Cape Town - The ANC has expressed disappointment at the poor turnout in George during public hearings on the Western Cape Provincial Transport Infrastructure Bill organised by the legislature’s standing committee on transport and public works last week.
On Tuesday evening residents of the Western Cape will get another chance at public participation in the bill when the standing committee meets.
The purpose of the bill is to provide for the planning, declaration, design, construction, maintenance, control, management, regulation, upgrading and rehabilitation of roads, railway lines and related transport infrastructure.
Provincial ANC Transport spokesperson Lulama Mvimbi said: “The public hearing attendance and participation was disappointingly poor as there were not more than 15 people including MPLs, support staff and government officials.”
Mvimbi said they were concerned by the poor attendance from the public even though the hearings were advertised well in advance of the event.
“In fact, it is as though we went there to listen to ourselves, not the public,” Mvimbi said.
While in George, the committee also made an oversight visit to the municipality’s troubled scheduled public bus service Go-George Depot where they were briefed on the much-delayed roll-out of Phase 4 of the project, which will cover the areas of Thembalethu and Lawaai.
The committee was told that the community of Thembalethu will receive 11 additional buses as a result of the increased number of journeys, which is projected to create jobs through the recruitment of new drivers.
Mvimbi said: “These areas are predominantly African and they have raised serious concerns about the delays.”
Committee chairperson Derrick America (DA) said: “The fact that there is not overwhelming public interest does not mean that this is not an important piece of legislation.”
America said that a number of municipalities, as well as other role-players who have already submitted written comments, have accepted the invite for tomorrow’s hybrid session.
“It is a technical bill, which might not interest the general public but rather local authorities. A special invite was extended to Sanral, because we believe that they could provide valuable inputs to the bill.”