As part of the launch, the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison opened a new Regional Licensing Office in Springbok.
IN A BID to bring services closer to residents, the Northern Cape Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison opened a new Regional Licensing Office in Springbok.
The opening took place during the launch of October Transport Month by the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Nomandla Bloem, in Okiep on Wednesday.
Bloem said that the new office will not only make services more accessible to residents but also save them the costs of having to travel long distances in order to access the services.
“When we take into consideration the vast distances people have to travel to access service points. The residents in the Namakwa District could do without having to spend large amounts of money on travelling to Kimberley for this service. The objective of this decentralisation is to ensure better service delivery, easy access of government licensing services, as well as to ensure that illegal operations are curbed,” said Bloem.
The MEC pointed out that taxi owners in the area could now apply for taxi licences at the new office.
She noted that the taxi industry has for many years been key in the growth of the economy of the country as well as smaller towns.
“We need to find real strategies to grow our small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) and this includes the taxi economy. This sector has existed on the fringes of the formal economy despite being the mover of the majority of public transport users in the country.
Transport is the lifeblood of any town and the various organs within that town. The Namakwa District cannot function without a transport system that works. Transport connects people and it connects people with opportunities and services.”
Bloem added that her department not only focussed on making transportation accessible but also used the forms of transport as a means to alleviate the plight of communities.
“Another programme we have is our Shova Kalula bicycles, which promotes non-motorised transport and is safe, healthy, affordable, convenient and efficient, as well as an environmentally-friendly mode of transport.
“These bicycles are for now issued to learners in rural areas to access schools. A total of 320 bicycles will be distributed to six Namakwa schools, which includes Carolusberg Primary School, Diepdrift Primary School, Okiep Primary School, Dr Isak van Niekerk Primary School and Port Nolloth High School. We are hoping these bicycles will go a long way in ensuring our learners get to school on time, every time.
“The Transport Operations Directorate was also able to procure funding through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) Project Grant, which will secure temporary employment to 70 EPWP workers for a period of three months. Also, in order to ensure the safety of commuters, a fence around the Springbok Taxi Rank was erected to secure the infrastructure.
“The Boegoebaai Harbour Project is also one of the Transport Infrastructure Projects that was included in the Richtersveld Integrated Transport Plan,” said Bloem.