Speech delivered by Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula on the occasion of the official opening of the Tembisa Licensing Centre on 11 November 2019 in Tembisa
Acting Executive Mayor, Councillor Phelisa Nkunjane
Members of the oversight Committee
Local and Ward Councillors
HoDs of Transport and Community Safety
Ladies and Gentlemen
In the last week, while unveiling South Africa's 25-year review, President Ramaphosa affirmed government's commitment to ensuring that people lived closer to centres of economic activity.
This is in line with the core tenet of our transport policy, which requires of us to densify corridors, not only in rolling out transport infrastructure, but also in integrating transport as an integral part of human settlement development. Densifying corridors means positioning transport infrastructure development as a catalyst for developing economic nodes closer to where people live and also developing human settlements closer to places of economic activity.
The Licensing Hub we are launching today in Tembisa, is a practical expression of our commitment, not only to bring services closer to the people, but also to stimulate economic activity around the hub. It cannot be that our people continue to travel long distances to access government services such as vehicle testing, driving licence renewal or taking learner licence testing.
We are pleased that the City of Ekhuruleni has already begun work on two more licensing hubs. The Katlehong Licensing hub and Kwatsaduza Licensing Hub are both 30% complete.
The rolling out of these hubs is a practical expression of the Khawuleza ethos that underpins the 6th Administration, which requires of us to give practical expression to accelerated service delivery.
South Africa experiences approximately 14 000 deaths per annum on our roads, with an estimated economic impact of R166 billion. This is a very dire situation that if left unchecked, will have devastating economic consequences for the country.
In recognition of these challenges, South Africa committed to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, which seeks to stabilise road fatalities and injuries, ultimately effecting a reduction thereto. Our strategy to arresting the carnage on our roads is multi-faceted, focusing on enforcement, infrastructure rollout, education to change road-user behaviour amongst others.
This state-of-the-art facility, the first of its kind in a previously disadvantaged community is the catalyst for economic activity in the area. Once fully operational early in the new year, the Tembisa Licensing Hub will be a one stop shop comprising of a motor vehicle registration authority, vehicle testing centres and drivers licence testing centres. In a nutshell, the hub will provide driver fitness, vehicle fitness and motor vehicle registration and licensing services.
This facility will not only service Tembisa, but will also tend to the needs of motorists from Kempton Park North, the City of Tshwane and City of Johannesburg off the R21 and Olifantsfontein (R562) highways.
We are reviewing our service delivery model to ensure that road traffic services and law enforcement are delivered in a seamlessly integrated manner delivered through a convergence framework among the three spheres of government. This will find expression in the alignment of the roles and responsibilities of the spheres of government in the National Road Traffic Act of 1996. While national
government is responsible for funding, Provincial government responsible for management and local government responsible for daily operations, the service to the citizens must be delivered in a seamless manner.
The hub we are launching today is an integral part of our traffic law enforcement Action Agenda, which not only focuses on enforcing the law, but also creating an enabling environment for motorists to comply with the law. The successful implementation of the Action Agenda is dependent on establishing a single chain of command in traffic law enforcement and service provision, which must enable a seamlessly integrated approach to interventions.
The Tembisa Licencing Hubs and similar infrastructure will be an integral part of our re-imagined road safety and traffic law enforcement strategies aimed at arresting the carnage on our roads. The hub will ensure that infrastructure is available to ensure that vehicles on our roads are roadworthy and that drivers are licenced. Working with the City and the Province, we will ensure that we clamp down on corruption, and will throw the book at those who violate the law and act in a corrupt manner.
When we launched the 365-Days Action Agenda at the beginning of October 2019, with the slogan, 24/7 Waya Waya, O Kae Molao, we emphasised that safety on the roads is a collective responsibility for all South Africans in all walks of life. This is a responsibility we must exercise at all times. Similarly, the law enforcement authorities must up their game and ensure visibility and enforcement every day and every hour. Road users equally have an obligation to exercise vigilance and behave in a manner that does not place others in harm's way.
As we approach the festive season, we call on all South Africans to play their part in ensuring that no life is lost on our roads through conduct that is avoidable. We will also raise the bar in maximising law enforcement interventions as we aggressively roll out the 24/7 Campaign in every corner of the country.
I thank you.
Issued by: Department of Transport