Transport and its related services is a catalyst for economic growth, and direct and indirect job creation in South Africa.
The provision of affordable, safe and reliable transportation of
goods and people is critical to the development of the country.
Government boosted transport infrastructure spending
to R66 billion in the 2011/12 financial year and is expected
to raise it to R80 billion by 2013/14. The improvements
are spread across the country, with urban and rural parts
expected to benefit from the creation of jobs and tourism
Over the next three years, an additional R2,5 billion will be
allocated to municipalities for public-transport systems and
Policy and initiatives
The Road Transport Management System (RTMS) is an
industry-led voluntary self-regulation scheme that encourages
consignees, consignors and road transporters to implement
a management system that preserves road infrastructure,
improves road safety and increases productivity. The system's
key components are load optimisation, driver wellness,
vehicle maintenance and productivity. It is designed to show
transport companies how to take greater corporate responsibility
for road safety.
National Transport Master Plan (Natmap)
In May 2010, the Department of Transport presented Parliament with the R750-million Natmap, which includes linking Johannesburg to Durban and Polokwane via rapid train networks. Natmap includes:
Part of Natmap is to form partnerships with the private sector to help fund the projects and lower the burden on taxpayers.
Cabinet initiated the Natmap in 2007 to develop and establish a multimodal transport system to meet South Africa's needs up to 2050.
Public Transport Strategy (2007 – 2020)
The Public Transport Strategy [PDF] aims to accelerate the improvement in public transport by establishing integrated rapid public transport networks (IRPTNs), which will introduce priority rail corridors and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) systems in cities.
The essential feature of the Public Transport Strategy is the phased extension of mode-based vehicle recapitalisation into IRPTNs. These networks comprise an integrated package of rapid rail, BRT and taxi and metered taxi priority networks, especially in major cities. The strategy is expected to improve public-transport services for over half the country’s population.
Full special needs and wheelchair access for all trunk corridor rail and road vehicles will also be implemented.
Over the past six years, the department invested over
R48 billion in BRT systems and more than R9 billion rolling
Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS)
In February 2011, South Africa extended the use of the eNaTIS to Namibia to help reduce car theft and cross-border
crimes between the two countries.
The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding
to formalise the agreement. Authorities from the two countries
would be able to access driver and vehicle details. This
would also prevent stolen vehicles being registered in both countries, and drivers could be held accountable for fines
issued for traffic violations across the border.
By October 2011, South Africa's vehicle population was
10 156 186, according to the eNaTIS.
Through the eNaTIS, the department is able to eliminate
duplicate vehicle registration and cloning.
The following entities report to the Minister of Transport:
Transnet is a focused freight-transport and logistics company wholly owned by the South African Government.
It comprises the following operating divisions:
Revenue at Transnet increased to R38 billion in 2010/11.
Transnet projects that it will create over 5 000 jobs in the
next five years. By June 2011, the entity employed 55 519
people and estimated that the number would increase to
61 520 by 2016. This projected increase can be directly
attributed to government's New Growth Path.
South Africa has the longest road network of any country in Africa.
South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) is responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of South Africa's national road network, of some 16 170 km.
The toll-road network comprises about 19% (3 120 km)
of the national road grid. During 2010/11, Sanral spent
R738 million of its operating costs on 1 900 km of toll roads.
Over the same period, capital expenditure on toll roads to
strengthen and improve roads, and to build new facilities,
amounted to R7 billion.
About 1 288 km of the tolled sections of the national road
have been concessioned to private companies to develop,
operate and maintain.
In 2009, Sanral awarded construction contracts worth
Between 2010 and 2015, R75 billion is to be used for road
infrastructure, maintenance and upgrading; with an additional
R3 billion budgeted for the Expanded Public Works
Programme (EPWP) access roads, all of which are attempts
by government to alleviate traffic congestion.
The Department of Transport identified the lack of
dedicated funding for road maintenance, poor asset management
and capacity challenges in municipalities and
provinces, and underinvestment in the maintenance of road
infrastructure as the causes of poor road conditions. It plans
to develop a ringfencing mechanism by creating a fund to
source additional funding for maintenance.
The following road functions have been addressed countrywide:
- 510 988 m2 road surface resealed
- 321 km road regravelled
- 182 629,69 m2 blacktop patching
- 80 304 km blading.
Minibus taxis are responsible for 65% of the 2,5 billion annual
passenger trips in urban areas, as well as a high percentage
of rural and intercity transport.
Buses and trains account for 21% and 14% respectively of
all public transport.
Did you know?
In April 2011, the S'hamba Sonke
(walking together) roads
infrastructure upgrade and maintenance programme was
launched in Durban.
Through the S'hamba Sonke Project, locals are recruited to repair
damaged secondary, district and municipal roads.
The Department of Transport has set aside R22 billion over the
next three years to plug potholes on South African roads. An amount
of R6,4 billion was spent on this initiative across the country in
2011/12. The programme created about 70 000 job opportunities
across the country in 2011/12.
Bus Rapid Transport
Tshwane and Johannesburg have rolled out Phase A of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. In February 2011, the former Minister of
Transport, Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, and the City of Johannesburg
handed over Phase 1A Bus Operating Company of the Rea Vaya BRT system to the taxi industry shareholders.
In May 2011, Johannesburg's Rea Vaya BRT was honoured
with an Encouragement Award for promoting the use of public
transport in Johannesburg at the Public Transport Congress,
hosted by the International Association of Public Transport in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Rea Vaya buses transport an average of over 30 000 people
to and from work daily. The buses give residents of Sowetoand the southern parts of Johannesburg direct access to the
inner city and surrounding areas. The buses run at regular
intervals on dedicated lanes, combating traffic congestion
and improving the quality of public transport.
In 2012/13, R5 billion was allocated to the BRT programme
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) was formed when the operations, personnel and assets
of the South African Rail Commuter Corporation, Metrorail,
Intersite Property Mangegement Services, Shosholoza Meyl
and long-distance bus service, Autopax, merged.
Over the past five years, Prasa has invested over R40 billion
in passenger rail infrastructure and services in South Africa.
This involved R23 billion in the Gautrain Project and almost
R13 billion on rehabilitating Prasa coaches and signalling
Prasa transported 476 million passengers in 2010/11,
excluding passengers during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Of these passengers, 99,1% used commuter rail, 0,3%
Shosholoza Meyl and 0,6% Autopax long-distance buses. It used a commuter fleet of 4 589 motor and trailer coaches,
124 locomotives and 1 214 long-distance rail coaches, and 570 long-distance passenger buses with 15 247 employees
across 489 commuter stations and 71 long-haul stations in
The Gautrain, Africa's only high-speed train, became fully
operational between Pretoria and Johannesburg in August
The Gautrain's first leg, a link between Sandton and OR Tambo
International Airport, opened in June 2010, three days before the city
hosted the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World CupTM.
This landmark initiative is supported by a network of feeder buses
serving most of its 10 stations.
The Gautrain can travel at speeds of 160 km/h, enabling commuters
to make the trip from Johannesburg to Pretoria in less than
Transnet Freight Rail
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) the largest operating division of Transnet, has as its
primary purpose the transportation of rail freight. Core freight
activities account for about 95% of its revenue.
Transnet Ltd, operating and controlling South Africa's
major transport infrastructure, is also responsible for ensuring
that the country's transport industries operate according
to world-class standards. Forming an integral part of the
southern African economy, Transnet:
- moves 17% of the nation's freight annually
- exports 100% of the country's coal
- exports 100% of the iron ore
- has annual revenues of over R14 billion
- will, over the next five years, invest R35 billion in capital
- has 25 347 employees systemwide.
The company maintains an extensive rail network across
South Africa that connects with other rail networks in the
sub-Saharan region, with its rail infrastructure representing
about 80% of Africa's total.
Airports Company of South Africa
Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) owns and operates the nine principal airports, including the three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The others are domestic airports in Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, East London, George, Kimberley and Upington.
Other airports in South Africa include Lanseria (Midrand), Gateway (Polokwane), Nelspruit and Kruger (Mpumalanga).
The airports handle over 98% of the country's commercial air traffic.
Did you know?
The number of passengers accommodated at national airports
grew from 16,8 million in 2008/09 to 18,3 million in 2011/12,
at an average annual rate of 3%, and is expected to grow to
23 million in 2014/15 at a rate of 7,7%. The number of aircraft
landing at airports throughout South Africa increased from 279 515
in 2008/09 to 290 648 in 2011/12, at an average annual rate of 1%
and is expected to increase to 340 285 in 2014/15, growing at an
average annual rate of 5,7%.
South African Airways (SAA)
South African Airways (SAA) is the largest air carrier in Africa, with OR Tambo International
Airport being on the busiest routes in Africa. Nearly 75%
of air-traffic activity in Africa takes place in the region.
South Africa has a number of airlines flying between
its major cities, and to some of its smaller ones, with fares
ranging from first-class to cut-price economy. Flights can
be booked online from anywhere in the world. Eight major
domestic airlines operate in the country, as well as a number
of smaller charter airline companies.
Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) is the largest port authority on the continent. It owns and manages South Africa’s ports at Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town, Saldanha and Ngqura.
The TNPA provides suitable infrastructure as a conduit for the country's imports and exports. As port landlord, it is responsible for:
- developing and managing port properties
- developing, advising and implementing national port policies
- providing and maintaining port infrastructure (i.e. breakwaters, seawalls, channels, basins, quay walls and jetties), and the sustainability of ports and their environments
- coordinating marketing and promotional activities for each
The TNPA also has a control function, which includes:
- providing vessel-traffic control and navigational aids
- licensing and leasing terminals to operators
- monitoring the performance of port operators
- ensuring the orderly, efficient and reliable transfer of cargo
and passengers between sea and land.
Commercial ports play a crucial role in South Africa's transport, logistics and socio-economic development. About
98% of South Africa's exports are conveyed by sea.
The National Ports Regulator, which was established in terms of the National Ports Act, 2005 (Act 12 of 2005) [PDF] is responsible for the economic regulation of the ports system, in line with government’s strategic objectives to promote equity of access to ports and to monitor the activities of the TNPA. The regulator also promotes regulated competition, hears appeals and complaints and investigates such complaints.
The adoption and implementation of measures to enhance maritime security have resulted in South Africa being fully compliant with the International Ships and Ports Security Code since July 2004.