Road freight transport comes at a heavy cost

A City plan to save some of the hundreds of millions of rands lost each year to repair and maintain roads damaged by heavy trucks is open for public comment.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, said the City’s economy depended on trucks to carry freight to and from the port, airport and between cities and towns. However, this came at a great cost to the road network.

“Counting among the effects are carbon emissions, congestion and road accidents. Furthermore, the cost of maintenance of our roads amounts to R713 million per year – a cost that is currently not equitably divided between freight vehicles, public transport, and private motor vehicles,” said Mr Herron.

He added: “Two things are very clear: rail must be part of the plan, and, secondly, we will have to implement innovative solutions to reduce the overall cost of doing business in Cape Town,”

The strategy will focus on the transportation of dangerous goods, overloading, congestion, freight demand, road safety, freight emissions and air quality among other things. Mr Herron said Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, had liaised with Cape Town’s Chamber of Commerce, the SA Shippers Council, Transnet Freight Rail, the Transnet Ports Authority, Transnet Port Operators, the Airports Company of South Africa and many of the major logistics companies and retailers during the development of the strategy.

The draft will be available at all City libraries, sub-council offices and on the City’s website www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay from Friday February 19 until Wednesday March 23 when the public participation process ends.