Transport and Community Safety MEC, Makoma Makhurupetje expressed her dismay at the fact that of all the municipalities in the province only Polokwane and Lephalale have approved Integrated Transport Plans (ITPs) and stated that the time for excuses for non-compliance by municipalities should now be a thing of the past.
Makhurupetje addressed members of municipal mayoral committees responsible for transport at a meeting convened at Bolivia Estate on Tuesday and entreated municipalities to develop their ITPs.
“The reality that we face is that our modes of public transport systems are not integrated. There is an increasing private vehicle utilisation which causes both environmental harm and traffic congestions. We have increased travel costs for commuters on the one hand, and in some cases, excessive journey times resulting in decreased productivity for operators. At most of our taxi and bus ranks there is a general neglect of facilities which contributes to poor hygiene and a lack of safety which compounds the challenges of reliability in our public transport system. It is municipalities who are custodians of rank facilities, and your involvement in their turnaround cannot be overemphasised,” Makhurupetje said.
According to the MEC her department has embarked on a process to assist municipalities with the development of ITPs that will provide them with information on the demand and supply of public transport services in their respective municipal areas and that will assist municipalities to improve the management of public transport services.
“The time for excuses has now passed as our people cannot wait any longer. As a start, I want us to leave here united on one goal, and that is to establish transport forums in all local and district municipalities. Once established, these forums should then mothball the process of developing ITPs for each municipality.”
Makhurupetje also mentioned that only three of the five district municipalities and only 11 local municipalities have active transport forums.
“Let us continue praying in our various churches for the reduction of fatalities. Let us teach one another to change our behaviour on the road. Don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive, follow safe following distances and remember that speed kills,” Makhurupetje concluded before wishing all a merry Festive Season characterised by joy and peace.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN