News24

Road freight under spotlight

2011-08-23 16:00

Cape Town - The massive volumes of freight being moved across South Africa by road rather than rail came under the spotlight at Parliament on Tuesday.

"The road freight sector carries 87% of the total freight in the country," senior transport department official Clement Manyungwana told MPs.

Briefing members of the transport portfolio committee, he said that in 2003, about 720m tons, out of a total 900m tons of surface freight transported, had moved by road.

By 2007, the by-road figure had almost doubled, to just under 1.4bn tons of the total 1.6bn tons of surface freight moved.

"Among the key challenges we face is the damage of roads due to the intensive usage in the movement of freight, [as well as] congestion, accidents and pollution."

Decline in freight rail

He said the decline in freight rail over the past decade was due to, among other things, a lack of investment in rolling stock, a lack of customer focus, a lack of flexibility and insufficient investment in training, development and staff by the operator.
"We currently have [insufficient] investment in our network and [freight] rolling stock. Transnet currently has a [capital expenditure] of R110bn over the next five years.

"The view is, this is not sufficient; let alone the additional funding that is needed for the railway branchline network.

"Outdated technology within the rail network causes us to have continuous challenges [compared to] road. But a lack of customer focus ... is one serious, serious challenge that [causes] our rail [freight operations] to decline.

"This is particularly in terms of the tariff regime that our rail environment charges overnight without, in most instances, consulting with the customers. But also just lack of collaboration with the customer base that can make investments work within the rail space," he said.

Manyungwana's presentation came under fire from Democratic Alliance MP Manny De Freitas, who said he had hoped it would say what was being done, rather than reviewing what was known.

"It's just talk, talk, talk, and there's no plan," he said.

Comments
  • russellmr4 - 2011-08-23 16:22

    Nobody needed a briefing in a parliamentary portfolio meeting to get this message. Just travel on the N3 between Durban of Joburg to see the never ending line of "Heavies" on the road. Still, no plan just talk.

      Sit-hole - 2011-08-23 18:17

      Just to add to your comment. N3 Joburg to Durban. When there's only 2 lanes available..... What do we see? 2 trucks taking up the on two lanes available, 1 going 40km/h & the overtaking 1 going 44km/h. 3hours later when you finally get past the truck overtaking relay and get back to the speed limit of 120km/h... a truck going 50km/h cuts in front of the car in front of you causing a lot of people a near death experience.

      Sit-hole - 2011-08-23 18:17

      Just to add to your comment. N3 Joburg to Durban. When there's only 2 lanes available..... What do we see? 2 trucks taking up the on two lanes available, 1 going 40km/h & the overtaking 1 going 44km/h. 3hours later when you finally get past the truck overtaking relay and get back to the speed limit of 120km/h... a truck going 50km/h cuts in front of the car in front of you causing a lot of people a near death experience.

  • John - 2011-08-23 16:26

    Oh look! Our genius MP's are about to re-invent the wheel. First they forgot to build new power stations. Now it's the railways and suddenly we have to find R110 Billion. Perfect.

  • Freddie - 2011-08-23 16:36

    Really...??? Wow, what an absolutely new, ground breaking revelation!! Question... what are Transnet going to do about it? Answer... talk, and nothing else. That is how govt and parastatals are run nowadays.

      John - 2011-08-23 19:17

      No I disagree, watch the tenders go out to the comrades now.

      John - 2011-08-23 19:17

      No I disagree, watch the tenders go out to the comrades now.

  • Sisie - 2011-08-23 16:39

    It's called job creation. It has taken you only 17 years to wake up - wow must be a record.

  • WHITE MAN - 2011-08-23 16:48

    Just Another Way to "line" their pockets!!!

  • JDWP - 2011-08-23 16:53

    Time to fix this now!! Just check the left most lane in Du Toits Kloof direction Worcester travelling to CPT before the tunnel.All the patches hundreds of them, only on the left most lane, tells the story. And the average driver must pay for this. Fix the imbalance, rail transport needs massive investment.

  • Barry - 2011-08-23 17:25

    The ANC led government are just trying to find another way of making money by loading most of the goods onto trains. They cannot run the Airlines, harbours, roads, power stations, the infrastructure etc etc properly. How the heck do they expect companies companies to load their goods onto these trains when copper cables have been stolen twice since the launch of the new Gautrain. Beats the stuffing out of me.

  • wilpie1 - 2011-08-23 17:30

    Maria Ramos was CEO of Transnet unitl 2008, now the new CEO of ABSA. Watch this space: "a lack of investment in rolling stock, a lack of customer focus, a lack of flexibility and insufficient investment in training, development and staff "

      Sit-hole - 2011-08-23 18:21

      Im changing my bank :(

      Sit-hole - 2011-08-23 18:21

      Im changing my bank :(

  • saburger - 2011-08-23 17:53

    Road freight should be addressed instead of tolling the motorists!

  • Yar - 2011-08-23 18:05

    This is going to be really expensive. We had a perfectly good railway system in the past. Who allowed it to go to rack and ruin? I smell tender rigging, bribery, and corruption bigger than anything we have ever seen. How about we fix the one we used to have.

      Ross - 2011-09-06 16:13

      The government they got rid of the Whites. Affirmative action is very expensive like diamonds. Madame wrote of two diesel locomotives in the Free State last month and it was kept low key.

  • ZAN-MAN - 2011-08-23 21:27

    If they can't protect Guatrain cables, how will they protect a whole rail system's cable's. I know rail does not use as much coper. But stil, there is equipment that could be scavenged. I am all for it but people in RSA are to desperate or they don't fear prosecution (if there is any).

  • Ross - 2011-09-06 16:10

    Leave them alone the Boere are making money big time. Suggestion, fly to Durbs.

  • The_Realist - 2011-09-06 17:24

    each truck & trailer combo's annual licence fees are OVER R20,000.00! the municipalities are making (stealing) hundreds of millions, not to mention the toll booth extortion!

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