A UDM Government will strive for excellence in making sure that all modes of transport are the safest way of travel, including safe and efficient infrastructure. Roads in particular will be maintained in good condition at all times including signage as it is our belief that if every road user would comply with properly constructed roads and road signage there would be a dramatic decrease in accidents. All modes of transport will be subjected to regular spot checks to ensure reliability as well as raising safety standards. Sufficient consultation will be conducted between a UDM Government and stakeholders to determine and regulate the age (lifespan) of such modes of transport.
Government investment on public transport and infrastructure is pathetic, as illustrated by deteriorating roads, with the road infrastructure maintenance backlogs running into the tens of billions of Rands. The UDM is convinced that improved government investment in this type of infrastructure will create thousands of jobs, whilst improving the safety of commuters and travellers, and finally that improved transport infrastructure contribute directly to economic growth by lowering the costs of doing business in South Africa.
The UDM supports an integrated transport system, where trains, taxies, buses, aircraft and other modes of transport complement each other, providing consumers with safe and efficient travel alternatives. In this regard it is necessary to place Transport within the context of integrated development in communities, in order to attain a synergy between places of work and residential areas. Local Government will have to play an important role in this respect, to ensure that the disparity in the travelling distances of previously disadvantaged communities is addressed. Despite ANC promises of bridging the gulf between rich and poor, the poor still have to travel long distances between their homes and places of work, often at huge expense and via inferior transport services. Many of the transport problems of South Africa are the direct result of Apartheid city planning which placed non-whites on the fringes of cities, and then provided a commuter service to bring the workers from the outskirts to the cities and towns. This is why integrated development at Local Government level is vital.
2. Mission statement
To make South Africa the benchmark of excellence in the movement and ferrying of people as well as goods throughout its areas of authority, on the continent of Africa and abroad. The aim will be to reduce the average domestic commuter’s time and expenditure on travelling.
3.1. The UDM will aim to ensure that people and goods are conveyed in a manner that is convenient, user-friendly, reliable, and economical.
3.2. A UDM Government will employ systems that will place emphasis on the needs of commuters and people in general, systems that will be transparent and properly coordinated. This will be achieved by making innovative use of available technological resources, human skills and experience to render world-class Transport services to people from all walks of life.
3.3. Under a UDM Government the Department of Transport in conjunction with the Department of Public Works and other Transport Agencies will be involved in devising strategies for the development and maintenance of infrastructure. The quality of infrastructure directly impacts on the efficiency of transport.
3.4. The Department of Transport under a UDM Government will only permit the privatisation of state transport enterprises where tenders include clear and detailed short-, medium- and long-term employment plans to combat job-losses. Bidders will have to agree to prerequisites that are set in this connection and strict penalties will be applied if successful bidders fail to abide by them.
3.5. Safety of transport in South Africa requires immediate and drastic attention. A UDM Government will commit itself to eradicate the annual rate of death from transport accidents which currently results in thousands of casualties.
4. UDM solutions
4.1. Road transport
4.1.1. Road infrastructure
The ANC Government appears oblivious to the fact that the overall backlog in road repair and maintenance has become desperate. In the past seven years, it has simply resigned itself to the fact that maintenance had already been neglected since the 1980’s. It praises the work of the SA National Roads Agency for its efficient management of the national roads network whilst on the other hand it underfunds the very same Agency. The UDM accepts that constructing a new road can be extremely costly and that, on the other hand, regular maintenance and repair constitute a fraction of these costs.
A UDM Government will extend the services of the SA National Roads Agency as road infrastructure is of vital importance for the general safety of South African road users, and plays an important role in the cost of doing business in the country.
4.1.2. Road commuter transport
A UDM Government will permit all roadworthy Public Transport that are lawfully registered to carry their specific numbers of passengers provided that they have valid certificate of roadworthiness and that the operators of such vehicles are in possession of valid public driving permits.
Government must ensure that bus and taxi operators keep their vehicles in roadworthy condition.
A UDM Government will promote closer cooperation between Government and taxi associations and bus operators, through regular direct communication.
4.2. National rail services
4.2.1. Rail passenger services
The ANC Government has not begun to substantially improve and to promote the use of mainline rail ser