The Department of Transport strives to lead the provision
of an integrated, sustainable, reliable and safe transport
system, by planning, developing, coordinating, promoting and
implementing transport policies and strategies.
The National Development Plan proposes to address strategic focus areas in transport infrastructure, to achieve the ideals outlined for 2030. These areas involve:
- prioritising transport solutions that are safe, affordable and effective options
- focusing on transport as an entire network as opposed to individual transportation modes
- finding ways to become less dependent on transportation by improving spatial planning in cities so that people can live closer to areas of employment
- convincing South Africans to increase the use of public transport, thereby lowering carbon-intensive transportation mode usage, which will reduce the environmental, social and economic costs associated with transport.
There are 12 public entities that report to the Minister of Transport, namely
- Airports Company South Africa (Acsa)
- Air Traffic and Navigation Services
- Cross-Border Road Transport Agency
- Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa
- Ports Regulator, the Railway Safety Regulator
- Road Accident Fund
- Road Traffic Infringement Agency
- Road Traffic Management Corporation
- South African Civil Aviation Authority
- South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa
- South African National Roads Agency Ltd.
The Road Transport Management System 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.
Natmap includes linking Johannesburg to Durban and Polokwane via rapid train networks. The plan involves expanding the Port of Saldanha, doubling the Huguenot tunnel outside Paarl and expanding the Port of Cape Town. Part of Natmap is to form partnerships with the private sector to help fund the projects and lower the burden on taxpayers.
South Africa is on its way to becoming the first country in
Africa to have rapid public transport networks.
At the core of the plan is a high-quality Integrated Mass
Rapid Public Transport Network that includes rail, taxi and
Consolidated government transport improvements will
amount to about R80 billion in 2013/14.
As part of government's commitment towards rural development, the S'hamba Sonke Programme addresses road maintenance on secondary roads and rural roads, with particular emphasis on repairing potholes, using labourintensive methods of construction and maintenance.
eNaTIS provides for the registration and licensing of vehicles.
It manages and records applications for and authorisation of
driving and learner's licences. It is also a law-enforcement tool
used to ensure that the details of stolen vehicles are circulated
and to prevent irregular and fraudulent re-registration of such
vehicles. In September 2012, it became compulsory for all new motor vehicles and motor vehicles requiring a police clearance to be microdotted.
The Rural Access Improvement Programme is part of a comprehensive rural transport strategy for deep rural areas that are still isolated from major road and rail routes, such as:
- building bridges and non-motorised transport facilities
- developing and implementing the integrated rapid public transport networks for regular transport services
- developing and upgrading the airport network with a proper road-link infrastructure and services
- revitalising rural railway operations by expanding rail passenger services and freight operations to the rural areas.
The promotion of non-motorised transport is aimed at increasing transport mobility and accessibility, mainly in rural areas. The Department of Transport has broadened its Shova Kalula ("Pedal Easy") Project into a more comprehensive project that incorporates, among other things, cycling and animal-drawn carts. The department aims to distribute a million bicycles countrywide by 2015.
The Taxi Recapitalisation Programme is an intervention by government to bring about safe, effective, reliable, affordable and accessible taxi operations by introducing new taxi vehicles designed to undertake public transport functions in the taxi industry.
Government is responsible for overall policy, while roadbuilding and maintenance is the responsibility of Sanral. The Department of Transport continues to improve the road network through maintenance and safety programmes.
Provincial governments are responsible for planning, constructing and maintaining roads and bridges, except those falling under Sanral or local governments.
The construction and maintenance of most roads and streets within the municipal boundaries of cities and towns is the responsibility of the municipality concerned.
The toll-road network comprises about 19% (3 120 km) of the national road grid. Some 1 832 km of these toll roads are managed by Sanral. The Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, announced a special appropriation of R5,8 billion to Sanral for its Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project in efforts to reduce the amount of toll to be paid by motorists to use the highways. Government aimed to reduce the R20-billion debt to be paid through the toll system and enable a further discount for regular users of the freeway.
The Gautrain is an 80-km mass rapid transit railway system that links Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport. It was built to offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport between Pretoria and Johannesburg, as traffic between the two cities has increased considerably over the past years causing congestion and delays.
In June 2012, the project was completed with the opening of the final section between Rosebank and Johannesburg Park Station. By April 2013, passenger figures were close to 50 000 people a day. That implicated that, with an average of 1,1 people per car in South Africa, there were almost 50 000 fewer cars on the roads per day.
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) was formed to own and operate the nine principal South African airports. The company handles more than 10 million departing passengers and 200 000 aircraft landings annually. South Africa's nine major airports are:
- OR Tambo International Airport, Gauteng
- Cape Town International, Western Cape
- King Shaka International, KwaZulu-Natal
- Bram Fischer International, Free State
- Port Elizabeth International, Eastern Cape
- Upington International, Northern Cape
- East London Airport, Eastern Cape
- George Airport, Western Cape
- Kimberley Airport, Northern Cape
The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga serves as a gateway to the Kruger National Park and other tourist destinations in the province. In March 2012, President Jacob Zuma unveiled a stateof- the-art cargo terminal, a trade zone, an agrizone and associated property development all located at the Dube Trade Port in La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal. The first phase of the Dube Trade Port, in which the King Shaka International Airport is located, has been completed.
Six major domestic airlines operate in the country, as well as a number of smaller charter airline companies. The country's national airline South African Airways (SAA), as well as South African Express and Airlink fly between all the major cities and to some of the smaller ones. SAA, as well as almost 50 international airlines, also provide scheduled international air services to destinations across the globe.
The country's ports handle over 430 Mt of varied cargo types, carried on over 9 000 ship calls each year. The nine commercial ports play a crucial role in South Africa's transport, logistics and socioeconomic development. About 98% of South Africa's exports are conveyed by sea.
The Port of Durban is a full-service general cargo and container port.
The Port of Port Elizabeth, with its proximity to heavily industrialised and intensively farmed areas, has facilities for handling all commodities – bulk, general and container cargo. Located midway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, the Port of Mossel Bay has, in the past, specialised in serving the local inshore and deep-sea fishing industry, as well as limited commercial cargo. The Port of East London is situated at the mouth of the Buffalo River on South Africa's east coast, and is the country's only commercial river port.
TFR, the largest operating division of Transnet, is a world-class heavy-haul freight rail company that specialises in the transportation of freight. Core freight activities account for about 95% of its revenue. 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
- carries 95% of freight volumes via 30% of the core network
- has annual revenue of more than R14 billion
- will, over the next five years, invest R35 billion in capital
- has 25 347 employees system-wide.
Transnet will invest about R63 billion in the freight rail system over the next five years.
The Department of Transport is responsible for South Africa's
maritime administration and legislation, which Samsa controls
on its behalf.
The Maritime Education and Training Board is responsible for
accrediting all maritime courses.
Other maritime training organisations offer a wide range of
courses that have been developed within the South African
These are situated mainly in the ports of Cape Town and Durban and, to a lesser degree, Nelson Mandela Bay (previously Port Elizabeth).
World-wide, roughly 1,3 million people die on the roads and 50 million sustain non-fatal injuries every year. In South Africa, about 14 000 people die in road crashes every year. This amounts to almost R56 billion annually in lost revenue, medical costs, insurance and lost income. The Zenani Mandela Road Safety Scholarship, launched in April 2011 by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Commission for Global Road Safety, is aimed at equipping young South Africans with the relevant skills and knowledge to find solutions to curb the growing scourge of death and injury on the country's roads.
The campaign is especially active during critical periods for road traffic management, such as during the Easter and December holidays.
- Transport links
- SA Yearbook 2012/13
- Speeches and statements on transport
- Speeches and statements on road safety