National Transport Minister, Dipuo Peters, is setting the stage to deliver Gauteng’s economy another blow by recommending time limits on the hours which heavy duty vehicles may be allowed to operate on the province’s roads.
Gauteng’s economy is already bleeding due to the ministers continued insistence to implement a so-called “hybrid” tolling system on motorists – which, according to Gauteng Premier, David Makhura’s e-toll review panel finding that e-tolls in some form or another – places the poor in an untenable situation.
Reducing Road Fatalities
Now, the Minister’s latest proposal will prevent trucks weighing over 9000kg from operating on the province’s highways from 06h00 to 09h00, and 17h00 to 20h00 – in a misguided attempt to “reduce road fatalities”.
Road safety is a critical concern in Gauteng and the rest of South Africa, but it will only be improved with strict and proactive traffic law enforcement. Banning goods vehicles from the province’s roads is treating a symptom, not the cause.
Knock-on Effects of Recommended Time Limits
The knock-on effects will not only harm economic growth and job creation, but also have a severe effect on the poor.
Time limits on operating hours will force logistics companies to pay drivers overtime, driving up costs while slowing down the supply of goods such as fuel, perishable foods, and components that support the manufacturing sector.
The fact is that road fatalities will only be reduced through strict traffic law enforcement at all hours of the day and week, addressing driver behaviour and by stamping out corruption.
Once again, the logic that brought us the e-toll system intends to force another unjust and unfair system that will impair the quality of life for business and citizens alike.
The DA will keep a close eye on and attend all public stakeholder engagements in Gauteng so as to ensure that government is reminded of the damage its ill-thought through policies would cause to an already fragile economy.
Dr Neil Campbell MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport
082 387 2540