A project to refurbish the Limpopo Traffic College will commence in August at an estimated amount of R20 million, according to Transport and Community Safety MEC Makoma Makhurupetje who tabled her R2,1 billion Transport budget in the provincial Legislature last Thursday.
The total budget allocated for the department in 2018/19 financial year is R2,106 billion which is 7,3% more than the 2017/18 budget. In the 2019/20 financial year the budget allocation for the Department of Transport is expected to increase by 4,4% making it R2,199 billion while an increase of 5,8% is expected in 2020/21 financial year to make the budget R2,327 billion.
Makhurupetje said the public transport operation conditional grant amounting to R356,8 million is included in the budget for 2018/19, R376,7 million for 2019/20 and
R402 million for 2020/21. She stated that R620,9 million was allocated for administration purposes, R868,9 million for transport operations and R616,3 million for transport regulation.
Compensation of employees will cost the department R975,3 million, goods and services R291,8 million, transfers and subsidies R802 million and payment for capital assets R37,1 billion. She said the department contributes almost 47% of the provincial revenue out of traffic functions. She further stressed that the department was estimating to collect R524,2 million in 2018/19,
R478 million in 2019/20 and R582,9 million in 2020/21.
Makhurupetje reminded the house about the financial difficulties at Gateway Airports Authority Limited (Gaal) saying the problems emanate largely from management instability at the entity. Over the past few years, the entity had four boards of directors and four Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), she stated, adding that the department, with the assistance of the Provincial Treasury, has now taken charge of the situation and is well underway in the process of stabilising Gaal.
A new board of directors has been appointed on a three year contract and the board and the department are in a process of appointing a CEO, Makhurupetje said. She added that the aim was to develop Gaal into a self-sustainable entity that contributes to the economic development of the province.
“During this financial year, we will be transferring an amount of R53,4 million to the entity in order for it to fulfil its mandate. In the main, these funds are allocated to manage and maintain the operations of Polokwane International Airport. An amount of R3 million is budgeted for maintenance of airside infrastructure which includes maintenance of runways, taxiways, landing lights and flood lights,” she explained.
Makhurupetje divulged that, as part of improving taxi rank infrastructure across the province, the Thohoyandou intermodal facility built at an estimated cost of R260 million
will be completed in the first quarter of 2018/19 financial year. She added that the department had set aside R5 million for the Limpopo Taxi Council in an effort to assist the industry with administration and transformation. In the new financial year, the department will assist Collins Chabane Local Municipality to develop an integrated transport system and subsequent design of the networks which will be done at an estimated cost of R2 million, she stated.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI