Transport is the heartbeat of South Africa’s economic growth, ensuring goods move swiftly and safely to their destinations.
The country’s road, rail and maritime networks combined ensure the sustained growth of economic activity; the effective movement of goods and services and the safe travel of people.
The National Department of Transport oversees the integration of the different modes and ensures a coordinated response to the country’s long-term transport requirements.
There are 12 state-owned agencies that report to the Department of Transport and, collectively, they cover the country, from the east to the west coast and from the borders of the far north to the southernmost tip of Africa.
Meet the agencies that keep SA moving
The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) is responsible for the planning, management, and maintenance of the country’s national road network. With more than 22 000km of primary road network under its control, it plays an important role in keeping the country’s economic wheels turning and improving the safety and travel experience of commuters.
All road traffic that crosses the country’s extensive borders with neighbouring states is managed by the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency. Its aim is to reduce operational constraints and facilitate the free flow of trade and traffic.
The Road Accident Fund provides a social security net to citizens by making available compulsory social insurance cover. The cover is in the form of indemnity insurance to persons who cause accidents and personal insurance to victims of motor accidents.
The mission of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency is to encourage compliance with traffic laws through education and awareness campaigns, and the application of laws and regulations to penalise road users who contravene the rules of the road.
The Road Traffic Management Agency coordinates the activities of agencies responsible for road safety across the national, provincial and local spheres of government. Its objective is to improve safety, security, discipline and mobility on the country’s roads.
The Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) is responsible for most of the passenger rail services in the country. Prasa consists of: Metrorail, which operates commuter rail services in urban areas; the Shosholoza Meyl, which operates long-distance passenger rail services; and Autopax, which manages long distance coach services. It also oversees regional rail services.
The Railway Safety Regulator oversees safety on the network and investigates accidents and incidents relating to rail transport.
More than 40-million passengers pass through the nine major airports managed by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) every year. ACSA has grown into an efficient and commercially successful business which has expanded its operations to major markets overseas.
The activities of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services ensure air safety and traffic control across the entire county as well as large parts of the southern Indian and Atlantic oceans.
The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for the enforcement of civil aviation safety and security through regulation, enforcement and the promotion of higher levels of safety in the industry.
The Ports Regulator is an independent body that promotes access to ports and facilities and monitors the industry’s adherence to the national policy and regulatory framework.
The country’s coastline stretches more than 2 500km from the desert border with Namibia on the west coast to Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. The SA Maritime Safety Authority was established to promote the country’s maritime interests, ensure the safety of life and property and combat pollution in the marine environment.