Intermodal transport systems are vital for economic growth and development in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi said during a presentation at the fifth edition of the South Africa-Italy Summit/Indaba on Tuesday.
Intermodal transportation systems which fully integrate transport systems, engender interconnectedness and operate seamlessly, are being championed for both South Africa and other SADC countries.
However, owing to poor performance in executing such projects, there is much scope for intervention and investment by the European Union in terms of building the capacity of the countries’ transport infrastructure.
Moreover, there are also opportunities in other areas of the transportation system, such as in technology platforms.
However, during a roundtable discussion unpacking this issue, it was cautioned that intermodal transport systems can be difficult and expensive to implement.
Transport Minister Blade Nzimande reiterated the need for improved, integrated transport systems, noting that there were a number of challenges impeding the required level, such as a lack of investment.
Road transport remains the dominant medium for passengers and freight and this also needed to be challenged, he said.
Moreover, the SADC region’s transport systems require improved logistics, through partnerships between all relevant players including the private and public sectors.
Therefore, he encouraged pursuing innovation hubs for the country, which would glean input globally and enable capitalisation on experience and expertise.