Original Research

Efficacy of recent transport policy making and implementation in South Africa

Malcolm Mitchell, Jackie Walters
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 5, No 1 | a76 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v5i1.76 | © 2011 Malcolm Mitchell, Jackie Walters | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 November 2011 | Published: 30 November 2011

About the author(s)

Malcolm Mitchell, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Jackie Walters, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Abstract

Despite the importance of transport to the social and economic development of a country, very little, if any, work appears to have been done in South Africa to assess the impact of transport policy in achieving its aims and objectives. Two policy areas that have wide social and economic impacts are the public transport industry and the development of the national roads network. Public transport, or more specifically commuter bus transport policy, is aimed at improving the mobility and affordability of the travelling public while at the same time increasing the transparency of the subsidy system through a tender and negotiated contract regimen. The policy on national roads directly impacts the general economy as an estimated 88% of all freight tonnage (excluding the dedicated iron ore and coal lines of Transnet Freight Rail) is moved over the road network of South Africa with the national roads linking the main economic centres of the country. This research assesses the impact of these two areas of policy making by comparing policies for commuter bus transport and primary (national) roads for two policy periods, namely, 1986 to 1994 and 1994 to 2004. The research methodology used is that of the mixed-methods research procedure explained more fully in the article and the annexure to the paper. The research arrives at conclusions in respect of the impact of the policy on the problems and issues in the two separate sectors of transport during the policy periods analysed. It also draws conclusions on the policy-making process used as well as identifying deficiencies in the process. Finally it makes recommendations to address these inadequacies.

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