The Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Mokherane Tsatsanyane says implementation of Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP) will go a long way to assist Lesotho reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG 9.

Mr. Tsatsanyane said this when officially opening a three-day National Stakeholders Workshop on TTTFP held in Maseru on Monday. He said implementation of TTTFP falls in line with SDG 9 which is about fostering progress in the quest for a reliable and resilient regional, as well as trans-border traffic infrastructure for a more liberalised and harmonised regional road transport market.

He said the workshop comes at a right time when Lesotho has embarked on national reforms aimed to address various challenges in the governance and administration of the country.

He added that TTTFP is intended to highlight the country on the reforms to be ratified by member states of the three blocks of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and East African Community (EAC) in the road transport sub-sector.

The Deputy also mentioned that the workshop will focus on two key agreements being, Vehicle Load Management Agreement (VLMA) and the Multilateral Cross Border Road Transport Agreement (MCBRTA).

Mr. Tsatsanyane commented that Lesotho experienced frequent cross border passenger disputes between the South African and Lesotho borders, saying TTTFP agreements and laws bring much optimism towards realisation of the smooth cross border operation between the two countries.

He however noted that despite this tripartite initiative, the government will continue to engage in parallel bilateral talks with South Africa, assisted by SADC to resolve these challenges.

In a brief interview, the Ministry’s Administration Manager, Mr. Katiso Ntoane said Road Traffic Bill has been completed and is ready for submission to cabinet, saying the process is however on halt pending finalisation of the workshop.

Mr. Ntoane added that the Bill will be used as a domestication instrument for the agreements and model laws to be discussed.

TTTFP aims to develop and implement harmonised road transport policies, laws, regulations and standards for efficient cross boarder road transport and transit networks, transport and logistic services, as well as system and procedures in the Tripartite region,

The workshop which ends on Wednesday is attended by among others the Members of Parliament both from the Senate and National Assembly, Security Agencies, local transport stakeholders SADC, EAC and COMESA transport officials.

Source: LENA 25/02/2019

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