THE weaknesses of the current permit fee model of the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) were yesterday discussed at a stakeholders' hearing in Port Elizabeth.
The aim of the hearings, planned for all major cities in the country, is to explore avenues for sufficient revenue to support safety in the rail industry. The regulator's current sources of income are a government grant, non-exchange transactions and exchange transactions.
RSR communications manager Babalwa Mpendu said yesterday's hearing was meant to ensure broad participation and invite input on recommendations for a new safety permit model.
"Among the issues deliberated at the hearings is the weakness of the present permit fee model. Three companies – Transnet Freight and Rail, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa and Bombela – contribute 88.5% of the RSR's total revenue.
"The danger in such a situation is that an unexpected and significant drop in the companies' contribution would have a devastating impact on the RSR."
Mpendu said the hope was that the new permit fee model would ensure effective revenue collection and enhance revenue assurance.
The Eastern Cape leg of the hearings drew participation from 63 operators and other interested parties from sectors that included mining, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and defence.