States Should Prioritise Transport Infrastructure

In order for the Southern Africa region to develop and reach its full potential, there should be a conscious decision by governments to prioritise transport infrastructure and operations.

This was said by the Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi during the opening of the 36th Southern African Transport Conference 2017 (SATC) held at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. Held under the theme: ‘Southern African Solutions to Public Transport Challenges’, the conference brings together over 700 transport professionals to attend four days of plenary and breakaway sessions where peer-reviewed research papers covering infrastructure, urban and rural transport planning, transport regulations, multi-modal networks, safety, and freight are presented.

“As the government of South Africa, we have made large public investments in ports, railways and roads which will help alleviate supply bottlenecks in the economy, while social infrastructure will improve the living conditions of the people of Southern Africa,” he said.

He added that there must not be excuses to close people out of benefiting from large transport projects and each and every man and woman on the street should be able to access the economic benefits that come with the transportation industry.

Review taxi purchase interest rates

Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi has called for dialogue among stakeholders in the taxi industry with a view to find lasting solutions to exorbitant interest rates charged by financiers.

Minister Maswanganyi said this while addressing the Southern African Transport Conference 2017 held at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. The conference is South Africa’s longest standing transport conference and has over the last 36 years played a leading role in contributing and influencing the national debate about transport in Southern Africa.

Addressing the issue of exorbitant interest rates that is charged taxi owners, Minister Maswanganyi said it defies logic that it was cheaper to purchase a brand new E-Class Mercedes Benz than finance a taxi. This he said, meant that commuters were the ones to bear the brunt as taxi operators pass on the cost to them.

“We want to assist taxi operators to participate in the total value chain and wealth creation of the industry by assisting them to obtain access to taxi Vehicle Finance from South Africa’s mainstream banks and State Development Finance Institutions,” said the Minister.

He reaffirmed government’s commitment to finalising the Public Transport Subsidy Policy that will focuses on subsidising the end user other than the operators, irrespective of the mode of public transport used. Minister Maswanganyi added that government found it unacceptable that taxis were not included in the subsidy scheme.

“This is despite the result of the 2013 National Household Travel Survey that indicate that the taxis remain the most preferred mode of public transport by the majority of transport users, accounting for over 68% of the daily commuting public,” he added.


  1. At 750 000 kilometres, the South African Road Network is the tenth longest in the world. Of this, the national road network serves as the arteries for balanced economic growth across our country.
  2. All across South Africa, cities are planning and investing in transport infrastructure as a catalyst to enable and promote urban regeneration and development.
  3. South Africa’s airports are ranked amongst the ten (10) most punctual airports in the world, according to the OAG Aviation Worldwide, a UK-based Agency which monitors on-time performance (OTP) amongst airports and airlines globally.
  4. Having noted that South Africa’s foreign trade is largely dependent on maritime transport, the South African Government through the Nine Point Plan led by the South African President, Honourable Jacob Zuma, mandated the transport sector to be part of a process of quantifying the value of the South African oceans. This process indicated that the value of our oceans have a potential of contributing R54 billion to the South African GDP.
  5. By 2040 more than 50% of people on the African continent will live in cities, placing increasing pressures and demands on the resources that governments have to invest in transport
  6. To ensure continuous improvement of the integrated urban space and public transport programme, the government of South Africa is developing the Integrated Public Transport Turnaround Plan. The plan proposes short, medium and long-term intervention measures that will help to enhance the prevailing public transport interventions.
  7. Through the Public Transport Network Grant (PTNG), government continues to fund the infrastructure and operations of this integrated public transport networks in the thirteen (13) cities across South Africa and to subsidise bus service through the Provincial Transport Operators Grant (PTOG).
  8. The Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme is the beginning of the revival of passenger rail after 40 years of under investment which has resulted in old and unreliable trains and rail infrastructure. Eighteen (18) new trains, affectionately known as “the People’s Train”, have already been delivered. The new trains are part of the first rollout which will be implemented over the next 20 years.
  9. The remaining 580 trains will be built in South Africa by Gibela at a local factor located in Dunnottar Park, at Ekurhuleni. It is through this Rail Manufacturing Factory that South Africa has been mandated through the African Union to be the Rail Manufacturing Hub for the Continent.
  10. A city’s mobility is as much about accessible information as it is about infrastructure.

Source: #SATC2017

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