Mbalula: Economic regulation of Transport Bill will transform the industry

The bill, currently before Parliament, includes policies that will enable greater participation by SMMEs.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula presenting an assessment to the nation on the state of transport entities and the sector’s contribution towards the economic recovery on Friday, 26 November 2021. Picture: Fikile Mbalula/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday said the economic regulation of Transport Bill would transform business in the industry, which had not been accessible to many.

The bill, currently before Parliament, includes policies that will enable greater participation by SMMEs.

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Mbalula has mentioned monopolies in rail as one of the areas that the transport economic regulator will address.

He said they negatively affected competitiveness and stifled efficiencies in both freight and passenger rail.

“The bill will transform the face of the industry and make decisive interventions to level the play field and allow for greater economic participation by SMMEs.”

The Transport Economic Regulator, which will be established once the bill is promulgated, will also be expected to streamline the current fragmented model.

The regulator will consolidate existing regulatory bodies in the transport system including the ports regulator under a single institution.

A PROBLEM IN STATE OF TRANSPORT SYSTEM

Mbalula has conceded there is a problem with the state of the South African transport system as the department forges ahead with regulatory frameworks and legislation aimed at fixing it.

While Mbalula’s concessions about the state of the country’s transport system are not new, the problems that plague the department date back years despite several commitments to address them.

The rail network especially has been a cause of distress among South Africans who are helplessly watching as criminals dismantle rail tracks and other infrastructure.

Mbalula said they were working to fix these among other challenges.

“More than 76% of land freight is hauled on our roads. This reality places a heavy burden on our road network and requires significant resources for maintenance and rehabilitation.”

Prasa has incurred irregular expenditure amounting to R742 million while the national roads agency recorded R175 million and Acsa R282 million.