Development for 2010 FIFA World Cup Means Changes Ahead.

Ambitious plans to invest 13.6 billion Rand in the country’s transport infrastructure took another step forward this week with the news that the South African National Roads Agency raised R750 million in a bond auction according to its financiers. This means almost 13 million Rand has now been secured to pay for the transport improvements ahead of the FIFA 2010 Football World Cup.

Not everyone in the country is happy this week however. A Government statement that a prohibition by road transport for certain commodities was being considered brought howls of protest from the South African Road Freight Association who demanded to know more details. The trucking industry is already under pressure to target overloaded vehicles as the rainbow nations roads crumble under the strain and the government attempt to divert more heavy goods transport to the railways.

The South African National Roads Agency Ltd is entirely owned by the Government and was formed in 1998 with a remit to maintain and develop South Africa’s 7 000 km National Road Network and to manage assets with an estimated value of more than R135 billion.

On the 16th October the African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Maritime Transport adopted a new form of the African Maritime Transport Charter adapted to recognise the underdevelopment of the marine freight sector and intended to tackle the increasing incidents of piracy around the coasts of the continent. Representatives from thirty six countries attended including the European Union bloc.

The new charter is intended to combat marine pollution and increase safety and security at sea around the African coastline. It recognised the under utilisation of maritime transport and the potential for expansion and employment that brings. It remains to be seen if the rhetoric can be turned into action.

DATED: 21st October 2009