Maintaining South Africa’s roads
Integrated road‐based public transport networks
Addressing passenger rail challenges
Entities:National Transport Master Plan
National Airspace Master Plan 2020-2025
Rural Transport Strategy
Public transport
Integrated public transport networks
Arrive Alive campaign






The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996 identifies the legislative responsibilities of different spheres of government with regards to all modes of transport and associated infrastructure.

The DTransport - Official Guide to South Africaepartment of Transport (DoT) is responsible for the legislation and policies for rail, pipelines, roads, airports, harbours, and the intermodal operations of public transport and freight. As such, it conducts ;sector research, formulates legislation and policy to set the strategic directions of subsectors, ;assigns responsibilities to public entities, regulates through setting norms and standards, and monitors implementation.

Over the medium term, the department planned to focus on intensifying its efforts to improve mobility and access to social and economic activities ;by cultivating an enabling environment for the maintenance of national and provincial road networks, the improvement and integration of road‐based public transport services, and the modernisation of passenger rail infrastructure.

According to the Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey of 2021, 33,6% of South African households had at least one household member who used a minibus taxi/sedan taxi/bakkie taxi during the week preceding the survey.

The use of minibus taxi was most common in Gauteng (41,3%) and KwaZulu-Natal (38,3%). By comparison, 3,7% of South African households used a bus during the preceding week. It is notable that 10,5% of households in Mpumalanga used the bus. Only 0,2% of households used trains.

To improve efficiencies at Driver’s Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) level, the DoT was  expected to implement a new service-delivery  model that would not only improve the experience of the motorist but would drastically cut down turnaround times.

This  includes the time an applicant spends  at a DLTC  to the time it takes  to receive a driving licence.  The department has  already  implemented the online payment system,  which eliminated the time spent by an applicant in a queue.

The deployment of smart enrolment infrastructure in the 2022/23 financial year will further improve the processing time as  the units are linked to Home Affairs real time to validate the identity of the applicant.

By mid-2022, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC)  was finalising the agreement with the Health Professions Council of South Africa  that would enable motorists  to do an eye test  at an optometrist of their choice and the results directly uploaded in the system.

Maintaining South Africa’s roads

The Road Transport programme facilitates activities related to the maintenance of the country’s national and provincial road network. The national road maintenance backlog has grown over the years, partly due to the shifting of funds from non‐toll roads to more economically viable toll roads.  Factors such as the condition of roads, weather patterns and traffic volume determine grant allocations for the maintenance of provincial roads.  Over the medium-term period, provinces were expected to rehabilitate, reseal, regravel and blacktop‐patch roads.

Facilitating integrated road‐based public transport networks

The public transport network grant funds the infrastructure and indirect costs of bus rapid transit services in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, George, Nelson Mandela Bay  and Ekurhuleni.  In these cities  and regions,  funding from the grant is expected to lead to a combined increase in the number of weekday passenger trips on bus rapid transit services from 216 214 in 2021/22 to 331 275 in 2024/25.

Addressing passenger rail challenges

Inefficient investments in, and the deferred maintenance and insufficient safeguarding of South  Africa’s rail infrastructure has resulted in  the  rapid deterioration of the passenger rail network and its services. As part of recognising that their recovery is key to providing affordable, safe and reliable public transport services.

Allocated funds will be used to focus on repairs and maintenance as part of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s  (PRASA) rolling stock fleet renewal programme, and improved security.

In recovering commuter rail services, the DoT had to adjust the timelines for the resumption of services  in a number of these corridors  due to either protracted procurement processes  for infrastructure such as substations  and other factors beyond its control.

The Mabopane – Pretoria  – Johannesburg  – Naledi line is a core network of PRASA in Gauteng and a major priority for PRASA’s recovery, as well as the Cape Town – Langa – Khayelitsha  – Kapteinsklip  corridor in the Western Cape.

PRASA’s Corridor Recovery Plan has identified 10 priority corridors for resumption of services, with the last coming on stream by December 2022.  By mid-2022, services  had already resumed on five of these corridors.

The Mabopane line has already resumed services, which is being undertaken in two phases. Phase one implementation is in full swing, with five stations operational in Pretoria,  Hercules, Mountain View, Pretoria North and Mabopane.

Phase 2 will see additional 15 train stations renovated and brought back into service.  More train trips will also be introduced with shorter headways. The return to service of the Central Line was also undertaken in two phases.

Phase 1 entailed restoring services on the Cape Town to Bellville (via Sarepta); Langa to Pinelands and Langa to Nyanga segments. The manufacturing plant at Dunnottar in Ekurhuleni has produced 95 new train sets and delivered to PRASA. A total of 68 of these train sets have been deployed on the network.

On 23 March 2022, Cabinet approved the White Paper on National Rail Policy that takes a holistic view on the development of the rail system. This policy introduces radical structural reforms in the sector and also intends to place rail on a sound footing to play a meaningful role as a backbone of a seamlessly integrated transport value chain.

One of the highlights of the policy relates  to enabling investments in the rail network with specific  attention to the exploitation of rail’s  genetic technologies to achieve renaissance in the following market spaces: heavy haul, heavy intermodal, which includes double-stacked containers,   contemporary urban and regional rapid transit, as well as higher-speeds of 160 to 200km/h and high speeds up to 300 km/h.

In June 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the decision to corporatise the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) as an independent subsidiary of Transnet.

Following this pronouncement, an interim board was appointed, and relevant processes given effect to enable the establishment of the TNPA as an independent subsidiary. The finalisation of this process with the appointment of a permanent Board will give full effect to the provisions of the National Ports Act of 2005.


The 12 public entities under the Ministry of Transport are the Airports Company South Africa(link is external) (ACSA); PRASA(link is external)SANRAL(link is external)Ports Regulator of South Africa(link is external)Air Traffic and Navigation Services(link is external) (ATNS); Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (link is external)(CBRTA); Railway Safety Regulator(link is external)Road Accident Fund(link is external) (RAF); Road Traffic Infringement Agency(link is external) (RTIA); Road Traffic Management Corporation(link is external) (RTMC); South African Civil Aviation Authority(link is external) (SACAA) and South African Maritime Safety Authority(link is external) (SAMSA).

Airports Company South Africa

ACSA was established in terms of the Airports Company Act of 1993. The company owns and operates nine principal South African airports,  including OR Tambo International Airport(link is external) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport(link is external) and King Shaka International Airport(link is external) in Durban. Over the medium term,  the company will continue to focus on airport infrastructure and asset  management, airport safety and security, and airport management.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa

PRASA was established in terms of the Legal Succession to the South African Transport   Services  Amendment Act  of  2008,   with  the  primary  mandate  of providing rail commuter services  within, to and from South Africa in the public interest.  The agency  also  provides  long‐haul  passenger  rail  and bus  services within, to and from South Africa.

South African National Roads  Agency Limited

The  SANRAL was  established  in terms  of  the SANRAL and  National  Roads Act of 1998.  The agency is  responsible  for the planning, design,  construction, operation,  management, control,  maintenance and rehabilitation of the South African  national road network,  including the financing of these functions.  This includes toll and non‐toll roads.

Ports Regulator of South Africa

The Ports Regulator was established in terms of section 29 of the National Ports Act of 2005.  The regulator sets  tariff increases  for the National Ports  Authority and regulates the provision of adequate, affordable and efficient port services  at South Africa’s  commercial ports.

It also provides dispute resolution, including hearing complaints and appeals under the tribunal programme, which is aimed at ensuring fairness, transparency and competitive practices in the ports sector to ensure equity of access to port facilities and services.

Air Traffic and Navigation Services

The ATNS Company was established in terms of the ATNS Act of 1993. The company is mandated  to  provide  safe,   orderly  and  efficient  air  traffic navigational and associated  services  to the air traffic management community, and in accordance with the standards  set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Cross Border Road Transport Agency

The CBRTA was established in terms of the CBRTA Act of 1998.  It is mandated to  advise   the  Minister  of  Transport   on  cross‐border road  transport  policy, regulate access to the market by the freight and passenger  industry in respect of cross‐border road transport by issuing permits, undertake road transport law enforcement, and play a facilitative role in contributing to the economic prosperity of the region.

Railway Safety Regulator

The Railway  Safety  Regulator was established in terms of the National Railway Safety  Regulator  Act  of  2002  to set  up a  national regulatory framework  and monitor and enforce legislative compliance in the rail sector. Its primary mandate is to oversee railway operators in South Africa and enforce their safe operation, as well as rail operators from neighbouring states whose operations enter South Africa.  In terms of the act, all railway operators are responsible and accountable for ensuring the safety of their operations.

Road Accident Fund

The RAF Act of 1996 provides for the establishment of the RAF, which is mandated to compensate South African road users for losses  or damages caused by motor vehicle accidents  within the borders of South Africa.  Due to the impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic and associated  lockdown on road traffic volumes, less fuel was sold and fuel levy collection decreased.  The fund receives its revenue from the RAF  levy in terms of the Customs and Excise  Act of 1964.

Road Traffic Infringement Agency

The RTIA  was  established  in terms of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act of 1998 to facilitate the adjudication of infringement notices dispensed  by various  issuing authorities to alleged infringers on South African roads.

The AARTO Act envisages the agency as an independent adjudicator to provide for an administratively fair and just system for road traffic law infringements while also upholding the rights of the alleged infringer.

A high court order in 2021/22 on the constitutionality of the legislation and this entity is yet to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court. Until this happens, the entity must continue to perform its statutory obligations.

Road Traffic Management Corporation

The RTMC is  a public entity established  in terms of the RTMC Act of 1999 to provide national road traffic  strategic  planning and law enforcement, and pool public sector resources  for the provision of road traffic management.

South African Civil Aviation Authority

The SACAA was established in terms of the SACAA Act of 1998 and is governed by the Civil  Aviation Act  of  2009. The authority is mandated to oversee the safety and security of the civil aviation industry and ensure compliance with and adherence to the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Its focus over the medium term will remain on ensuring it fulfils its mandate.

South African Maritime Safety Authority

The SAMSA was established in terms of the SAMSA Act of 1998, and is mandated to advance South Africa’s  maritime interests, which include ensuring the safety of life and property at sea and preventing and combating the pollution of the marine environment.

National Transport Master Plan (NAPMAP)

The NATMAP  2050 is aimed at delivering a dynamic, long-term and sustainable transportation system framework which is demand responsive and that provides a coordinated transport agenda for the whole country. The NATMAP  recognises that efficient, affordable and reliable transport systems are critical components of national economic development.

National Airspace Master Plan (NAMP) 2020-2025

The NAMP 2020-2025 provides the strategic view and direction of airspace organisation and management within South Africa. The objectives of the NAMP are to:

  • service the airspace in accordance with ICAO Standards  and Recommended Practices (SARPS) in such a way that it meets the requirements of all users and particularly, the international community.
  • rationalise all managed airspace in accordance with ICAO SARPS in such a way that it meets the requirements of all users by a consultative process, strategically and tactically.
  • minimise all permanent prohibited, restricted and danger areas in accordance with ICAO SARPS and to facilitate the flexible use of airspace to the benefit of all users.
  • continually maintain information (uncontrolled) airspace in accordance with ICAO SARPS in such a way that it meets the requirements of all users.

Rural Transport Strategy

Rural  transport development ensures  better mobility and access in rural areas. The national transport survey found that a higher percentage of the population cannot afford the high cost of transport. This limits their access to transport and therefore social and economic opportunities. This perpetuates underdevelopment and isolation from mainstream public transport system.

The National Land Transport Act of 2009 provides for different levels of government to be responsible for planning.  The Rural Transport Strategy is expected to contribute to the formulation of the National Planning Guidelines for rural district municipalities’ public transport network plans.


Civil aviation serves as a major catalyst for global economic activities and is vital to trade and tourism. South Africa’s major airports include:

Public transport

Scholar Transport

The National Scholar Transport Policy provides a framework for safe and secure transport for learners through the cooperation of stakeholders and law-enforcement authorities. The DoT developed the national operational guidelines to remedy operational challenges that provinces have in implementing the

Scholar Transport Programme.

The DoT continues to make a difference in the lives of many learners in rural and farmland areas through the Shova Kalula initiative, which supplies learners with non-motorised mobility in the form of bicycles.

Taxi and bus industries

The taxi industry remains the most important part of South Africa’s public transport system. Taxis are the preferred type of road transport. With more than 200 000 taxis on the road, the taxi industry generates about R40 billion per year and has created  approximately 300  000 direct and indirect job opportunities, including drivers,  taxi marshals and administrative support.

Integrated public transport networks (IPTNs)

The implementation of the IPTNs in the country is central to the functioning of hubs of economic activity as they provide sustainable, affordable and functional transport solutions to urban commuters. By mid-2022, seven cities were already operational:

  • MyCiTi in Cape Town, Western Cape.
  • Rea Vaya in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
  • A Re Yeng (Let’s go) in Pretoria, Gauteng.
  • Go George in George, Western Cape.
  • Harambee in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.
  • Libhongolethu in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape.
  • Leeto la Polokwane in Polokwane, Limpopo.


The Gautrain is an 80-km long mass rapid transit railway system that links Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International  Airport. It was built to relieve traffic congestion in the Johannesburg-Pretoria traffic corridor and offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as Johannesburg had limited public transport infrastructure. The Gautrain offers two distinct train services:

An Airport Service  linking Sandton and Marlboro to the OR  Tambo International Airport and a  Commuter Service  linking Rhodesfield, Marlboro, and Sandton (east-west link)  and  Park,  Rosebank, Sandton, Midrand, Centurion, Pretoria Central  and  Hatfield  (north-south link).  All stations with the exception of the Airport Station have integrated car parking facilities.


South Africa is a maritime country defined by the characteristics of its oceans, heritage, international trade patterns and geography and boasts of a significant marine real estate. Although situated far from major trade partners and markets, the country occupies a geostrategic location on a major sea-trading  route that lies at the heart of the South-South  Trade  and connects the Asia  markets with those of the Americas.

South Africa derives its maritime interests from its trade and geo-economic structure,  its  geo-political aspirations  and the obligations arising from being a regional power located at the southern tip of Africa. It has a developing maritime transport sector potentially able to contribute substantially to the economy of the country and support the National Development Plan.

The aim of the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy is to create a policy environment that  facilitates   the  growth  and  development of  South  Africa’s maritime transport  sector  to  reach  its  full  potential in  support  of  economic development; growth and sustainable social development of our country and the ultimate benefit of all South Africans.

Arrive Alive campaign

The objectives of the Arrive Alive Road-Safety Campaign, especially during the Easter and December holidays, are to reduce the number of road-traffic accidents in general and fatalities in particular, and improve road-user compliance with traffic laws. The goals of the campaign are to:

  • reduce the number of road-traffic accidents in general, and fatalities in particular, by 5% compared with the same period the previous year.
  • improve road-user compliance with traffic laws.
  • forge improved working relationships between traffic authorities in the various spheres of government.

Source: Official Guide to South Africa 2021/22