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SA must keep up with transport developments - deputy minister

Jun 01 2017 16:34
Carin Smith

Leipzig – Just because South Africa is still a developing country does not mean that it must not and cannot keep pace with important movements in developed countries regarding transport issues.

This is the view expressed by South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga at the tenth summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) taking place in Leipzig, Germany.

“It is critical to know in what way other countries are moving in terms of transport matters, and we as developing countries have to move too so we are not left behind,” she told Fin24 at the summit.

“The ITF summit helps us to understand what issues we need to move on.”

At the same time, she said South Africa can share at the summit how the transport industry can also empower more women in its midst – by appointing more women CEOs for instance.

At the moment South Africa is not a member of the ITF, a global think-tank for the transport industry. According to Chikunga, South Africa must still decide if it wants to become a member or just an observer.

“If one is a full member, you are bound by the decisions made by the ITF. At the same time SA has to take into consideration its role in the context of the African Union,” she explained.

In her view, it might therefore be more appropriate for SA to remain an observer at the ITF and not a full member at this point. But the decision can only be taken once Cabinet has been briefed about it and she has given her input.

Chikunga believes it could be valuable for SA to have an event similar to the ITF summit, but on a national scale.

“The ITF summit takes place annually and they talk about everything related to the transport sector. Why should we not have something similar in SA, and bring government and the private sector together?” she suggested.

“We can also ask our local universities about whether they are providing the right training for the jobs of tomorrow in terms of technology progress. We can share information at such an event.”

* Fin24 is the guest of the ITF at the summit.


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