New bills to push for integrated transport system

Cabinet has approved two bills which lay the foundation towards the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 aspirations of an integrated passenger transport system that is accessible for all.

On Thursday, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane announced that Cabinet has approved the Draft Revised White Paper on National Transport Policy to be published for public comment.

The policy aims to provide a transport system that is integrated with other related sector plans so as to reduce both the cost of commuting and doing business, the Minister said.

It also aligns the country's transportation plans to the global transportation trends by improving the safety, security, reliability, quality and speed of transporting goods and people, while also improving South Africa's competitiveness and that of its transport infrastructure and operations by reducing the cost of doing business.

Green Paper on Roads Policy

Cabinet also approved the Green Paper on Roads Policy for South Africa to be published for public comment soon. A green paper is designed to stimulate responses from the public and interested parties.

It provides a framework of focused policy issues for discussion which can form an important basis for policy proposals and formulation.

Minister Mokonyane said the policy provides the overarching framework that ensures South Africa's roads are better managed, safer and include all modes of transport to deliver a sustainable approach to roads management.

It guides the road regulations, infrastructure, safety, road funding and non- motorised transport.

Railway Safety Bill of 2017

Cabinet approved the Railway Safety Bill of 2017 to be published for public comment. The bill seeks to improve railway safety and create a governance structure to oversee the work of the Rail Safety Regulator of South Africa.

It is also aligned to the National Rail Policy regarding the strengthening of safety monitoring, and the promotion and enforcement of safety in the country's railways.

The Draft Economic Regulation of Transport Bill of 2017 was also proved to be published for public comments and consultation.

The Bill addresses the regulatory and capacity gaps in respect of provision of a cost-effective and efficient transport system.

Customary Initiation Bill

Other non-transport related bills approved by Cabinet for submission to parliament include, Customary Initiation Bill of 2018 which seeks to protect, promote and regulate the governance aspect of the practice of customary initiation.

According to Minister Mokonyane, the bill provides national norms and standards aimed at the protection of life and the prevention of injuries and all forms of abuse experienced by initiates.

National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill

Furthermore, Cabinet approved for the submission of the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill of 2016 to Parliament.

The Bill, which amends the National Qualifications Framework Act, 2008 (Act 67 of 2008), strengthens the Act by improving measures to deal with issues of misrepresentation, imposes consequences on persons who misrepresent their qualifications or organisations that issue invalid qualifications.

The Bill also proposes regulations to ensure that fraudulent qualifications are referred to the relevant professional bodies and also addresses the accreditation of foreign qualifications.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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