Hon Chairperson, hon members, fellow South Africans, any responsible government across the world has the responsibility to ensure that their country has reliable, well-functioning transport system in place. It is really part of the very key building blocks supporting our hybrid economy.
In South Africa, the National Land Transport Act is the law that regulates all forms of road public transport. It is now the first time that this law is under review since it came into effect in 2009. Amendments to this Bill are very important, but even more important, is a responsibility to ensure that the result of these amendments will be a well- functioning public transport system serving the community and paving the way towards a growing economy.
The Bill and its impact are important to all South Africans. Even up to this day, there are still concerns whether proper public import was obtained and considered. There are still concerns about the Bill having possible unintended consequences if it becomes law. There are also still questions about the constitutionality of this Bill.
The last concern is shared by various institutions and organisations like SA Local Government Association, Salga. Despite all the voices cautioning about the constitutionality, the department convinced the
committee to press ahead along the lines of their interpretation, ignoring seven previous judgements of the Constitutional Court in this regard.
Chairperson, the outcome is predictable. The Bill is also not progressive enough to accommodate new technology and modern business models. E-hailing operators are not well-catered for in terms of safety issues, pick-up points, etc. The implementation of this Bill will therefore severely restrain these operations and rob South Africans of a competitive, modern land transport system.
During the process getting us up to this point where we are today, the Western Cape supported the negotiating mandate, but could not support the amended Bill referred to them to consider for the final mandate. Chairperson, The Western Cape does not support the Bill. I thank you.