Transport dept gears for 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has urged senior managers in his department to accelerate service delivery this year.

The department is currently hosting a two-day strategic planning session in Pretoria, which ends on Friday.

The gathering is being attended by the minister, his Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin, Director-General George Mahlalela as well as other senior managers.

During his opening address, Ndebele said: "2012 is the year when things will happen, and it is all of us here who must make it happen... [it is] a crucial year. This is our first engagement for this year as the Department of Transport family.

"We must appreciate the fact that we are all here to present a roadmap for the department so that we can all address some of the key transport challenges in order to ensure a better life for all our people.
But most importantly, we need to critically look at those areas where we did not perform well since 2009, and find the best solutions going forward."

He encouraged officials in his department to play a more robust role in delivering basic services to the people, of which transport was a vital part.

"Our people do not have much time to listen to what our policies and strategies say about these important elements of their lives. They just want delivery.

"They blame us when road crashes claim more lives, when there are long queues at Driver Licensing and Vehicle Testing Centres, when potholes dominate our roads ..."

Key focus areas for the department this year include rail, road and public transportation, road safety and rural development.

"We must bear in mind that our failure to deliver on these key strategic areas is the failure of our term in office, and a failure on the part of the department. It is then our duty to fulfil our mandate in ensuring the provision of safe, affordable and reliable transport.

Ndebele said if the department was to improve the way in which it does things, it would require dynamism from its senior managers.

"I am confident that this team is well equipped and talented to drive the kind of public servant that is needed to take the transport challenges to a higher level of decision-making, which is solution orientated.

"We have a very long way to go in addressing rural development, unemployment, access to public transport, road safety and [we] must come up with brilliant strategies and implement them."

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