In an effort to accelerate transport planning in South Africa, Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters officially launched the National Transport Forum (NTF) and Transport Sector Broad-Based Black Economic-Empowerment (BBBEE) Charter Council in Johannesburg last month.
â€œThe key objective of the forum is to enable the development of a transport system that seeks out better integration and investment, supports a strong economy and meets our transport infrastructure objectives. The forum should, therefore, set out the future of our transport network as well as the balance between a competitive economy and social inclusion. It should also give us the opportunity to deliver a pronational growth agenda for transport in the short, medium and long term,â€ said Peters.
The NTF would comprise skilled and experienced members from local and international public and private sectors.
The forum would allow for the sharing of best practices and deliver on the vision contained in the National Development Plan, as well as facilitate investment through a funding framework that would fast-track the expansion of the countryâ€™s transport network.
Deputy Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said at the launch that, by 2030, South Africans should be able to enjoy an integrated transport system, a transformed transportsector, world-class infrastructure and increased connectivity.
The permanent members of the forum would represent all cities, key national and provincial departments, transport agencies and transport stakeholders, acting as a catalyst for policy creation and a platform for engagement around policy matters, motivating legislative changes.
BBBEE Charter Council
Peters also launched the BBBEE Charter Council last month to promote the entry of black people into the transport sector.
The charter council would be mandated to advise government on BEE in the transportsector, compile reports on the status of BEE in the sector; provide advice and support to complete the alignment of the integrated transport sector BBBEE with the Department of Trade and Industryâ€™s codes of good practice on BEE.
The charter council would also have to provide guidance on sector-specific matters affecting BBBEE in entities in the sector and report to the Presidential BBBEE advisory council on the progress made by the sector on issues of transformation and empowerment.
â€œThe Department of Transport is finalising a transport sector BEE audit. â€œThe audit would provide a clear picture on participation in the sector by black entrepreneurs. Subsequently, the councilâ€™s advice on the matter will be critical.
â€œThe NTF and the charter council have a significant role to play in guiding the government on the priorities for major transport projectsand the areas of equity that require our urgent attention. â€œSuch an integrated and inclusive approach should remove existing traditional administrative and structural boundaries,â€ said Peters.
She said that the newly established structures would facilitate the delivery of integrated and efficient transport services and would ensure that there was integrated local, provincial and national planning.