The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department will spend more than a billion rand on roads and transport infrastructure during the 2003/2004 financial year.

The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department will spend more than a billion rand on roads and transport infrastructure during the 2003/2004 financial year.

reports that transport MEC Sibusiso Ndebele said during his budget speech this week that efficient freight transport systems were essential to the province’s economic growth as the province was the critical route in the country’s global supply chain.

“Developing countries cannot develop unless they are prepared to invest in transport infrastructure. Transport is considered integral to all service provision as well as the supply and marketing of commodities,” he explained.

Ndebele said although the country’s economy had achieved an average annual growth of seven per cent in the volume of manufactured goods, the province’s economy was under-performing and stressed that the province was well placed to be the hub of South Africa’s economic renaissance.

“Clearly, we cannot continue to under-perform and still retain our status as the gateway province of South Africa,” he further explained.

He said the province had to take cognisance of the fact that economic development in neighbouring Mozambique were posing a serious challenge to KZN because once the Maputo corridor was completed it would be the closest port to Gauteng. This included new port developments in Ponta Dobela between Maputo and Richards Bay.

Ndebele said the department would spend more than R200-million on road traffic and road traffic safety, over R1,2-billion on road infrastructure and over R100-million on administration.

He said nearly R30-million would be set aside for the regulation of public transport to ensure public access to safe, efficient and affordable modes of transport. The department expected to collect R411-million revenue, mainly from licences, during the present financial year.

Original article from Car