11 May 2017

South Africa: Draft Rural Transport Strategy Approved

Pretoria — Cabinet has approved the Draft Reviewed Rural Transport Strategy which responds to the priorities of rural district municipalities and provinces.

Addressing a post Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said the strategy will address the inadequate provision of Rural Transport Infrastructure and services which limits socio-economic development.

"Implementation of this strategy will contribute towards the development of the local and provincial economy by improving access to public transport.

"This will increase connectivity between urban and rural spaces, with a view to integrating the rural environment into the mainstream economy," the Minister said.

Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy

Cabinet has also approved the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy which articulates government's commitment to the growth, development and transformation of South Africa's maritime transport sector, in support of socio-economic development while contributing to international trade.

"This is in line with the government priorities relating to Operation Phakisa on growing the Oceans Economy.

"It is also aligned to broader goals of promoting economic growth and boosting job creation, as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP) and National Infrastructure Plan," Minister Dlodlo said.

Draft Green Transport Strategy

Cabinet further approved the publication of the Draft Green Transport Strategy for public comments.

The Minister said transport plays a key role in enabling global trade in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner.

"Transport systems form the backbone of South Africa's socio-economic activities by enabling the movement of people and goods.

"However, emissions from the transport sector contribute to the country's total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), with road transport being the leading contributor," Minister Dlodlo said.

She said the strategy seeks to propose interventions that will reduce GHG emissions within the sustainable development principles.

Smart Africa Alliance

The Minister said Cabinet has also approved that South Africa joins the Smart Africa Alliance.

"This is an African led collaboration focusing on developing relevant solutions and sharing resources to address the development challenges facing the continent.

"It places Information and Communications Technologies at the center of the development agenda 2063 of the African countries."

She said South Africa will benefit both economically and politically through its participation in Smart Africa.

"By positioning the South African industry and expertise at the heart of Smart Africa's development agenda, South Africa will contribute to the growth of local business in the region," the Minister said.

DBE policy on HIV, STIs, TB

Cabinet has also approved the promulgation of the Department of Basic Education National Policy on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis (TB).

The 1999 policy focused on universal precautions and biomedical aspects of prevention, and less on the structural, social and behavioural drivers of HIV.

"This policy proposes a paradigm shift towards approaching HIV as a core management issue using a public health approach, as well as the inclusion of tuberculosis as a priority within schools, amongst others," Minister Dlodlo said.

She said the scope of application is widened to learners, educators and officials, in public as well as independent schools.

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