Exploring the sustainability impacts of the contemporary South African Freigh Transport Sector
Lane, T.E. (Tanya); VanderSchuren, M.J.W.A. (Marianne); Southern African Transport Conference (30th : 2011 : Pretoria, South Africa); Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (TRB); Minister of Transport, South Africa
Paper presented at the 30th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 11-14 July 2011 "Africa on the Move", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Despite being a significant driver of non-renewable resource consumption and other
adverse sustainability impacts, freight transportation forms a vital component of the South African economy. Thls paper aims to illuminate and explore the overall sustainability impacts of the contemporary South African freight transport system through the proposal and implementation of an assessment scheme that is able to suitably capture and measure said impacts The reason for gaining a better understanding of these impacts is twofold: firstly, apt and focused mitigation strategies can only be formulated once this information is understood and available and, secondly, this information can serve as a benchmark for future studies that aim to measure the success of mitigation interventions.
At the core of the proposed assessment scheme lles the disaggregation of sustainability impacts into economic, social and environmental impacts, respectively. The scheme is applied to strategic level data, which is representative of current freight transport activities in South Africa, and spans five modes of freight transportation (road, rail, air, coastwise shipping and pipelines) Comparisons of overall sustainabillty impacts across modes are made. The findings suggest that road and rail transport are the weak links in the contemporary South African freight system. This can be attributed to the modes' high transport volumes and equally high infrastructure requirements.
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