President Ramaphosa Signs Economic Regulation of Transport Act

14 Jun 2024

President Ramaphosa has signed the Economic Regulation of Transport Act.

Parliament passed the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill and sent it to the president for assent at the end of February 2024.

In early December 2023, the national council of provinces (NCOP) amended the bill and returned it to the national assembly (NA) for concurrence.

The NA gave the green light to the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in September 2022.

The bill was tabled in parliament in January 2020.

The transport department published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 42887 in December 2019.

The bill, designed to promote economic growth in South Africa by promoting an effective, efficient and productive transport sector, was published for comment in October 2018.

Speaking during the department’s 2019 Budget Vote Speech in parliament in July 2019, the then transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, described economic regulation as an important lever in “delivering a transport system that enables economic activity and stimulate growth, by giving practical effect to our commitment to lowering the cost of doing business”.

“This starts with eliminating delays and cancellations in our commuter rail network so that those who rely on this mode to get to places of economic activity are able to maximise their productivity by being at work on time,” he said.

According to the minister, the envisaged regulator will level the playing fields in the rail, maritime and roads sectors.

The bill’s memorandum declares that the department aims to achieve a “technically competent, independent and adequately resourced regulator which is well placed to improve economic outcomes in the transport sector”.

The portfolio committee on transport adopted the bill with amendments.

During a briefing on the bill to the NCOP at the beginning of 2023, the department emphasised that South Africa needs to ensure the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its transport system in order to meet its economic and social goals.

The department added that international comparisons suggest that “transportation comprises an unacceptably high proportion of logistics costs in South Africa”. Economic regulation in transport is also currently “fragmented, inconsistent and in some cases non-existent”.

The portfolio committee adopted the amendments proposed by the select committee.

The act, published in Gazette 50799, aims to:

  • consolidate the economic regulation of transport within a single framework and policy;
  • establish the Transport Economic Regulator;
  • establish the Transport Economic Council;
  • make consequential amendments to various other Acts; and
  • provide for related incidental matters.

The act comes into effect on a date still to be determined by the president.

The president may set different dates for different provisions of the act to come into operation, subject to item 2 of Schedule 2.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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