On May 28, 2013  Minister of Transport Dikobe Ben Martins, MP, on the occasion of the Department’s Budget Vote National Assembly, in Cape Town, addressed the transport budget and noted the following:

The budget

The Budget allocation for the Department of Transport for the financial year 2013/14 is R42.3 billion (R42 275 340 000), and this includes allocations to provinces, municipalities, state owned companies and agencies.

Of the allocated amount, R18 billion (R18 850 917 0000) will be transferred to provinces and municipalities towards road maintenance.

Effective coordination with provinces and municipalities is therefore needed to ensure that the department is not only a conduit of funds to the other spheres of government, but that, importantly, it plays a leading role in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of government programmes.

To this end, and in the spirit of cooperative governance, SANRAL will provide a critical supporting role in the implementation of the Maintenance Programme.
Another portion of the budget amounting to R21.9 billion (R21 941 930 000) will be transferred to state owned companies and agencies which are the delivery agents of the department.

The department is building the requisite internal capacity in order to better enable it to conduct the necessary oversight over the State Owned Companies and agencies under its remit.

Significant progress has been made to align the strategies and annual performance plans of the State Owned Companies and agencies of the department.

After distributing the allocated Budget to provinces, municipalities, State Owned Companies and agencies, the Department is left with R921 million (R921 562 000) to carry out its policy development and oversight responsibilities.

It is common cause that sound economic infrastructure is a precondition for economic growth. It is for this reason that the Department of Transport has intensified efforts to develop and improve South Africa’s transport system to serve as a catalyst for social and economic development.

Accordingly, the spending focus over the next year will predominantly be on:
1. Maintaining road infrastructure;
2. Upgrading the rail infrastructure and services; and
3. Constructing and operating public transportation infrastructure

Expenditure on these three areas will include the following transfers, which comprise an average of 96.1% of the total budget allocation of the Department of Transport over the medium term.

The State Owned Companies that fall under the remit of the Department of Transport will be allocated the following disbursements and grants:

  • The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA)  – R 3.678 billion for current operations and R 7.481 billion for capital infrastructure;
  • The South African National Road Agency (SANRAL) – R3.454 billion for current operations and R7.043 billion for capital infrastructure.

And grants will be allocated to:

  • The Provincial Road Asset Maintenance Grant – R8.696 billion;
  • The Rural Roads Asset Management System Grant – R52.2 million; and
  • The Public Transport Infrastructure, Operations and Network Grants – R5.55 billion.

Other transfer payments will include:

  • The Road Traffic Management Corporation – R167 million;
  • The Railway Safety Regulator – R46. 5 million;
  • The Road Traffic Infringement Agency – R25 million;
  • The South African Maritime Safety Authority – R6.4 million;
  • The South African Civil Aviation Authority – R18.155 million; and
  • The taxi recapitalization programme – R522 million

In line with the perspective of an integrated transport model, the spending focus over the medium term will be on developing and implementing strategies based on a multi-modal national system of transport. Major projects in this regard will include:

i. The establishment of a single transport economic regulator;
ii. Establishment of a macro planning framework;
iii. Implementation of a national corridor framework;
iv. Finalising the update of the national freight database; and
v. The completion and analysis of the National Household Survey

The following over-arching development principles remain cardinal, in relation to the foregoing, namely:
1. Balancing the development of new infrastructure with the ongoing maintenance of the existing infrastructure;
2. Improving infrastructure links with rural and financial and human resource challenged provinces;
3. Addressing capacity constraints and improving co-ordination and integration; and
4. Scaling up investment in infrastructure

Four key sectors remain central to the envisaged developments, namely, transport, water and sanitation, energy and communications.

In this regard, the Department of Transport continues to play a central role in the following two strategic infrastructure projects:
1. The Durban-Free State- Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor
2. Unlocking the economic potential and opportunities in the North West province.

The department further plays a supportive role in other strategic infrastructure projects.

Balanced investment in transport infrastructure will lead South Africa to efficient and sustainable growth, mobility and community access. It is important that the cost of doing business in South Africa is reduced in order to ensure that our economy remains competitive in global markets.