Parliament, Friday, 18 November 2021 – The Portfolio Committee on Transport will this weekend hold public hearings on the Railway Safety Bill [B 7-2021] in North West Province. The hearings form part of a nationwide public participation process that aims to embed community participation in the law-making process to ensure that legislation passed by Parliament takes into consideration the lived experiences of the people.

Public consultation and participation is a constitutional requirement that Parliament is obliged to undertake as part of its decision-making processes. “These hearings are in line with Section 59 (1) of the Constitution, which urges public involvement in the legislative-making process of the Assembly. Also, we are hopeful that, as the primary beneficiaries of the protections proposed by the Bill, participants will present qualitative inputs aimed at improving the Bill, ensuring safe railway operations,” said Mr Lisa Mancu, the Acting Chairperson of the committee.

The Bill aims to amend the National Railway Safety Regulator Act 16 of 2002 by facilitating an improvement in general safety within the railway environment. This will ensure that rail becomes an attractive mode of transport and contributes towards economic growth. This will provide a platform to effectively fight inequality, poverty and unemployment.

In the effort to align legislation with the White Paper on National Rail Policy and government’s plan to move passengers and freight from road to rail, the Bill proposes and promotes the use of rail as an efficient mode of transport. Also, the Bill aims to facilitate a modern, flexible and efficient regulatory regime that ensures the continuing enhancement of safe railway operations across the country.

The amendment was also necessitated by the drive to harmonise the railway safety regime, both within the country and also with requirements for safe railway operations within the Southern African Development Community. The Bill will also harmonise the railway safety regime by preventing the proliferation of laws, policies and approaches to the execution of such laws and policies from materially prejudicing the beneficiaries of railway safety. Ultimately, the passing of the Bill will ensure the well-being of the people of the Republic by providing effective, transparent, accountable and coherent governance of railway safety.

The committee will hold two hearings in the North West, with hearings in Klerksdorp and Rustenburg. The committee invites interested individuals and organisations to come and share their views on the Bill with the committee.

Details of the hearings (Day 1)
Date: Saturday, 19 November 2022
Venue: Recreation Centre, Klerksdorp
Time: 10:00

Details of the hearings (Day 2)
Date: Sunday, 20 November 2022
Venue: Old Town Hall, Rustenburg
Time: 10:00

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE ACTING-CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT, MR LISA MANGCU.

For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairpersons, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Malatswa Molepo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8438
Cell: 081 512 7920
E-mail: mmolepo@parliament.gov.za