Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
This paper presents the linkages between indigenous knowledge systems, transport and rural development in South Africa. Making use of a case study approach, the paper draws data and information from eight (8) Comprehensive Rural Development Programme pilot sites located throughout South Africa. The paper further demonstrates the connection between indigenous knowledge systems, transport and rural development with local economic development, livelihood improvement and rural intervention options. The major findings demonstrate the need and resolve for utilizing and deploying indigenous transport knowledge systems to meet multiple rural development functions and purposes such as, namely: playing a pivotal role in improving and supporting transport access and mobility service levels. This is at the epicenter of propelling catalytic rural socio-economic development endeavors; advancing a case for grafting and filtering indigenous local level transport institutions and systems into mainstream rural transport governance institutions; and using the indigenous local level governance transport system to act as vanguards for improved transport service delivery. The paper concludes that indigenous transport knowledge systems can and should be packaged and enhanced to support and promote higher
levels of growth and development in the rural landscapes of South Africa. In addition, the success stories of indigenous local transport systems can be exported to urban areas in developing countries. Such interventions are cost effective and advance simple solutions in a context of limited financial resources for the transport sector.
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