local municipalities.

My department is in the process of establishing a project management office to implement this project which will entail the construction of approximately 100km of rail line from Mpumalanga into Tshwane in Gauteng, at a cost of approximately R8,9 billion.

Cabinet has also identified the integration of the Gautrain project, with which most of you are familiar, into the urban fabric and the surrounding public and private transport systems as an essential requirement for the project to fully realise its developmental and transport-related goals. This includes the integration of Gautrain with the Bus Rapid Transit systems in both Tshwane and Johannesburg.

As a result, I have requested my counterpart in the Gauteng department, Ignatius Jacobs, to establish a Gautrain Public Transport Integration Committee comprising the three metros of Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni as well as the Rail Commuter Corporation so that we can integrate these effectively.

Hon members, the issue of road infrastructure in our country also remains a critical area of our transport system. It is a well-known fact that provinces are facing serious challenges in dealing with road maintenance and rehabilitation backlogs due to fluctuations in budget allocations. However, there seems to be a clear, gradual increase in budget allocations for roads infrastructure across all spheres of government.

According to the Budget Review by the National Treasury, the provinces increased their spending on road infrastructure by 15,1% annually between 2003 and 2006, and the spending is set to increase by 13,6% from 2007 to reach R13,4 billion by 2009. In addition, an amount of R3,5 billion in the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, has been allocated to provinces through the Provincial Infrastructure Grant. Provinces received in total R588 million in the 2007-08 financial year with R805 million allocated for the current financial year and R1,6 billion in the coming financial year. This has also resulted in a marked turnaround in spending on roads, and the provinces account for most of this spending.

At a national level, our three concession contracts, the N3, N4 Platinum Corridor and the N4 Maputo Development Corridor, continue to facilitate improved trade, tourism and regional inter-governmental relations thus providing faster, safer and more reliable transport, as well as building the economy of our country.

The SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, will continue with its public- private partnership concession programme. It is currently developing the N2 Wild Coast Toll Highway, worth R3 billion; the N1-N2 Winelands Toll Highway, worth R3,5 billion; the R300 Cape Town Ring Toll Highway, worth R2,5 billion; and the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme, worth R23 billion.

The challenge remains our ability to fund the continuity of maintenance of our road infrastructure and the shortage of skills at the provincial and local levels. Part of the solution is our continued engagement of the private sector to source necessary funding as well as the development of retention strategies for our skilled work-force.

Notwithstanding these budgetary constraints, most provinces were able to achieve commendable results with the development of community access roads through labour-intensive construction, particularly through the Expanded Public Works Programme. The R3,5 billion mentioned has played an important role in employment creation within areas such as Zibambele in KwaZulu- Natal, Siyatentela in Mpumalanga, and Zivuseni in Gauteng which are labour- based construction programmes, which are examples of key successes of community-based road programmes under the EPWP.

The impact of transport in the deep rural areas which are isolated from major roads and rail routes is also of paramount importance. We firmly believe that our rural transport strategy approved by Cabinet in December last year is central to the promotion of mobility in these areas. We have targeted areas such as the Sekhukhune, O R Tambo and Chris Hani Districts for a number of nonmotorised transport initiatives, including infrastructure as well as freight logistics.

We are already conducting a rural transport development mapping project with the intention of demonstrating through information maps the co- ordination of service delivery within nodal points and economic hubs. This is already assisting us in the district-wide planning, implementation and investment of an infrastructure intermodal public transport facility in the Chris Hani District; the pedestrian and bicycle bridge underway in Thabo Mofutsanyane in the Free State; the rural transport brokerage system in O R Tambo district; and a taxi rank in Jozini in Umkhanyakude in KwaZulu-Natal; as well as access road maintenance in Sekhukhune and Bophirima.

The Shova Kalula Bicycle Project is also making substantial progress. We have already appointed a company to distribute 26 100 bicycles in South Africa. The first batch of bicycles has already been distributed and others will follow in August this year with the aim of ensuring that by 2009 we will have distributed 46 100 bicycles.

In conclusion, as you are well aware, we are currently implementing the National Freight Logistics Strategy in order to integrate the first and second economies, as well as support the integration of marginalised local economies with the main logistics corridors. The question we are trying to answer is: How do we improve the efficiency of our corridors and rail capacity for an improved performance of economies? Through our strategy, we have begun to ensure an increase in traffic, volumes and changes in the nature of rail freight cargo, particularly with huge improvements to the rail infrastructure and rolling stock.

We have, for instance, invested millions of rands in the branch lines such as the Kei Rail between Mthatha and East London in the Eastern Cape, Nkwalini in KwaZulu-Natal and the Douglas-Belmont area in the Northern Cape, by way of investing in the rural and second economy interventions and in the integration of first and second economy transport networks.

Hon members, I have touched on a few issues in a complex and rapidly dynamic portfolio. The challenges posed by transport issues essentially underpin the challenges faced by our economy at large, hence their resolution will have an immediate impact on our overall economic development. I look forward to the debate and will respond accordingly to other issues in my closing remarks.

Thank you. [Applause.]

The ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): I thank the hon Minister of Transport for his opening words to the debate, and I now call upon the hon Tau, chairperson of the Select Committee on Public Services, to continue the debate.

Mr R J TAU: Chairperson, I am seriously in a disadvantaged situation. I made a mistake by allowing the hon Sullivan to have access to my speech; so much so that he is now advising me to move for the adoption of the Budget Vote and then go and sit down. I said no, it would not be correct for me to do that because it is important that, as we engage, we need to raise some of these things consistently. And of course, one of the things that reminds or takes one back is what exactly happened in the Eastern Cape.

Hon Chair, hon Minister, hon MEC and hon members, that is where one would pause and speak on issues related to rural transport. It is quite clear that community roads, tracks, paths and footbridges make up the local transport infrastructure system by means of which rural dwellers gain access to markets and social services, and women transport their loads such as firewood and water for household needs. Farmers walk to and from their fields on paths, and these paths constitute the first and the last leg of most trips to the market and towns. Yet, although these modest infrastructures are the major circulatory system in rural Africa and, of course, in our country, this in itself comes from a very important document, the Rural Integrated Infrastructure Plan of the department, which makes these observations.

As a committee, we have reflected on this and said that this is a very important observation made by the department, because for a very long time it has been a cry from this House that in most instances one will find that when the NCOP takes Parliament to the people, we always target provinces and especially rural areas or those areas that are on the periphery of our country’s economy.

In the main, we find that the roads in these rural areas are in such a bad state that even those women we met in KwaZulu-Natal, who were ploughing on their own having established their own co-operatives, did not have and could not walk on a path to take their amadumbe to the market. It was very difficult and quite frustrating for them, because the instruments or the infrastructure they used did not even allow them to cross a small bridge in order for their products to reach the market.

It is in that context that not only are we talking about those particular women, but we are also talking about children who have to cross bridges or rivers in order to go to school. It was our experience once again in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo that one would find a situation where young people, and in particular girl-children would have to undress to cross the bridge in order to go to school and then only be able to dress on the other side of the bridge.

The other day we were engaged in a policy debate on Public Works and this is one of the issues that came out of that debate. We sharply raised this matter in relation to the infrastructure in the rural areas, particularly the roads. I think it is important that we share this view with the Minister, because what the Minister said in that particular debate is that there is nothing wrong and the Department of Public Works is always committed and ready to deliver the product, but what then comes out is that the client departments, whether it be Housing, Transport or Education, always delay their submissions on the products they want or what their needs are to the department. As a result we find that the department delays the implementation of the kinds of programmes that they are supposed to implement. I thought it is quite opportune to raise this issue, and that part of solving these problems is that there must be better co-ordination between the departments.

We know, of course, with regard to transport under the Expanded Public Works Programme those additional allocations for maintenance of roads through the upscaling of the EPWP would be used as a starting point in addressing the challenges of maintenance, especially road maintenance. The added advantage, of course, as noted, lies in the fact that there is more potential for longer-term, more sustainable employment, although we note that this kind of road maintenance programme is only for a limited period. A case in point that we have observed is the Zibambele routine road maintenance programme in KwaZulu-Natal.

We, as a committee, throughout our oversight, have tried our best - and maybe the Minister could also play a very strategic role in engaging the MECs in the provinces and so forth - to project the Zibambele project as a model project for long-term job creation and sustainability, because the EPWP is construed as this short-term job creation project and so forth. But we don’t look at the things we can do to ensure that we sustain these programmes to translate into long-term job creation and through that maintain, sustain and develop further the skills that young people and women would benefit from.

However, given the wide range of capacity at municipal level to absorb the additional funding that will be allocated, it is proposed that at this stage the municipalities should apply for funds for scaling up the EPWP through the provinces. At national level, the SA National Roads Agency Limited, Sanral, will be required to allocate more resources to their fiscal allocation for job creation through labour-intensive methods and so forth.

It is important once again that one must raise an issue here for which we need to thank the department, and I do so now in my capacity as a permanent delegate from the Northern Cape. For a very long time we have consistently been using this platform to raise the issue of the state of the N12 road, and I can proudly say today that the road has not only been resealed, but it has also been reconstructed.

Daardie hele pad is opgekap en daar is ’n nuwe pad. [The entire old road was broken up and now there is a new one.]

I think it is a very important issue that we need to observe and reflect upon. [Laughter.] But, in the same breath, let me also mention that during a policy debate last year the Minister made some very important interventionist pronouncements in terms of economic development in the Northern Cape. One such was the upgrading of the rural rail and an example of the De Aar network - where you come from, Madam Chair. We then went back to the region and the district and proudly reported that the Minister had said that a certain amount of money was being allocated for this kind of project. But unfortunately today I can no longer drive to Kimberley but rather have to fly, because I don’t want to be stopped in De Aar and asked where the project is and what is happening. The Minister probably would be able to shed some light on that particular matter so that we can report back on these issues.

I think it would also befit me to use this platform to say once again with regard to the issue of the EPWP that it is important for us to re-emphasise or echo, during this Budget Vote, the sentiments of this House on the xenophobic attacks that have been launched in our country against our foreign nationals in the name of their taking our jobs, houses, our wives and raping and abusing our children.

We say that this government, through the Department of Transport, of course at a cluster level together with the Department of Public Works, has initiated programmes, whether for the short or long term, to develop the capacity and skills of young people, to try and absorb young people and women into the issues related to job creation and economic development. Our young people and young women have not taken advantage of these situations and as a result they cry foul and make excuses about acting against people who have made an effort on their own to do something for themselves and to be better people in this country.

Lastly, as I conclude, hon Minister, we noted yesterday and even previously that there has been underspending within the department. And something quite interesting happened while we were engaging with the department. Mention was made of about R200 million, and members of the committee just could not understand what this R200 million was all about.

I remember the hon Minister saying to the director-general that when you talk of an underexpenditure that accounts for about 1,3% of the total budget of the Department of Transport, or R200 million being underspent, an ordinary member or a backbencher of the ANC in this Parliament imagines a million - how much a million is.

Of course, an explanation is given but it is probably an issue that we need to look at because the view of the committee is that R200 underexpenditure is just too much. Chair, before you call me to stop, let me thank you.

Mr P McKENZIE (Western Cape): Chair, thank you once again for the opportunity that I have to be in your House and be able to address you. From the Western Cape’s side, we want to thank the Minister and his department for their contributions in the Western Cape. We really appreciate that. Furthermore, I just want to elaborate on some of the things that the Minister spoke about.

I want to start with the rail service. The rail service in the Cape Town Metro, of course, plays a very big role in transporting hundreds of thousands of working families from their homes to their places of work and back again. The success of the Khayelitsha Express has proven that all members of our society can use an efficient rail service.

In August this year we will introduce the Northern Express that will run from the Strand through Firgrove, Eerste River and Kuils River to Cape Town. This service will reduce travelling time by 30 minutes. This initiative will be followed by the introduction of the Southern Express which will run from Simonstown to Cape Town.

The rural areas have not been left out of plans to improve our rail travel. We have increased the service from Malmesbury to Cape Town to two trains per day. From Worcester to Cape Town, there are two trains per day. We also undertook the construction of ablution and platform facilities at Gouda Station. This will be completed this year still. We have also undertaken the progressive construction at seven other railway stations where no ablution and platform facilities exist. In addition, we will complete the Khayelitsha Rail Extension by September 2008.

We are strongly looking at the introduction of the first passenger rail service to the Atlantis area. Inspection of the rail line has been conducted and plans are in a well-advanced stage to ensure that this takes place.

The Minister has mentioned the rolling stock. Let me say how this will affect us here in the City of Cape Town: 181 coaches will be refurbished in 2008-09 and 220 in the 2009-10 financial year. Furthermore, to enhance safety and security on trains and train stations, 540 rail police personnel have been deployed. Nine hundred contract security staff personnel have been appointed and 350 community volunteers have been recruited - all that to make our travelling much safer here in the Western Cape.

Regarding the issue of road-based transport - I know that a lot of people, even members of this House, don’t like it – the bus lanes are fully operational and more than 12 000 fines have already been issued. We are now seriously considering the introduction of the High Occupancy Vehicle Lane for vehicles of three or more passengers during peak hours in the Western Cape. Other good news is that we will not be increasing the licensing fees in this or the following financial year.

Income from licence fees remains one of the province’s biggest sources of revenue and largely serves to keep our road network in a sterling condition. Our traffic management branch collected R794 million in licence fees. I am confident that we will reach our target of R800 million in this financial year. We are in the process of developing a Service Level Agreement with all registering authorities to improve service delivery with regard to registration and the licensing of vehicles. We want to set minimum hours of operation at all registering authorities in the municipalities.

We will also be opening a new Driving Licence Testing Centre, DLTC, in Mitchells Plain next month in an attempt to reduce the congestion at DLTCs around the metro. I need to mention that the Electronic Licensing Booking System has substantially reduced waiting periods for driving licence tests. This successful system will be rolled out to all the DLTCs by the end of the second quarter of this financial year. The department is busy with the implementation of the recommendations of the commission of inquiry that includes improving the system and service at the new Athlone Shared Service Centre to support access to improved services.

The construction of the R120 million Public Transport Shared Services Centre in Athlone due for completion in May 2009 is continuing. This unique project will create work opportunities for the unemployed in our townships of Heideveld, Bonteheuwel, Langa, Athlone, Kewtown, Bishop Levis, Parktown, Gugulethu and Manenberg.

As far as roads are concerned, the Koeberg Interchange upgrade where the M1 is linked to M5 provides us with another opportunity to intensify our goals of social and economic transformation. The Koeberg Interchange upgrade will be undertaken to the value of R705 million and this will be completed in August 2011. Phase 1, which is valued at R600 million, commenced in April this year and is being used as a pilot implementation for the Affirmative Procurement Policy that will see targeted local labour, more aggressive procurement of raw materials from suppliers with BEE status one to four and at least 20% BEE and 50% of all other procurement from targeted enterprises. This project will also see the ramp linking the N1 and the M5 complete for the World Cup by 2010.

Some other road infrastructure projects for this coming year which may be of interest to you is the N2 Somerset and the Sir Lowry’s Pass Phase one and the upgrading of the road to a surface road of a total length of 5,53 km with an estimated investment of R168 million. The value of the second phase of the Gansbaai-Elim project, where the total length of the road is 36,5 km, ranges from R10 million to R40 million. Projects to the value of R53 million are planned for the 2008-09 financial year in the West Coast region of our province.

Five projects have been identified in the different community areas of Wuppertal over a period of three years totalling R23,3 million. These projects include the upgrading of access roads in the area. It is estimated that a total of 280 jobs will be created which is equals to 56 000 person days. The rehabilitation and resealing of the Doornbaai road towards Strandfontein on the West Coast is to be completed over a period of three years. The project consists of resealing of 16 km at a total cost of R12,7 million. An estimated 150 jobs will be created on this project with a total of 30 000 person days. The fencing of 16km of road on both sides will amount to R2 million with an additional 24 jobs and 4 700 person days will be created. The rehabilitation of 2km of the Hopefield Road will be done over three years with a total cost of R2,5 million. An estimated 30 jobs and 6 000 person days will be created.

We can also share with you that the upgrading of Eendekuil Road towards the N7 will be completed in the next financial year at an estimated cost of R13 million. Here we are providing an estimate of 150 jobs. I want to say that all of this has been because of the efforts that the Minister and his department have put in. We are ever so grateful. Thank you.

Mr G R KRUMBOCK: Thank you, Deputy Chairperson. I listened carefully to Minister Radebe’s address to the National Assembly on 20 May 2008, particularly to the points that impacted on the 2010 Fifa World Cup. I was hoping for reassurance that the vital aspect of transport won’t let the side down, so to speak, when we host this magnificent event - the premier sporting event of the world.

Nothing is more important to me than for South Africa to be able to hold its head high in 2010, because if there is anything that I am as passionate about as my country, it is, indeed, the beautiful game … Phambili, Aaron Mokoena! Phambili Bafana Bafana, Phambili! [Forward, Aaron Mokwena! Forward, Bafana Bafana, forward!]

Hon MEMBERS: Phambili! [Forward!]

Mr G R KRUMBOCK: And of course, I heard the Minister say a number of very positive things that should pave the way for a smooth and successful transport system, come 2010. But for very good reasons, I don’t share the Minister’s confidence, or is it a show of confidence, that the route to our goal is as trouble free as he suggests. Let me address some of these: The Minister told Parliament that by the end of 2010 South Africa will boast a transport system and services that rank among the best in the world. All South Africans will fervently hope that this is so.

However, the facts that don’t inspire faith in this lofty claim are as follows: The much-vaunted R7,7 billion taxi recapitalisation and scrapping programme is currently on hold. Even if this is reignited soon, with the department’s revised reduced annual budget, it will still take 15 years for the SA National Taxi Council’s 160 000 members to undergo the process. The confusion surrounding the role of the taxi industry for the World Cup and the likelihood of a head-on collision with local bus rapid transit initiatives is problematic. The fact is that the sustainability of both the taxi industry and the new BRT system needs to be seriously addressed. Thankfully, I understand that the hon Minister is now looking at ways of integrating these affected taxi owners into the BRT system, and I thank him for this positive intervention.

There is such a serious mounting backlog on road maintenance programmes, estimated informally by the DA to be around R200 billion, that in time more and more of our roads will deteriorate beyond repair. This will not serve to reduce the horrific 12 000 road deaths and injuries that occur on South Africa’s roads every year - a problematic statistic for prospective visitors. Indeed, the Department of Transport has admitted that only 2 300km of our 5 300km national road network can be maintained over the next five years and can therefore only meet 43% of its maintenance obligations.

The challenge is even more acute when one considers the exodus of road engineers, technicians and contractors and that we have vacancies at municipal level of civil engineers averaging 35%. The state of our roads has far-reaching and expensive consequences, not least, the spectre of the courts awarding millions of rands to the owners of vehicles damaged on neglected state roads, as happened earlier this month in the Eastern Cape.

The cost of the troublesome Gautrain project continues to rise with alarming regularity. In his speech to the NA, the Minister referred to the latest R25 billion cost of this project - a far cry from the R13 billion estimated at its inception.

Minister, earlier this month a visiting Waratahs rugby team had no less than 15 out of 16 pieces of luggage stolen in transit. Baggage losses have been a national embarrassment for years with officialdom oblivious or in denial with respect to the extent of the problem. We will become an international laughing stock if a similar fate should befall Bafana Bafana, the current world champions, Italy or indeed any team taking part in the World Cup. It is time to blow the whistle on those responsible before we are buried in a deluge of our own goals under the unforgiving glare of international attention and ridicule.

The present state of the Operating Licence Boards has proved to be a disaster causing massive delays for operators waiting to have their vehicles registered, and more specifically, it is impacting on the 3 000 buses to be transferred from Autopax or sold to the department for the World Cup.

Minister, we reiterate that if the transport aspects of the Fifa World Cup are to run successfully, then all nine host cities and provincial transport plans need to be integrated with their roles clearly defined and aligned with national and departmental initiatives. It is these worrying factors that are so reminiscent of the denial and misplaced bravado that characterises this administration that cause concern. The ANC must accept that they are judged by their record of action and in this department this record has not inspired the confidence displayed by the Minister.

The DA has made very clear proposals on how some of these problems can be rectified, even at this relatively late stage, to avoid South Africa being red-carded on the international field in 2010. I hope that I am proved wrong when 2010 comes around and that we pull off the greatest triumph in football history. Nothing will please me more than to see the ruling party take steps now to guarantee the success of 2010.

The most gratifying legacy of the Minister and his department would be a better and safer, affordable and efficient transport system, service and infrastructure that serve South African motorists and road users long after the sounds of the vuvuzela fade. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr A T MANYOSI: House Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members and officials, I have been asked by the Eastern Cape MEC for Safety, Liaison, Roads and Transport to present his speech in this House today. Wherever I use “me”, I mean him; and when I use “we”, I also mean members of this House who ran to other provinces.

Let me take this opportunity to commend the national Department of Transport for its continuous support to provinces, with regard to matters of public transport and roads infrastructure. The challenge that continues to haunt our freedom and democracy is the limited access that our people, especially in the rural communities, have to a safe, accessible, reliable, and affordable public transport system.

In the Eastern Cape we have set ourselves clear targets that will assist us to turning the situation around. As the Minister indicated, statistics show that the Eastern Cape is leading in the Taxi Recapitalisation Project and we remain committed to ensuring that we mobilise the taxi industry in the province to support this initiative.

With regard to bus services, we are making visible and decisive interventions in the former Transkei region in an effort to provide a lasting solution to the public transport challenges by investing R944 million in a small black bus operator company, known as Africa’s Best 350 Ltd, over a period of seven years.

We are intervening in partnership with a financing consortium which comprises the Scania Finance contributing R32 million, the Industrial Development Corporation contributing R15,5 million, the Development Bank of Southern Africa contributing R10 million, the National Empowerment Fund contributing R3,5 million, and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation contributing R2,5 million.

I now want to deal with rail transport. Three months ago we launched the Kei rail weekend passenger service between East London and Mthatha, which is a milestone in our quest to go back to rail. The latest trends show that 240 passengers are transported between East London and Mthatha every Saturday and 260 passengers on Sundays at a cost of R30 per trip. A taxi trip between Mthatha and East London costs R80.

Last month the Phelophepa train serviced the rural communities along the Kei Rail Line by bringing cost-effective medical services with the assistance of the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport. We intend to introduce a regular services train where our people can also access government services inside our trains. This will be done together with other government departments.

Due to the popularity of this service and pressure of demand from members of the community, we will introduce a daily service for the Kei Rail Line as from 1 August 2008. This service will link with the Shosholoza Meyl train service that operates between East London and Johannesburg daily except for Wednesdays and Saturdays. This service will also operate at night on Fridays and Sundays to accommodate the demand from commuters.

Later this year we will commence a freight service on the Kei Rail Line and we are currently in discussion with various interested organisations and companies that want to collect or deliver their freight at Mthatha station. Our main targets include timber, cement, fuel, agricultural products, etc. In response to government’s new approach on branch line revitalisation, we are currently concluding our 10-year provincial rail plan, which is going to guide our back-to-rail strategy.

With regard to the Blue Skyway Aviation Strategy, since its introduction by the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport in 2006, a lot of work has been done in an effort to maximise the potential of the Bisho and Mthatha airports and bring new life to the rural airstrips within the province.

The main objective of this strategy is to ensure adherence to national policy, where it is stated that government should not be involved in operating airports, but should encourage private-sector involvement. Government, however, remains responsible for ensuring that airports contribute to the socioeconomic development of the area.

This week Bisho Airport reopened its refuelling facility, following an upgrade by BP. The new facility is operated by 43 Air School, which is currently using the airport for the advanced training of pilots. Its trainees include 16 students from Rwanda who are now residing at the airport.

Later this year, 180 student pilots and 120 aircraft technicians from Southern Sudan are expected to start their training programme for a period of three years. These students will arrive in phases and, by December 2008, a group of 66 students will be receiving training at the Bisho Airport. By August 2008 another group from India will be trained at the airport, followed by another team from Europe next year. We expect aircraft movement to increase from 100 to 4 000 per month.

The completion of the R70 million upgrade of the airport is expected next month. This will be followed immediately by the commencement of the R60 million upgrade of the Mthatha Airport. Currently, the Eastern Cape Geographic Names Committee is facilitating the process of renaming Bisho and Mthatha Airports in consultation with the relevant municipalities and communities.

An amount of R398 million will be spent on improving our traffic law enforcement capacity and road safety in order to provide safe passage for all road users as we prepare for the 2010 Fifa World Cup’s higher traffic volumes.

I now come to road infrastructure. Later this month we will hold the Eastern Cape Rural Roads Summit, which will be attended by all stakeholders involved in the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure, including other transport sector role-players, districts and local municipalities.

The purpose of the summit is for the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport to present to the public its strategy and priorities for the next 10 years, which seek to change the ratio of surface to gravel roads, with 80% of the 43 465km provincial network to be surface and 20% to remain gravel. The objectives of the summit are to highlight provincial infrastructure challenges and the best possible strategies to improve the quality of the Eastern Cape rural roads, and to promote the use of alternative technologies due to the scarcity of quarry material. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M A MZIZI: Ngiyabonga Sihlalo, ngithi kuNgqongqoshe unwele olude, isandla sedlula ikhanda! [Thank you, Chairperson. I respectfully greet the Minister. Long live, Minister!]

Chairperson, in last year’s Budget Vote there was an underspending of R386,4 million. This year’s budget is R20,5 billion and it has increased by an average of 40% compared to the previous years.

My concern in this Budget Vote is about the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme. Will the target of 80% for scrapping of old taxis be reached by 2010 as targeted? The rate is too slow for my liking. There are owners who still don’t understand this process of taxi impounding. They are worried as to what happens after one’s taxi is impounded. Again, some of the owners don’t have all the documentation required for the processes and this becomes a problem. Most taxi owners never knew about the taxman. For them it’s torture to introduce the taxman at this stage because there is a lot to deal with. So they would prefer rather not to continue with the process of recapitalisation. A taxi owner … [Inaudible.]

Mr R J TAU: Thank you very much, Chairperson. I just wanted to check if the hon member is encouraging taxi operators not to pay taxes.

The ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): Is that a question put to the hon member?

Mr R J TAU: Yes.

The ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms P M Hollander): Hon member, you may answer the question if your time allows you.

Mr M A MZIZI: Chairperson, I will answer at the end of my speech.

A taxi owner who has inherited this industry from a husband or a parent has never exactly understood anything about it. I think the government needs to thoroughly explain the whole procedure to the taxi owners instead of printing brochures. Most of the taxi owners are not educated, hence it is a waste of time to try and give them a handout.

Ngoba phela lolu limi abanikezwa ngalo kwazise lamaphepha okwazisa abhalwe ngolimi lwabezizwe njengoba sengishilo. Laba ngabantu abangazange bayithole imfundo eyisisekelo njengezingane esezikhona zamanje. Yingakho-ke kuzosikhathaza mhlawumbe esikhathini sokugcina. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[The language in these handouts is foreign to these people as I have stated. These people did not get the foundation phase education like children nowadays do. That is why this might give us hassles at the end.]

Chairperson, if I may encroach onto other areas: The government always states that the road network will be the priority for improvement, but today we still experience extensive potholes. Some of our roads are in a disastrous state, especially in the townships, semi-urban and rural areas, yet we pay a lot of money to tollgates and the number of tollgates are increasing greatly. What is happening to the money collected from tollgates if we still have potholes and gravel roads in this country? There are areas where the road is only in the so-called urban town, but when you visit its township or farms, you find that they are still having problems with poor quality roads. What makes it even worse is that when it rains, those roads become muddy.

Angikusho nje lokhu Sihlalo kuNgqongqoshe ukuthi uma ufika lapha e-Evaton kwinombolo yokuqala bese wehlela ngaseSmall Farm, ungaqinisa impela ukuthi sewukwelinye izwe. Kukhona ngisho imigwaqo eSmall Farm othi uma uye khona kuze kudingeke ukuthi inqola uyishiye laphaya phansi uhambe ngezinyawo uyofika kuleyo ndawo, ngoba uma lina izulu ngeke ungene.

Okubuye kube nzima kakhulu ukuthi akukho ngisho nezinkabi ezingase zikudonse uma ngabe inqola yakho isibhajiwe lapho. Ngisho ukuthi ngiyazi ukuthi eminye imigwaqo ekamasipala, eminye eyesifundazwe, nozwelonke. Kodwa- ke bekufanele ukuthi kube khona ukuhlangana okuthize ukuze uma sikhuluma ngemigwaqo asikhulume ngezwi elilodwa ekutheni imigwaqo ngakube uma ngabe bayahluleka omasipala bakwazi ukukhala lapho bekhala khona ukuze imigwaqo yethu iqonde. Nakuba kunjalo, kodwa-ke siyasixhasa isabelomali onikezwa sona. [Ihlombe.] [Ubuwelewele.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Through you, Chairperson, let me say this to the hon Minister, that when one goes to Everton at number one and then goes down to the place named Small Farm, you can bet you are in another country. There are even roads at Small Farm where one would have to leave one’s car at the bottom and finish the rest of the journey on foot because, if it is raining, you would not reach your destination.

What complicates the situation further is that there are not even any oxen that could pull one’s car should it get stuck. I say this well knowing that some of the roads belong to the municipality, some belong to province and others are responsibility of the national government. But I believe there should be an integration of some sort. When we talk about roads, we need to be able to speak in one voice. Municipalities should be able, if they are failing, to report somewhere in order for our roads to be maintained. Nonetheless, we support the budget allocation that you have been given. [Applause.] [Interjections.]]

Mr B MTHOMBENI (Gauteng): Thank you very much, Chairperson. Hon Minister, hon members of the NCOP and distinguished guests, the challenge and opportunities of the African Century are upon us, together with the advent of the groundbreaking hosting of the world’s biggest showpiece in the form of the 2010 Federation of International Football Association World Cup.

The Gauteng province is currently implementing various transport infrastructure programmes of strategic importance as part of our drive towards efficient mobility. This takes place in view of the ripple effect of the successes of the economy of our province and that of our country since the year 1994, which gave birth to universal enfranchisement to all the people of our land together with the unlocking of the true potential of local economic nodes.

Indeed, Chairperson, the world looks upon us to actualise the firm commitment that we as Africans of all persuasions made when we said that this millennium would be characterised by the rebirth of our continent, resulting in our resounding contribution to the attainment of the global Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty and unemployment by the year 2014. Here in our country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, work is going on day after day to bring about such a vision.

Two weeks ago during a joint tour of transport programmes in Gauteng province, all spheres of government revealed exhaustive investment in transport infrastructure, especially public transport, in the form of the Bus Rapid Transit system, the freeway improvement schemes, the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link and the upgrading of roads in the 20 prioritised townships. The investment in these programmes amounts to more than R160 billion over a period of five years, thus serving as a demonstration of the government’s commitment to the development of the infrastructure legacy project as well as a solid foundation for a successful 2010 World Cup.

Later this year our province will officially launch the newly established Gauteng Transport Management Authority, GTMA, a provincial body whose task is to co-ordinate and also align all forms of transport infrastructure programme and investment through integrated planning so as to ensure efficient implementation. Essentially the single biggest task of the GTMA is to mobilise resources that will help realise our government’s strategic goal of providing a united, accessible and affordable means of transportation for the economy of our province and our country.

The GTMA will also be working with other transport authorities within our country as well as those from other parts of the world especially on our African continent, in sharing and exchanging the best practices in the transport sector.

In Gauteng province our collective pursuit of the various transport infrastructure programmes is informed by the understanding of the strategic importance of transport in the socioeconomic growth and development of our society.

The implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit and the Gautrain Rapid Link represents a concrete foundation on which the province seeks to help to develop a new spatial backbone for the birth of new and highly integrated communities. Faced with the enormity of the rapid growth in its demographics, our geographically small province is pursuing the implementation of an integrated ticketing system in the public transport sector that will bring together all public transport modes into one united and single service for a sustainable mobility. At the same time we seek to vigorously pursue programmes that will bring about a densification of communities instead of the historical urban sprawl that has so far unduly stretched the capacity of the resource base of our young democracy and, without contradiction, this applies to rapidly urbanising communities such as those in the Gauteng province.

Our province is of the view that our government must necessarily take a positive bias towards densification policies in order to ensure the prudent rolling out of service delivery programmes in view of the rapid increase in the demand for services.

Along the path of these transport programmes, our province seeks to mobilise both the private and public sector to invest in sustainable housing settlements such as mixed-use developments that will bring all basic socioeconomic services within the same precinct. This will include bringing together schools and residential establishments within the same precinct as commercial, industrial, office and institutional establishments. Through this approach the province seeks to ensure efficient land use in view of the competing needs among the people of our country.

The rapid increase in the global price of fuel also dictates that we seek more affordable means of transportation, including cycling and walking. This brings pressure to bear on the need to pursue densification strategies.

Ours is a diverse province and cosmopolitan melting pot of skills, language and talent, which draws from the resources of the rest of the African continent as well as other parts of the world that seek to enhance the socioeconomic and cultural wealth of our country through investment in latent economies to the extent that it will awaken the giant that Africa truly is.

Early this year the province played host to an international seminar to market and communicate public transport under the auspices of the International Association of Public Transport, UITP, of which we are members. At the seminar the children of our country made a presentation to our hon Minister of Transport, Mr Jeff Radebe, regarding the type of public transport system that they envisioned for South Africa and all its varying communities. In this regard, they spoke of the need to develop a public transport system that is people-friendly, affordable, accessible, safe and reliable.

In the same vein, the seminar brought together the leadership of transport authorities, transport practitioners, public transport operators and commuter organisations from all the regions of the world in a bid to develop such a public transport system, as was articulated and envisioned by the children of our country.

The resolution that we adopted at the subsequent congress of the UITP together with the election of one of the officials from the province to the leadership of the Southern African Region leg of the International Association of Public Transport were all informed by the need to build a better public transport system for all.

We are confident that our continuous engagement of the various communities regarding a future public transport system will necessarily inform the development of a new world and African agenda for transport.

The unveiling of the new Gauteng Province GP branded metered taxis early last year, to the extent that they played an important role in the transportation of Fifa Soccerex officials, represents the preparedness of the people of our province to contribute to a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup.

In the same vein, we continue to pursue the success of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, believing that this industry has a strategic role to play in the development of an effective, efficient and integrated public transport system considering its position as a mover of the majority of people in our country.

On behalf of the community of Gauteng province, we would like to express our firm belief that indeed this is an African Century and that our collective efforts, working hand-in-hand with all our people, will build a transport system that is equal to the task of fulfilling the needs for efficient and sustainable mobility. [Applause]

Mr C J VAN ROOYEN: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon members, special delegates, comrades, as we celebrate Africa Day, we have to remind ourselves that we are still confronted with the dreadful legacy of apartheid, which left this country with a dual transport infrastructure network. The one system is characterised by its First World features such as a well-developed network of surfaced roads, rail and air links mainly servicing the previously white population areas and driven by the first economy.

The second one is characterised by its Bantustan-type infrastructure, consisting mainly of an underdeveloped transport network of low-quality surfaced and gravel roads and rail networks with very few or no air links and which is constructed mostly around the homelands and the townships.

Transport continues to play a central and strategic role in the economic and social lives of all our people, no matter what their social standing is. It is therefore pleasing to note that the department’s budget, commitments and investment in transport infrastructure and transport services is a clear attempt to correct the legacy of the past and is an example of Business Unusual.

In acknowledging the complexities that confront the department, which range from being responsible for the development of policies in aviation, rail, road transport and maritime issues, and where some deliveries and implementation are taking place at provincial and others at local spheres of government, one has to acknowledge and congratulate the department on the following highlights achieved during the 2007-08 financial year: Firstly, the scrapping of 13 500 taxis, the construction 24 police contact points to strengthen the safety on our trains, refurbishing 515 rail coaches and finalising the plan for 100 luxury and semiluxury buses for the intercity and airport-to-city operation, to name but a few.

In the Free State province, as mentioned by the Minister, 1 500 old taxi vehicles have been scrapped and R77 million paid to taxi operators. Furthermore, 93% of all taxi operators in the Free State have applied for conversion of radius-based permits to route-based operating licences. The provincial department has also received 621 applications from associations for upgrading of the driving licences to bigger recapitalised vehicles.

The Free State MEC of public works and transport in his budget speech earlier this month said:

It is pleasing to note the drastic reduction in the rate of road fatalities in the province in the recent past. This is a culmination of our programmatic hard work waged on various fronts of our road safety. These include increased law enforcement, visibility, public education and communication.

To further enhance this, it is therefore necessary for the national department to fast-track its discussions with the Department of Labour to establish road traffic law enforcement services as an essential service as soon as possible. It is interesting to note that the single largest budget allocation in the Free State department of roads is for roads. It amounts to R982 million, which constitutes 48% of the overall appropriated budget for the current financial year, of which 626 million has been set aside for access roads and 220 million for upgrading of the roads in the province.

It is further pleasing to note that one of the national department’s quick wins for 2008-09 includes the implementation of the rural transport strategy, which will result in the construction of three pedestrian bridges in Maluti-a-Phofung in the Free State in the next financial year.

The introduction of the Shosholoza Meyl service between Johannesburg and Bloemfontein and between Bloemfontein and Botshabelo is long overdue and needs urgent finalisation. I would like to call on the Minister to finalise this as a matter of urgency. This will release traffic pressure on the very dangerous N8 road between Bloemfontein and Botshabelo, which has become a road of death.

However, matters that require urgent attention and are of great concern are the following: the capacity constraints in the transport sector, which impact on road maintenance; and the high number of vacancies in the department, which now stand at 30,39%. This concern was also raised by the Auditor-General in the 2006-07 annual report. There was underspending of R216 million in the 2006-07 financial year, although this represents only 1,3% of the department’s budget. I think it was raised by the chairperson of the committee also. Of the total departmental budget of R20,5 billion, R12 billion will go to public transport and R7,18 billion to integrating, planning and intersphere co-ordination programmes, which reflects the Apex Priority of speeding up the process of building the infrastructure needed to achieve the economic and social goals, as set out in the President’s state of the nation address.

It is now up to the department to deliver on the national theme of Business Unusual, all hands on deck, to speed up infrastructure for faster development. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr W M DOUGLAS: Chairperson, hon Minister and hon members, transport plays a very important role in any country’s economy and social stability. Therefore the economy of our country is significantly dependent on a successful transport system.

What troubles the ACDP is the reality that the Department of Transport only spent 5,97% of its budget over the three quarters of 2007-08. I understand where that comes from and I understand a lot of the problems faced by the department, but I think that capacity issues need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. The root causes of those problems need to be addressed; there needs to be rectifiable programmes or actions put in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

We are in a building process especially focused on 2010 and it is important for us to look at the root causes of the underspending from the beginning to the end of last year.

I also welcome the integration of the Bus Rapid Transit and Taxi Recapitalisation Programmes, TRP, although I feel the TRP was not a good concept from the start and that it needs either to be revived and enforced, or scrapped completely.

Safety on Metrorail is a huge problem and young girls and elderly women are mugged and sexually assaulted daily on these trains. This is a major concern. We need more Metrorail coaches to alleviate the cramped and unsafe environment that rail commuters have to face each day. With due respect, it is fine to say that more police will be placed on trains by 2010, but what will be done about our commuters right now and also post-2010? For me it is more important that South African citizens are protected on our trains than just the tourists that are coming to see the World Cup soccer.

Having seen monorails and transport systems in Asia, I still feel that cities, especially Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, can benefit from a city-wide monorail that can run parallel, on top, or next to a main highway or city main road.

In short, we support this Budget Vote, provided that it is specifically spent on that which it is intended to be spent on. Thank you.

Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, we are in a struggle in South Africa; you know what happened in the past few weeks – the xenophobia and the struggle to fight poverty to eradicate poverty – but I think, as the ANC government, we are winning the war.

There are prophets of doom, like the hon Krumbock and the hon Douglas, who hasn’t even got his facts straight. He does not attend the committee meetings and comes and stands at the podium and quotes figures of five point something or the other. I think if the director-general should send the hon Douglas the presentation that she gave us last night, just to inform him that next time he must come and stand at this podium and talk from an informed position …

… en nie net sommer duimsuigery hier kom doen nie. [… and not just come and fabricate things here.]

I want to start with a poem by Heather Robertson, and I don’t think she is family of the hon Marius Robertson. She says, and I quote:

Scratch beneath the skin of every struggle and feel at the heart of it all a love of life, of humanity, the roots of the tree of progress.

And that is the one thing that the Department of Transport has really done over the years: They have really progressed.

Dis ’n departement wat by uitstek baie goed gevaar het. Dis ’n departement wat ek dink Suid-Afrika op die pad sit en hul feite agtermekaar het en regtig van Suid-Afrika ’n wêreldland probeer maak wat betref ons vervoerstelsel.

Die agb Douglas praat van toe hy in Asië was en die eenspoortreinstelsel gesien het, en so aan. Ons is besig. Ons is besig met die Gautrain-stelsel. Nou ek weet nie waar die mense bly nie - of hulle in Suid-Afrika bly of nie

  • maar as hulle nie kan sien wat besig is om nou te gebeur nie, dan weet ek nie waneer hulle dit ooit gaan raaksien nie. [Tussenwerpsels.] Die agb Tolo sê hulle bly op Mars. Ek dink amper so. Agb Tolo, ek wil met jou saamstem.

As ek net die agb Krumbock kan herinner dat dit einste sy leier, die nasionale leier van die DA is wat hier in die Stad Kaapstad nie met die provinsie en die nasionale regering wil saamwerk om ‘n ordentlike vervoerstelsel daar te stel nie. Dis einste sy leier wat skop teen die prikkels. Dis hoekom ons amper agter is met die bou van die stadion vir

  1. Dis sy leier … (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[It is a department that has excelled par excellence. I think it is a department that puts South Africa on track, has its facts in order and really tries to make South Africa a world country with regard to our transport system.

The hon Douglas refered to his visit in Asia where he saw the monorail train system and so forth. We are busy. We are busy with the Gautrain system. I don’t know where these people are staying – whether they live in South Africa or not – but if they cannot see what is busy happening at the moment, I don’t know whether they will ever notice it. [Interjections.] The hon Tolo is saying that they are living on Mars. I also thought as much. Hon Tolo, I agree with you.

If I could just remind the hon Krumbock that it is his very own leader here in the City of Cape Town, the national leader of the DA, who does not want to co-operate with the province and the national government to create a decent transport system. It is his leader who is upsetting the applecart. This is why we are almost lagging behind with the construction of the 2010 stadium. It is his leader …]

… that is stopping the progress. It’s your leader, hon Mr Krumbock, - the DA leader. It’s the DA that’s the prophet of doom. Everything has been filtered and pumped into making South Africa a better place for everybody, but of course you don’t know the slogan. It’s only the ANC that’s got the slogan, “A better life for all”. Ek weet nie of u weet wat dit beteken nie. Ek weet nie of die agb Thetjeng weet wat dit beteken nie.

Ons vervoerstelsel in Suid-Afrika behoort - en ons streef daarna - onder die bestes ter wêreld te wees. As ons kyk na ons padonderhoud, as ons kyk na ons taxi-rekapitalisasieprogram, as ons kyk na die bagasie wat wegraak, sien ons die departement doen iets daadwerkliks daaraan. Hulle doen iets daadwerkliks. Die ANC hardloop vir niks weg nie. Die DA is die mense wat weghardloop. Die DA kom staan met hulle ongegronde feite by hierdie podium. Hulle het die ACDP ook al aangesteek. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[I don’t know whether you know what this means. I don’t know whether the hon Thetjeng knows what this means either.

Our transport system in South Africa ought to be – and we are striving towards this – amongst the best in the world. If we look at our road maintenance and at our taxi recapitalisation program, consider the issue of luggage that gets lost, we would see that the department is actually doing something about these matters. They are actively doing something. The ANC never scurries away from anything. The DA is the one who runs away. The DA is coming to this podium with unfounded facts. They have also influenced the ACDP in this way.]

Let me tell you one thing, hon Krumbrock, the ANC is improving the social conditions of the have-nots and bringing the marginalised into the mainstream. Why, because it is only the ANC that does it. And the DA? We are sorry; you don’t even have alternatives to put on the table. You don’t even have a plan so you can say to the Minister: “Minister, please look at this plan.” All you do is criticise. All you do is criticise! [Interjections.] We can face up to the fact, hon Thetjeng.

Wat hierdie departement doen, spreek boekdele. Minister, u en u department doen goeie werk. Laat ons voortbou en nie luister na die “prophets of doom” nie. Laat ons voortbou.

Die arme Mzizi ook - moenie inval met die “prophets of doom” soos die DA en die ACDP nie. Ek wil vandag sê … [Gelag.] … ek wil vandag vir die IVP, die DA en die ACDP sê: Volg die ANC se voorbeeld. Doen iets daadwerkliks omtrent die probleme van Suid-Afrika. Hou op om te kritiseer. Hou op om te praat en kom en doen iets daadwerkliks. Voeg die daad by die woord. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[What this department does speaks volumes. Minister, you and your department deliver good work. Let’s continue to build on this and not listen to the prophets of doom. Let’s continue to build.

The poor Mzizi as well – don’t join the ranks of the prophets of doom like the DA and ACDP. Today, I would like to say … [Laughter.] … I would like to say to the IFP, the DA and the ACDP: Follow the ANC’s example. Take urgent action to address South Africa’s problems. Stop criticising. Stop talking and actually do something. Put your words into action.]

Put your money where your mouth is or put your mouth where your money is, one of the two.

I want to conclude with a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson. And listen now, hon Krumbock. He wrote, and I invite you on behalf of the ANC:

…Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down; It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Though much is taken, much abides; and though We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

And that is what the ANC will do. The ANC will never yield or succumb to the DA. That’s one thing. What we will do is create a better life for everybody.

Die ANC gaan treinreise veiliger maak, sodat Boeta Sulliman lekker veilig met die trein kan ry van De Aar af en sodat boeta Tau nie hoef bang te wees as hy ver ry nie. Ek wil vir u sê … [The ANC will make train journeys safer so that boeta [brother] Sulliman can travel safely by train from De Aar and Boeta Tau does not have to be scared when he has to travel far. I want to say to all of you …]

… create a better life. That is what the ANC does - not doom and gloom like the DA. So, come to your senses. Come, my friends, come. We will strive, we will seek, we will find and we will not yield. Thank you. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Thank you, Chairperson, and all the hon members who have participated in this debate. On the issues of rural transport, as the hon Tau has correctly pointed out, last year Cabinet approved our rural transport strategy, which will see an unleashing of resources into the rural areas of South Africa.

I also agree on the issues of co-ordination between ourselves and the Department of Public Works and the R3,5 billion Expanded Public Works Programme on rural access roads. There is a committee of the Department of Transport, together with National Treasury, and Public Works that vet the projects that are being submitted. That is one way of ensuring that there is proper co-ordination between those departments.

On the issue of the Northern Cape - as the hon Tau is aware of, and as I have already indicated - the Douglas-Belmont project is steaming ahead unabated. This year we will be completing Phase 2 of the project. There is about R10 million already in our budget to complete the second phase of it.

As you know, you cannot eat a big elephant in one chunk. You have to eat it in small chunks. So, sooner rather than later I hope De Aar will follow. However, unfortunately, in this financial year, it is not in the budget but we haven’t forgotten about what we have to do there. We are working more closely with the provinces and municipalities and I am sure we will find a way of ensuring that De Aar is revived.

On the issue of rail in the Western Cape, everybody is aware that about 61% of the commuting public use rail. Therefore rail is of strategic importance within the Cape Metropole and as a department, we will continue to strengthen the railway system in the Western Cape, especially with regard to improving safety and security and upgrading the rolling stock. The figures are there before you.

I must indicate that even as recently as last week, we opened the new railway police station in Bellville, which will further reinforce our commitment to providing rail services in the Western Cape.

As far as express services are concerned, it is part of our plan. In many parts of South Africa, we have introduced these express services in places like Soweto, Tshwane and Khayelitsha. As the hon McKenzie has highlighted, there are also future plans to include areas such as Blue Downs, Atlantis North and the Cape Town International Airport. We are going to be putting a new railway link in that area as well.

On the issue of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, our commitment to complete the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme by 2010 still stands. We are beefing up capacity, especially of the Operating Licence Board. There are still many challenges, but we are addressing them. We have developed a turnaround strategy in order to make sure that the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme continues unabated.

In as far as the confusion around the taxi recapitalisation is concerned, I want to assure hon members that there has not been any hold-up in this programme. We are continuing to scrap old taxis, as I personally witnessed about four weeks ago in Qwaqwa, in the Free State; so there is no substance in the accusation that we have stopped the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme.

In our budget we have estimates of about R7,7 billion, which was based on the estimation of about 100 000 taxis in South Africa. It does appear that there are more than 100 taxi operators in our country and we are in the process of approaching the National Treasury with a view to increasing the allocation. I also want to indicate to this honourable House that we also want to take into consideration the fact that the R50 000 taxi scrapping allowance, when it was decided upon a few years ago, did not take into account the issues of inflation, oil prices and so on. In the next financial year we are going to motivate that we need to take into consideration all those factors so that we can support the taxi industry in South Africa.

On the issue of road infrastructure, we concede that there are still many challenges that we are facing in terms of funding. There are a lot of resources that are being spent by the three spheres of government. There is R70 billion in the MTEF for national, provincial and local municipalities, which will be working within the context of the strategy that was recently approved by the Cabinet, the Road Infrastructure Strategic Framework for South Africa, which provides the framework under which all spheres of government have to do their work.

On the issue of underspending, as I understood it from colleagues, I want to say if you take into account our last year’s budget of R16 billion, we were left with R226 million, which means that we spent 98,65% of the budget allocated. While I was still a Mathematics student, I used to be told that 98% is a summa cum laude. [Laughter.] Not just a magna cum laude! I think, with due respect, we have done extremely well in terms of spending this money. If we spent 98,65% of our total budget of R16 billion, we have done very well, but I will make sure that next time around we spend 100% of it.

Just for your information, the total cost of the Gautrain is R24 billion. From the national government, we are contributing R13 billion and the remaining R11 billion is funded through the province of Gauteng. On the issue of introducing rail services between Botshabelo and Mangaung, Mr Van Rooyen, it is part of the priorities of Metrorail.

We have already done a feasibility study, which has reached the conclusion that that service can be implemented, but - there is always a ‘but’ as a sting in the tail - for it to succeed and to be sustainable, we need to deal with the issue of the bus subsidy for the buses that operate on that line. So there are talks that are ongoing between us and the province, including the bus operator, Itumeleng Bus Line, IBL, so that we can see how we can go beyond the feasibility study. In other words, we have to take into account the fact that there is a service in operation. But, in principle, we would like to introduce these rail services.

In conclusion, I really appreciated all the comments that have been made. I believe that by working together as the three spheres of government, we will be able to succeed in making sure that with all the investments that we make in terms of transport, particularly public transport, we can really create the South Africa of our dreams. This is not just a dream. It can be realised and we can have a world-class public transport system in South Africa. I think that it is be achievable.

If one takes into account the fact that when we came into this portfolio in 2004, our annual budget was about R4 billion per annum, whereas in this current financial year we have about R21 billion, it is a clear demonstration that our government is very responsive to the initiatives that we come up with as the Department of Transport.

I also believe that 2010 is not going to leave us with a lot of white elephants, but it has been a historic opportunity, not only for the Department of Transport but for the people of South Africa as well, to accelerate the implementation of all the infrastructure investment programmes that we have always wanted to do. Now for the sake of time we have actually brought forward many of those projects so that they can be completed by 2010. I believe that by 2010 the face of transport in South Africa will have changed for ever and for the better.

When we came into government we still had the Jan Smuts Airport in Johannesburg. If you look at the pictures of the Jan Smuts of 1994 and the O R Tambo of 2008, which has become a big construction site, you can see that it is like chalk and cheese. If you look at what is going to happen in the Gauteng area, with the introduction of the Gautrain Rapid Rail, you’ll realise that when you land at O R Tambo and get into the Gautrain, twelve minutes later you would be in Sandton. That is changing the face of South Africa.

When you go to Durban, a few kilometres north of Durban there will be a brand new airport, out of the box, La Mercy Airport, which will be a state- of-the-art airport. If you come to the Western Cape, you will see all the improvements in terms of road infrastructure such as the Winelands toll road.

In the Eastern Cape, when we have completed the N2 Wild Coast toll road, those places will have changed forever. All these things are not just vainglorious illusions, but are based on facts. There is money in the bag of the Department of Transport to implement all of these projects. With those words, I would like to thank this House for supporting this budget. [Applause.]

The ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms PM Hollander): Thank you, hon Minister, that concludes the debate. I would like to thank the Minister and the special delegates for coming here and for participating in this debate, particularly the special delegates. I thank you very much. Debate concluded.


            (Consideration of Bill and of Report thereon)

Mr A T MANYOSI: Chairperson and hon members, I present to this House a statement on behalf of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs on the South African Judicial Education Institute Bill. Its background is as follows: The Bill was adopted, with amendments by the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs earlier this year, that is 2008. It emanates from recommendations of a committee set up some years ago under the auspices of the Canada-South Africa Linkage Project, which reported on current judicial education trends elsewhere in the world and made a number of recommendations for the development of judicial education in South Africa. The committee recommended that the Justice College be converted into an independent statutory institution publicly funded but controlled by the council of the institute chaired by the Chief Justice. Subsequently, the Bill process was put on the agenda in April 2005.

The Bill before this Council makes provision for the SA Judicial Education Institute to be established as a juristic person with the mandate and responsibility for the provision of judicial education and training of judicial officers and aspiring judicial officers, as well as for experienced judicial officers. It will provide proper, appropriate and transformational judicial education and training having due regard to both our inherited horrible legacy and our new constitutional dispensation. This refers to judicial independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility and effectiveness of the courts.

The council of the institute responsible for governance and to whom the institute shall account will be drawn from the legal fraternal bodies interested in judicial education and two persons from the public not involved in the administration of justice.

The Bill contains clauses that seek to enhance fair administration of justice and the employment of suitable staff and it gives the institute and the council powers and duties. There is no doubt that this Bill will advance judicial transformation in line with the national question in South Africa and the rapidly developing national and international jurisprudence.

The committee accordingly moves that this honourable Council adopts the Bill. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M N Oliphant): We now come to the question with respect to the Second Order. The question is that the Bill subject to the proposed amendment be agreed to. In accordance with Rule 63, I shall first allow political parties the opportunity to make their declarations of vote if they so wish. Any political party? There is none. We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. Those in favour will say “Aye”.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M N Oliphant): Those against will say “No”.


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mrs M N Oliphant): I think the “Ayes” have it. The majority of members have voted in favour. I therefore declare the Bill subject to the proposed amendment agreed to in terms of section 75 of the Constitution.

Bill, subject to proposed amendments, agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

The Council adjourned at 16:01. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson


The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms B Mbete, and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr M J Mahlangu, in terms of Joint Rule 7(2), have called a joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament for Tuesday, 3 June 2008 at 14:00 in order for Mr Yar’ Adua, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to address the Joint Sitting.


  1. Introduction of Bills
 (1)    The Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs

      a) Land Use Management Bill [B 27 – 2008] (National Assembly –
         proposed sec 75) [Explanatory summary of Bill and prior notice
         of its introduction published in Government Gazette No 30979
         of 15 April 2008.]

         Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on
         Agriculture and Land Affairs of the National Assembly, as well
         as referral to the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for
         classification in terms of Joint Rule 160.

         In terms of Joint Rule 154 written views on the classification
         of the Bill may be submitted to the JTM within three
         parliamentary working days.

 (2)    The Minister of Finance

      a) Insurance Laws Amendment Bill [B 26 – 2008] (National Assembly
         – proposed sec 75) [Explanatory summary of Bill and prior
         notice of its introduction published in Government Gazette No
         31033 of 9 May 2008.]

         Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on
         Finance of the National Assembly, as well as referral to the
         Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for classification in terms of
         Joint Rule 160.

         In terms of Joint Rule 154 written views on the classification
         of the Bill may be submitted to the JTM within three
         parliamentary working days.

 (3)    The Minister of Transport
      a) Air Services Licensing Amendment Bill [B 25 – 2008] (National
         Assembly – proposed sec 75) [Explanatory summary of Bill and
         prior notice of its introduction published in Government
         Gazette No 31061 of 15 May 2008.]

         Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on
         Transport of the National Assembly, as well as referral to the
         Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for classification in terms of
         Joint Rule 160.

         In terms of Joint Rule 154 written views on the classification
         of the Bill may be submitted to the JTM within three
         parliamentary working days.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson
(a)    Strategic Plan of the Office of the Public Protector for 1 April
    2008 – 31 March 2012.

National Council of Provinces

  1. The Chairperson
 a) Programme 2009 (Priorities for 2008).


National Council of Provinces

  1. The Select Committee on Social Services, having undertaken an international study tour visit to Sweden,

The Select Committee on Social Services having undertaken a Study Tour to Sweden from the 08 – 13 July 2007 reports as follows:

  1. Introduction

The study tour focused on tobacco related harm reduction modalities in Sweden, as it is the country regarded as having the user-friendliest modalities in place.

  1. Background

Many smokers are unable – or at least unwilling – to achieve cessation through complete nicotine and tobacco abstinence; they continue smoking despite the very real and obvious adverse health consequences. Conventional smoking cessation policies and programs generally present smokers with two unpleasant alternatives: quit, or die.

A third approach to smoking cessation, tobacco harm reduction, involves the use of alternative sources of nicotine, including modern smokeless tobacco products.

One of these smokeless tobacco products are what is known (in Sweden) as snus.

  1. Objectives

The aim of the study tour was a joint effort of government, industry and other stakeholders, which sought to achieve a number of objectives as follows:

• To build and strengthen relations between government and  industry  in
  order to ensure effective dialogue;
• To study policy and oversight around tobacco related harm  in  Sweden,
  where extensive efforts are in place; and
•  To  bring  back  to  South  Africa  experiences  and   lessons   from
  implementation efforts to curb tobacco-related harm in this country.
  1. Composition of SC on Social Services delegation.
• Ms JM Masilo, Leader of the delegation (ANC)
• Mr BJ Tolo (ANC)
• Mr TS Setona (ANC)
• Mr MA Sulliman (ANC)
• Ms M Madlala (ANC)
• Ms NF Mazibuko (ANC)
• Mr M Thetjeng (DA)
• Ms H Lamoela (DA)
• Ms JN Vilakazi (IFP)
• Ms AND Qikani (UDM)
• Mr A Kotze (Committee Secretary)
  1. Findings

5.1. Meeting with Dr. G. Bolinder - Snus (smokeless tobacco)

Snus sales in Sweden were high during the 1920’s (7 000 tons a year), and in 1960 they recorded a low of 2 100 tons a year. It has since picked up again at 6 300 tons a year in 2000.

The presenter informed the delegation that women is the new target group for snus.

The presenter stated that there are five arguments why snus is not the universal drug in smoking cessation and these are as follows:

5.1.1. Statistical argument:

Research has been conducted in Sweden where it was found that 42% of male and 26% of women snus users want to continue, 22% (males) and 16% (females) want to reduce their use of snus, and 35% (males) and 54% (females) want to quit the use of snus.

5.1.2. Medical argument:

Nicotine is the most addictive of all legal products on the market and the average snus-using time in Sweden is thirteen hours per day. Snus influences vascular spasm, hypertension, cardiac arrythmias, etc. Nicotine is teragenic which results in lower birth weight, premature birth, etc.

5.1.3. Political argument:

In 2005 the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare stated “the net gain with snus use as smoking cessation aid might be of importance, regarding the great dangers of smoking”.

5.1.4. Educational argument:

Research conducted in Sweden indicated that 97% of all and 87% of all males felt it is very important that their children do not start using snus.

5.1.5. Ethical argument:

Snus is a stimulant designed for pleasure and it is marketed at young people in order to obtain more users and it is often more addictive than smoking.

Six reasons why snus is not a smoking cessation aid: • Continuous use of snus is more addictive. • Snus has significant unhealthy effects for the heart, blood pressure, metabolism, pregnancy outcome etc. • If the medical profession agrees on using snus for smoking cessation, the acceptance for snus increases. • The majority of smokers want to quit nicotine dependence. • Snus is not a cessation tool, it is a smoking interruption aid. • The medical profession cannot escape from their assignment to help patients quit, by “prescribing” snus.

  1. Committee observations:
• A relationship between Government and business will  be  an  important
  factor, which relates to public education  as  well  as  research  and
• Snus is classified in Sweden as a food product.
• More Swedes are becoming addictive to snus than cigarettes. More young
  boys are using snus and smoking is more sociable in Sweden.
  1. Meeting with Dr. G Boethius

The National Institute for Public Health has done an annual survey of the impact of snus use on male smoking. In 2006 research on 57 000 adults found that 22% of these were daily snus users, and 40% has never smoked, 36% also smoke and 23% were ex-smokers (constituting 5% of Swedish men whose quitting might have been supported by snus).

Dr Boethius stated that the following is needed:

• To first invest in a comprehensive tobacco control strategy;
• To offer professional support and not another tobacco product;
•  When  nicotine  is  needed,  pharmaceutical  products  offer  several
  advantages; and

Snus use has serious health effects and other findings (in smokers) indicated negative effects of nicotine use in pregnancy such as disturbed breathing regulation, hyperactivity disorders and increased risk of developing nicotine dependence later in life.

Dr Boethius further stated the following regarding the true “Swedish experience”:

• One out three men and one out five women use nicotine daily.
• Two thirds want to cut down or quit snus use.
• Nine out of ten parents don’t want their children to start using snus.
• Four out of ten men in “daddy age” are nicotine dependent.
• Women are now the main targets for snus use.
  1. Meeting with Dr K Fagerstrom

8.1 Observations • Smoking is a bigger risk than snus for oral cancer and the presenter noted that there is no evidence that snus causes oral cancer. • The EU is preventing the export of snus to other European countries

  1. Meeting with Dr. L Rutqvist, Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Swedish Match

The presenter stated that despite the encouraging scientific evidence snus is a controversial issue among tobacco researchers and public health officials in Sweden as well as in other countries worldwide.

9.1. What do Swedish scientists agree on?

They agree that snus is a tobacco product with nicotine which makes it potentially addictive. Children, pregnant or nursing mothers, and individuals with some types of cardiovascular disease should use no form of nicotine. They also agree that snus has vastly reduced health risks compared to cigarettes and that snus is not the only reason why smoking rates have declined in Sweden and is not a “gate-way” to smoking.

9.2. What do they disagree on?

• snus and “tobacco harm reduction” is just an  obstacle  to  achieve  a
  “tobacco free society”
• snus is not needed in order to stop smoking  because  other  effective
  measures and treatments are available.

9.3. Is snus “a safe” alternative to cigarettes?

The presenter stated that there is no conclusive evidence of a link between snus and any type of cancer, lung disease, metabolic disease or cardiovascular disease, but this does not prove that snus is harmless. There is conclusive evidence that with every disease linked to smoking, risks are dramatically less with snus and according to the presenter snus is “a safer” alternative to cigarettes.

9.4. The controversy

The question according to the presenter is “what should society’s approach be in the fight against smoking-related disease?” He noted that either a pragmatic approach with a focus on reducing health risk (including “harm reduction”) or an ideological approach with a focus on fighting “Big Tobacco” and ultimately achieving a tobacco free society. The presenter noted that the concept of “Harm reduction” in many other areas of society, example car and road safety.

  1. Major challenges

    • Widespread ignorance and misinformation about the different cases in health risks associated with snus versus cigarettes among the general public, physicians, and within the scientific community • bad reputation of “Big Tobacco” • ideological approach to smoking prevention

9.6. To follow is research which was done in Sweden in the use of different aids in the latest quit attempt.

Eight Hundred and ninety five (895) triers from a population sample:

Nicotene gum 162 240
Patch 90 182
Lozenges 12 30
Spray 4 6
Inhaler 14 31
Nicotene total 282 489
Snus (smokeless) 254 66
Bupropion (Zyban) 8 9

Outcome of latest quit attempt Quit Reduced to occasional |Gum |42% |8% | |Patch |30% |3% | |NRT total |36% |5% | |Snus |61% |13% |

  1. Field visits

The delegation undertook field visits to various shops in Stockholm accompanied by a representative from Swedish Match (the producers of snus in Sweden and South Africa). The delegation found that the snus in the various shops are stored in a fridge behind the counter.

  1. Field visit to Swedish Match factory

Swedish snus (made by Swedish Match) is made from selected leaf tobaccos, salts, humectants and flavour additives. Snus is regulated as a food substance in Sweden and only food-approved additives are used and the manufacturing is performed on premises, complying with food standards.

Swedish snus is made from mainly air-cured tobaccos, and the tobacco is purchased from North and South America, Asia and also from a few countries in Africa and Europe.

Swedish Snus is manufactured in three major steps, namely grinding, processing and packing.

Grinding - The tobacco is broken up, dried and fed into a grinder The ground tobacco is sieved into three particle size fractions, coarse, medium and fine. Pre-set quantities of the three factions are fed into a mixer silo where the tobacco flour is mixed. After blending, the snus flour is fed into a storage silo and from the flour is automatically taken to the processing operation and each type of snus flour is kept in a separate silo.

Processing – the manufacturing of snus is a batch operation and since the whole process is computer controlled, it can run day and night, seven days a week. To start the process, tobacco flour is automatically weighed and fed into the process blender, where water and salt is added to the batch under stirring. The batch is then heated and kept warm for a specified time, varying with the different brands. This part of the process is traditionally named “sweating” but it is more close to a pasteurisation process. After pasteurisation the snus batch is cooled down and the rest of the ingredients are added and samples are taken for quality control. If approved, the batch is cleared for packing.


Packing of loose snus – cans are filled in automatic filling machines and then sealed cans are sealed with a lid. After sealing all cans are weighed on a check-weigher, which also regulates the filling volume of the cans. The cans are then labelled in a labelling machine, shrink-sealed in a distribution pack of ten cans and packed in cases. Packing of portion-packed snus – packing of portion-packed snus requires a more complicated packaging equipment. Portions are measured and fed into a tube of cellulose fibre. Individual portions are sealed and cut apart. The finished portions are filled in a plastic can and the lid attached and after lidding all cans, which pass a check-weigher station, is labelled

Cold storage – All finished snus is kept in a cold storage a few days before it is shipped out to the trade. Keeping snus cold a certain time after manufacturing is important for the snus to ripen and obtain its characteristic flavour. 

  1. Conclusion

Bolstered by the authoritative force of the World Health, Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, countries have a unique opportunity to realize their obligations under the right to health to aid those addicted to nicotine. Researching and evaluating harm reduction through the FCTC would give countries direction in fulfilling their human rights obligations in tobacco control.

Unlike cessation efforts, nations need not do anything to introduce a harm- reduction strategy. Through a robust regulatory process national policymakers must be prepared to engage on harm-reduction strategies and to assess the placement of harm-reduction products within clinical best practices. This will be a challenge that need not be overcome on a country- by-country basis. Countries can work together within WHO to address issues of tobacco harm reduction.

  1. Report of the Select Committee on Education and Recreation on the Technology Innovation Agency Bill [B 49B – 2007] (National Assembly – Section 75), dated 27 May 2008:

The Select Committee on Education and Recreation, having considered the subject of the Technology Innovation Agency Bill [B 49B - 2007] (National Assembly – sec 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports that it has agreed to the Bill.