Bua Briefs 143

28 August 2009

Reya Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system

The Reya Vaya BRT system, which was launched on 16 August 2009, will be rolled out in Johannesburg at the end of August. This system is designed to standardise the level of quality service and link as many parts of a city into a transport network that moves large numbers of people quickly and safely.

What is the BRT system?

  • The BRT system is the road-based component of the Public Transport Strategy [PDF] that was approved by Cabinet in March 2007.
  • The BRT system is an urban road-based public transport system for the 21st century.
  • It aims to link as many parts of a city into a network that moves large numbers of people to all parts of a city quickly and safely.
  • It aims to ensure that the majority of city residents are within 500 metres from a BRT station by 2020.
  • Existing bus and taxi operators will feed into the public-transport system and contract with the relevant municipality on a long-term basis.
  • The BRT system aims to provide better public transport and benefits for everyone. It will ensure full accessibility for users with special needs and wheelchairs.

Value and benefits of the BRT system

  • It provides for uniform fare systems and aims to avoid destructive competition between transport modes.
  • It will provide reliable transport: it will run on schedule, 365 days, 16 to 24 hours – passengers will wait not more than five minutes for the next vehicle.
  • Safe: special lanes, well-trained drivers, vehicle tracking and monitoring will be in place.
  • Security: 24-hour closed-circuit television cameras will be in place.
  • Faster journey times with dedicated lanes to bypass traffic.

Negotiations with taxi operators

  • On 11 June 2009, the Minister of Transport, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, mandated the formation of a National Joint Working Group (NJWG) on Public Transport, comprising government and the taxi industry  leadership.
  • The mandate of the NJWG was to formulate solutions on matters of  concern to the taxi industry, including but not limited to, the BRT  projects.
  • The current impasse in getting the NJWG started revolves around  the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) having a  fundamentally different interpretation of the NJWG mandate on  BRT issues. This emerged during the first preparatory meeting of  the NJWG on 30 July 2009.


Tourism Month

“Celebrating Diversity through Tourism”

Tourism Month in September is an initiative of South African Tourism to grow South Africa’s domestic tourism industry. It is during this month that South Africans are encouraged to tour their own country and to become a warm nation of a tourist-friendly people.

Domestic tourism is the backbone of a sustainable, robust tourism industry in South Africa

  • Domestic tourism is the anchor and foundation of any country’s tourism industry and a vital contributor to the economy.
  • In 2008, more  South Africans travelled domestically:
    • about 46% of the adult South African population  travelled in 2008, which represents a figure of about  14 million domestic tourists, compared to about 13  million domestic tourists in 2007.
  • The total annual spend on domestic tourism has increased:
    • from R20 billion in 2007 to R25,8 billion in 2008 – a  nominal increase of 29%.
    • with the real growth in revenue generated from  domestic tourism moving to 17% over 2007, indicating  a  healthy growth, achieved under difficult market  conditions.
    • from R550 in 2007 to R780 in 2008 in nominal terms  and R720 in 2007 in real terms.
  • By travelling at home, we create jobs for fellow South Africans and  help to attract more tourists to our country.

Our country is a warm and tourist-friendly place that embraces all who visit

  • South African Tourism’s Welcome Campaign will educate all of us  to become a nation that welcomes tourists – both domestic and  foreign.
  • Our diversity will enrich the experience of all our visitors. It will  enhance our country brand and increase the level of interest  towards this region.
  • Our country has eight diverse heritage sites declared by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ presents an opportunity for us as South Africans to further market our country and its people

  • A welcoming experience will impact will grow the tourism industry  and contribute to the development of this thriving sector.
  • The World Cup will attract over 400 000 visitors, more will be leisure or business tourists visiting the country outside of the World Cup period.


Heritage Month

"Celebrating South African craft, our heritage"

September marks the annual Heritage Month in South Africa. During this month the country recognises and celebrates the cultural heritage of our nation. The opportunity should be taken to foster cultural pride and instil a shared identity among all South Africans, towards a cohesive society.

Our rich cultural heritage has a profound power to develop national unity, and strengthen nation-building, reconciliation, and patriotism

  • Heritage Month in South Africa, which recognises aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and intangible: creative expression such as music and performances, our cultural inheritance and crafts, language, the food we eat, as well as popular memory.
  • Events during the month are aimed at using our country’s diverse and rich cultural heritage to strengthen the national identity.
  • This year’s celebrations will focus on promoting the craft industry. South Africa produces a remarkable range of crafts. The various  types of crafts reflect South Africa’s diverse societies as well as  crafters age ground, lifestyle, cultural group, and different backgrounds.

Government is committed to growing and developing the craft sector

  • Government has a dedicated department to advocate the potential of the crafts industry in sustainable economic development.
  • Through its “Investing in Culture” programme, the department has funded 394 projects which have produced 10 938 job opportunities since 2005, with women, youth and differentially people with disabilities constituting 43%, 37% and 4% of the total number and with 70% of the  projects in rural areas.
  • South Africa is a signatory to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Cultural Diversity Expressions of 2005 to create conditions for cultures to flourish and to interact freely in a mutually beneficial manner.
  • 1,2 million people earn their living through crafts and related trade sectors making them a large economic sector, comprising design, the performing arts, dance, film,  television, multimedia, cultural heritage, cultural tourism, the  visual arts, the crafts, music and publishing.


International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) world athletics championships

Cabinet congratulated all South African athletes who participated in the 12th IAAF world athletics championships, held in Berlin from 12 to 23 August 2009. It also congratulated them for winning two gold medals and a silver in 800 meters race and the long jump respectively.

Caster Semenya, Khotso Mokoena and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi made all South Africans very proud. They lifted South Africa to the top 10 on the medals table at the conclusion of the championships.

A special word of congratulations goes to Caster Semenya, whom President Zuma referred to as the “golden girl” for silencing her critics by winning gold against all odds. Her achievement, especially during Women's Month, will serve to inspire millions of women, young and old, in South Africa and the rest of the developing world, to reach for the skies against all odds.