October Transport Month Recap
October is the official month for Transport and this years theme is “Together Let’s Keep the Service Delivery Momentum Going and Grow the Economy.” This year marked the 14th anniversary of the October Transport Month (#OTM2019) which concurrently celebrates South Africa’s 25 years of democracy.
Throughout October government and the Department of Transport and its entities have showcased major investments in transport infrastructure to ensure that South Africa builds an integrated public transport. These investments are aimed at stimulating development and creating jobs.
Investments in rail, roads and public transport are changing the way people access their places of work, study and entertainment. The plan is for these investments to help grow South Africa’s economy, and address the challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Some of the objectives for Transport Month included:
- The performance of the passenger rail service being improved.
- The modernization of the rail network being fast tracked
- Government being committed to professionalise the taxi industry
- The Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act will reduce road fatalities.
- Addressing corruption and the function of the driving licensing testing centres
- Government investing in transport infrastructure to support the economy
The President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, joined the Minister of Transport Mr. Fikile Mbalula to officially launch the October Transport Month campaign and the redesigned Arrive Alive programme of the Department approved by the Cabinet and this took place on 5 October 2019.
This launched introduced the redesigned Arrive Alive programme that has been set up to put road safety tightly under the spotlight using unconventional interventions through the 365 Days Road Safety Action Agenda to transform road user behaviour.
The string of road deaths in South Africa continues to account for about 14,000 deaths a year and untold suffering for families, friends and loved ones in the loss of their beloved. Ramaphosa added that road accidents are costing the economy at least R147-billion a year.
South Africa’s Road Safety Agenda will mainstream road safety interventions into the daily activities of transport authorities, enrich round the clock traffic law enforcement and discourage unsafe road user behaviour.
Safety Action Agenda.
President Ramaphosa officially signed into law the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act on 13 August 2019 paving the way for the steering of a new regime in driver and road user behaviour for the country.
The AARTO Act will discourage bad and persuade good road user and road traffic behaviour by providing a scheme for road traffic violations and facilitate the adjudication of road traffic infringements.
As Transport month concludes, the Minister of Transport Mr. Fikile Mbalula has stated that they will continue to intensify the implementation of the 365 days road safety action campaign. Throughout the festive season there will be increased police visibility on our roads, increased efforts on roads safety education and intensified traffic law enforcement.
“Government calls on road users, especially public transport operators, to make road safety a priority. Road safety requires commitment and dedication from everyone to ensure that these unnecessary deaths on the roads are drastically reduced” – Mr. Fikile Mbalula