The Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Kitso Mokaila says there is the need for the ministry to look into moving freight off the road to air and rail transport to ease movement on the roads. Mr Mokaila said this recently when presenting the transport sector roadmap during the first session of the five-day transport sector retreat in Palapye.
“The statistics of the SADC freight for example, reflect that 80 percent is being transported by road. We need to ease such road usage in order to make our roads last longer and have fewer accidents in keeping with the target 2020 of reducing fatalities,” he said.
Minister Mokaila said as the ministry is tasked with IT and transportation responsibilities, it must explore strategies through which to use IT systems to get people off the roads.
“We are gearing towards working with the Department of Roads and Transport Services (DRTS) to develop a taxi system that works for the economy. There is the need to facilitate for taxis to get passengers to their destinations without hassles through the use of IT systems,” he said.
Minister Mokaila said their responsibilities as a ministry includes ensuring the safety of the people, hence the need to build a sound road transport system.
“We have to get out of our comfort zone and introduce something different in the public transport system.
With regard to financial prudence and the usage of funds, we have the road fund which collects around P1.6 billion annually. This fund can assist in the maintenance and development of roads, but it has been used as a sludge fund in over-paying contractors, for work they could not perform,” he said.
He said the Ministry now aims to closely monitor projects to make sure that they are delivered on time and within budget.