26 May 2017
At the meeting held at Tuynhuys in Cape Town on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 Cabinet approved the Road Freight Strategy, which will ultimately enable South Africa to achieve best international standards of road-freight operations through an integrated regulatory and operational framework.
The Acting Director-General of the GCIS, Ms Phumla Williams, said: “Since the advent of democracy, South Africa has been reintegrated into the global economy and the volume of trade via road freight has grown substantially.”
“The transport industry plays a leading role towards contributing to the country’s economy, and is significant in South Africa’s trade influence domestically, regionally and internationally. Furthermore, freight logistics is a major factor and stimulus into how South Africa does business,” she added.
Through the implementation of the recommendations in this strategy a more enhanced efficient enforcement will be realised, including the promotion of road safety; an improved protection of infrastructure; and a reduced environmental impact. It will also see the establishment of an integrated framework of quality-regulated competition which aims to create an enhanced enabling environment for the road-freight sector to better serve the needs of the South African economy.
The Road Freight Strategy will further ensure that the transport and logistics sector supports effective regional integration and the development of trade within the region. It will also respond to the need for harmonisation of standards and liberalisation of transport in the interest of effective cross-border trade.
The strategy highlights an urgent need for an Operator Registration System to assist in curbing problems such as substandard operators, unlicensed and unroadworthy vehicles that cause most of the pollution and accidents. The system will further assist in the collation of freight data, planning and regulation of the sector.
South Africa is part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and therefore party to the drive for the liberalisation of interstate transport and promotion of regional trade. The strategy will contribute to South Africa’s participation in the current tripartite initiative (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community and SADC) to harmonise quality regulation in the road-freight sector through a regionally linked operator registration system.
Ms Williams concluded that: “This strategy creates a better environment for the transport and freight industry to thrive in and contributes towards the upward trajectory of the economy. Our national competiveness will be enhanced through the promotion of regional trade integration and an improved cross-border transport efficiency”.
Ms Phumla Williams (Acting Director-General of the GCIS)
Cell: 083 501 0139
Issued by Government Communication and Information Sytem