Pretoria – The Department of Transport will increase the number of law enforcement officers on public roads in the current financial year, says Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi.
“The Department will advocate that law enforcement be declared an essential service, to ensure availability of traffic officers on a 24/7 schedule on the country’s roads,” Minister Maswanganyi said on Tuesday.
Tabling the Department of Transport’s Budget Vote in Cape Town, he said over the medium term, his department will focus on maintaining the provincial as well as national road networks.
Furthermore, the department will upgrade and maintain the rail infrastructure and improve the public transport for rail and road commuters.
The department’s budget is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 6% in the period ahead, from R59 billion in 2017/18 to R68.6 billion in 2019/20.
“The South African National Roads Agency will receive an additional R1.7 billion over the medium term. The agency will also receive an additional R3.7 billion for upgrading the R573 Moloto Road,” Minister Maswanganyi said.
He said the R573 Moloto Development Corridor will play a significant role as a logistics spine to connect Mpumalanga and Limpopo with Gauteng.
The corridor will also be used for transporting people, minerals and agricultural produce into regional markets and export harbours.
“The upgraded Moloto Road is a crucial component of this strategy because of its importance to local economic development within the districts it traverses,” Minister Maswanganyi said.
The Roads Transport budget is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 9.4% over the medium term, from R23 billion in 2015/16 to R29.8 billion in 2018/19.
He said the rehabilitation of 5 390 kilometres of provincially managed roads and the resealing of 11 976 kilometres are projected to cost R32.5 billion via the provincial roads maintenance grant.
The department’s spending on Metrorail is expected to subsidise more than 484 million passenger trips per year in the period ahead, and spending on the mainline passenger service is expected to subsidise 2.3 million passengers over the medium term.
“Our public transport network grant funds the infrastructure and operations of integrated public transport networks in 13 cities across South Africa.
“Over the medium term, the grant is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 7.6% from R5.6 billion in 2016/17 to R7 billion in 2019/20, to support construction in 13 cities and fund the indirect operating costs of services in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and George,” Minister Maswanganyi said.