Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
As we have arrived in 2015 we need to reflect on the previous year of 2014 but put focus on the way forward for the New Year (2015).
The purpose for us gathering here is to provide a perspective of learner transport’s readiness for this academic year.
Let me also use this opportunity on behalf of the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Honourable M Bartlett and myself; to add our voices to the many that have expressed their congratulations to the successful achievement of the Class of 2014 matriculants that have done well and made the province proud. Our well wishes also go to the Department of Education for a job well done.
Those who were not so successful, we wish them also well and emphasise that they must not surrender or quit.
For us as the Department for Transport, Safety and Liaison, based on our objective, we want to add further to contribute to the culture of learning. Our objective is to provide transport that is accessible, cost effective and safe. The provisioning of Learner Transport is based on that premise.
As you know that we have taken over the function of learner transport in 2012.
There have been minor challenges during the transition, like service providers not have been paid in time etc. We have overcome most of those challenges, as corrective measures were taken as we came across some of these challenges.
For this academic year of 2015 that is starting tomorrow, Wednesday, 21 January, we have instituted the following actions and interventions:
The department have reclaimed the routes; we have entered into negotiated contracts with the existing service providers according to the National Land Transport Act of 2009. The rationale for that is because the services were rendered on a month to month basis.
A process was undertaken were there was a substantial engagement with the service providers. About 98% of the service providers have indicated their willingness to enter into negotiated contracts. The process required certain compliance issues which include matters such as ownership, roadworthiness, capacity to match the demand, liability and the tax clearance certificates.
The mode of transport that are to be used are busses – midi and mini busses. We are pleased to say that most of the service providers have submitted and met the requirements. There are some minor challenges but they are in the process to be addressed. We can indicate to expect that all systems will be running.
Other interventions will be the deployment of officials and volunteers; Learner Transport vehicles will be branded for easy identification. The department will also look at technological monitoring systems.
Challenges are expected but will be addressed as they are noted. Engagements were also done with the Department of Educations and we appreciate their cooperation.
On the matter of Road Safety, compliance issues will be taken seriously, steps for any contravention will be taken. Please report any contraventions of non-compliance to the department.
For any media clarity, please contact:
Tel: 053 839 1836
Cell: 082 064 7003 / 074 251 6567
E-mail: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: South African Official News