2 October 2012
The South African government will roll out a programme in an effort to stop corruption in the transport system, Transport Minister Dikobe Ben Martins announced at the launch of Transport Month in Soweto, Johannesburg on Monday.
The transport month campaign, which was officially declared in 2005 at the Transport Lekgotla, is commemorated annually during the month of October.
This year’s theme is “Working together to provide a safe and reliable transport system”.
It is aimed at raising awareness on the important role of transport in the economy, to solicit participation from civil society and business in providing a more affordable, safer, accessible and reliable transport system.
Through the campaign, the department highlights the role and successes of all stakeholders in creating safe modes of transport and contributions towards socio- economic development innovations.
‘Getting rid of the scourge of corruption’
“We are going to enforce a major programme pertaining to [fighting] corruption. We want to get rid of the scourge of corrupt traffic officers on the side of our roads who are accepting bribes,” Martins said.
“People involved in corruption should be arrested and sent straight to prison. We can’t tolerate corruption in our ranks. We must deal with corruption without fear or favour.
“Those people who pass unroadworthy vehicles and put them on our roads will also face the full might of the law. Those who accept bribes by empowering people who are not well trained or not trained at all to drive by providing them with fraudulent drivers’ licences will be exposed,” he said.
Martins said those who were buying fraudulent drivers’ licences were contributing to road fatalities in the country.
Through this transport month, Martins said they want to emphasise safety in all modes of transport in the country.
Road safety ‘cannot be restricted to one month’
“We want to emphasise the importance of safety in the air, on the roads, as well as on sea. October is declared transport month, but road safety should not and cannot be restricted to this month, but throughout the year,” he said.
“Unfortunately, in our country, November and December is a period that we experience the greatest number of road fatalities on our roads.
“Our responsibility today is to highlight the importance of road safety throughout the year, each and every day of the year should be dedicated to road safety and awareness for road safety, which is the shared responsibility between pedestrians and motorists as well as authorities.”
The transport department and all its provincial departments are embarking on a major programme to enforce road safety.
Deputy Transport Minister Lydia Chikunga said: “Our transport system needs to be continuously revamped in order to transport our people smoothly and safe[ly]”.
Chairperson of the Transport Portfolio, Ruth Bhengu praised Gauteng for moving with speed in transforming the transport system in the province.
“When we took over this government in 1994, we inherited the transport system that was never linked to each other, but today, all modes of transport in the province are linked. We have the Gautrain which is linked to the OR Tambo Airport, linked to Metrorail and the BRT system,” she said.