Rail Infrastructure Damage Affect Economic Wellbeing of Poor and  Most Vulnerable

Rail Infrastructure Damage Affect Economic Wellbeing of Poor and Most Vulnerable

Government must take full responsibility for sad state of affairs because of its soft approach when dealing with criminals

The negative impact of ongoing damage to public rail infrastructure is costing commuters dearly. Millions of former train commuters now have to pay up to 500% more to travel to and from work by taxi.

Instead of Prasa safeguarding our public rail infrastructure, they have allowed vandals to strip train stations bare, and to put many commuter routes out of action. Workers that used to spend R7,90 on train-fare as an example, from Garankuwa to work in Pretoria, now have to pay R45 to get to work by taxi in the morning, and R45 to go back home. Those who used to spend R140 on a monthly train ticket to their place of work are now spending R960 a month to use taxis to the same work place. As a result of these high transport costs, these workers are now unable to meet all their financial obligations and the needs of their families. Those badly affected are now calling for trains to be brought back as a matter of urgency, as trains are the most affordable public transport for the poor.

Even before lockdown, Prasa was experiencing serious problems. Countrywide, Metrorail commuters dropped from 543 million in 2013 to 147 million in 2019, and between 2017 and 2019, almost a billion rands of damage was done to our rail infrastructure by vandals and arsonists – while guarded by a security company contracted to Prasa.

In April this year, however, our state-owned rail entity ended their security contract and put its own security guards in place. Vandals became bolder and plundered ticket office roofs, overhead lines, bricks, copper and whatever else they could lay their hands on.

On 20 November 2019, the President signed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act into law. The law provides for sentences of up to 20 years in prison for train arsonists, and to my knowledge, nobody so far has received such a sentence for destroying our infrastructure. The ACDP believes that government must take full responsibility for this sad state of affairs in our country because of their soft approach when dealing with criminals.

There must be some serious consequences for those damaging and destroying public infrastructure. Without severe punishment for those who are destroying property, the problem we are debating today will continue unabated, and the poor and vulnerable will continue to be the ones who suffer the most.

Government must have a political will to hunt down and punish criminals who destroy our infrastructure. Unless a clear message is sent that they will be punished severely, then criminals will continue doing it as they have no fear of punishment.

The ACDP demands to know when government is going to start implementing the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. We therefore, call on government to show that they have the will to stop this destruction of our valuable infrastructure.

Rail Infrastructure Damage Affect Economic Wellbeing of Poor and  Most Vulnerable

Rail Infrastructure Damage Affect Economic Wellbeing of Poor and Most Vulnerable

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South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan

The ACDP will support all efforts and workable plans to restore our economy to inclusive growth following the devastation caused by COVID-19 to the country’s economy. Sadly, because of the hard lockdown imposed by the government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, our economy contracted sharply, businesses have closed, and approximately 3 million workers lost their jobs in the second quarter of this year. Read More

SAPS MUST REMAIN VIGILANT

SAPS MUST REMAIN VIGILANT

SAPS must remain vigilant as farmers and EFF members plan to descend on the Senekal Magistrate’s Court.

Peace-loving South Africans must refrain from making inflammatory statements and using words that might increase racial tensions in our country. The ACDP is on record for repeatedly condemning all forms of violence, regardless of where it comes from or who the perpetrators are.

Read More

To recover from Covid-19 pandemic, SA needs a leadership that will put people first

To recover from Covid-19 pandemic, SA needs a leadership that will put people first

ACDP says to recover from Covid-19 pandemic, SA needs a leadership that will put people first

As South Africa moves into Alert Level 1, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) urges all to work towards rebuilding our economy. The economy has been decimated and another 3 million people added to the ranks of the unemployed, as a consequence of one of the harshest lockdowns in the world.

The past six months have changed the lives of many forever. The country has gone through a paradigm shift and the ugly heads of inequality and corruption have once again been revealed. However, South Africans are resilient. We are a strong, courageous people and we have a shared future to care for.

In order to recover from this pandemic, the nation needs a leadership that is willing to put people first, root out corruption and address the systemic injustices that prevail in South African communities.

The ACDP is dedicated to rebuilding communities and bringing opportunities at local community level. The hard lockdown, in April, showed how weak or close to nonexistence local economies are in South Africa. Instead of having close access to food and social services, community members were still driving out of neighbourhoods, or using public transport to access food and other services. This needs to change. Our communities need to become thriving economic nodes that bring sustainable opportunities and job creation.

South Africa needs to rebuild by ensuring that local businesses are capacitated and resourced with skills and opportunities to funding.

For the rebuilding process to take root, it’s critical for people to get involved in the decision-making process. Rebuilding should focus on long-term planning which helps citizens come back stronger by rethinking and repurposing new systems and innovations that make wholesome individuals and entire communities more resilient and successful.

This can only happen if government planning and spending processes are transparent and participatory, which is not the case. South Africans are not represented meaningfully when it comes to governance issues, but often are merely informed of the government’s plans. This needs to change, and policy interventions and programmes should be representative of what people and communities see as priorities for them and their families.

The South African education system is still vastly unequal, with millions of children falling behind due to a lack of access to internet services. The Coronavirus not only exacerbated inequalities but also brought service delivery gaps to the fore. What is required is a new and willing leadership to drive the necessary change forward.

The ACDP is committed to putting communities first by providing ethical and transparent leadership and governance that is not marred by party squabbles or factions. I believe that South Africans are ready to receive a leadership that represents their core value system, one which puts families and lives first.

An ethical and capable government is needed to grow out employment base

An ethical and capable government is needed to grow out employment base

Statement by Wayne Thring MP, ACDP Deputy President

“Honourable Deputy Speaker,

The ACDP welcomes this report of this Department on the oversight visit to the Cape Town Film Studios and the Noodle Factory, funded by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and a project funded by the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) namely Rise Apparel/Uniforms, all in the Western Cape.
 
The ACDP notes the challenges raised by these business entities, mainly around the area of raising capital. For the Cape Town Film Industry the challenge is to raise further capital to grow the studio base and a call to raise the Film and Television Incentives from the current R50 million to R100 million, in order to secure high budget productions.
 
For Rise Apparel, a 100% Black, females owned and managed business, and the Noodle Factory, the challenge was in securing funding from the commercial banks despite having excellent business plans and proposals in place. The ACDP acknowledges the support given by the IDC and NEF to these businesses thus helping to create and sustain some 88 489 jobs.
 
Honourable Deputy Speaker, there is no doubt that our economy is in trouble.
 
GDP is expected to contract by some 10%. 3-7 million people are expected to lose their jobs.
 
Our debt to GDP is expected to surpass 80% in the next year or so.
 
This government is penalizing our future generations by incurring debt and then passing it on to the generations to come. Our Gross Fixed Capital Formation dipped by some 10% in the 4th quarter of last year with real capital expenditure by general government declining by 17.6% and the private business enterprise declining by some 10%. Our trade deficit with our Brics partners in Q4 was R26 billion. This trade deficit is consistent over the last 5 years.
 
The looting of the public purse, by corrupt individuals continues unabated with seemingly no consequences.
 
What we need Honourable Speaker, is a honest, hardworking, trustworthy, ethical and capable government so that we can grow our employment base with more Film Studios, Noodle Factories and Rise Apparel/Uniforms. The ACDP stands ready to fill that space.”