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Transport month like a car without wheels – AA

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
13 October 2023 | 08:47 CAT

Image: Automobile Association of South Africa

The observance of Transport Month in South Africa in October again highlights the government’s fractured, piecemeal approach to transport issues in the country, says the Automobile Association (AA).

The Association says while Transport Month has been launched with a bang, there appears to be little or no progress in improving road infrastructure or the daily mobility crisis faced by millions of South Africans.

Highlighting transport issues in one month of the year while not very much is done in the other eleven months, including the Easter and Christmas periods, to deal with mobility and transport problems is meaningless. The AA sees it as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“It is a waste of taxpayers’ money. Looking at the problems that we faced in terms of road infrastructure and transport issues, specifically the mobility problems that millions of South Africans face daily. A month dedicated to talking about this, from our view is certainly not good enough,” the AA’s Layton Beard said.

“This approach is like the seasonal campaigns on road safety: improving road safety won’t happen because two or three weeks of the year are spent speaking of the problem while nothing is done to improve road safety in the other 49 weeks of the year.

“In our view this is the same in relation to Transport Month and road transport and mobility issues confronting citizens daily,” notes the AA.

Various plans and goals for transport are announced by the national and provincial Departments of Transport at public events in October.

“But the reality is that millions of South Africans continue to struggle with inadequate road transport, poor mobility solutions, and with deteriorating road infrastructure, and the already weak economy continues to suffer because of the low – or slow – pace of road transport development. We are not convinced that enough is being done to address this dire situation and observing Transport Month simply papers over the cracks with public events and pronouncements,” says the AA.

Meanwhile, 30/ of people in Gauteng get around by walking as they need the means to be mobile.

Beard points out that moving forward, safer, reliable and effective public transport should be made available to cater to the needs of those who have to walk to school, work and home.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie.

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