The functionality of a district municipality as a transport authority : the case of the West Rand, Gauteng Province
The White Paper on National Transport Policy (SA, 1996:12) identified the fragmentation of functions between different spheres of government as one of the main obstacles besetting the effective development and management of the transport system. It endorsed one of the principles in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Ad 108 of 1996, to devolve functions to the lowest appropriate sphere of government if it could be more effectively handled and if there was capacity to perform the functions. In pursuing the above objective, the purpose of this study was to determine the functionality of the West Rand District Municipality in terms of administrative as well as economic and transport management principles to fulfil the role as a transport authority in terms of the NLTTA for its present area of jurisdiction. The study therefore addressed the legal framework as well as transport and economic indicators defining the functional area of a transport authority. In determining the nature and extent of functions as fulfilled by the respective municipalities, use was made of dichotomous questionnaires. These findings were also supported with technical data based on surveys conducted through the Gauteng Household Travel Survey (2000) and the Operating Licensing Strategy (200212003). To further operationalise the research objectives of this study, and touching on Great Britain's transport experience over the past 75 years, a comparison was made between the present status of Transport Authorities in the United Kingdom, compared to those in South Africa (Gauteng Province). Upon analysing the empirical findings it was evident that the establishment of a Transport Authority for the area of jurisdiction of the West Rand would enable the WRDM to deliver on the following number of fronts: • Coherent Alignment to a Common Vision • Integration of Transport System • Control over Transport Modes • Optimised Utilisation of Funds To create a conducive environment for a West Rand Transport Authority to improve its functionality, it was recommended that serious attention be given to aspects such as funding mechanisms, legality of municipal entities, clarity on the status of transport powers at municipal level of government, assignment of functions and human resource capacity. Upon conclusion it was agreed that the successful implementation of a functional transport authority for the West Rand will be dependant, not only upon technical expertise and management and by resolving the above issues, but also on political support.
- Humanities