Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 12 - 15 July 2004 "Getting recognition for the importance of transport", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. The emergence of the new dispensation in South Africa has elicited a changing role of Local
Government, which is now the heart of the development process in South Africa. Integrated
planning helps local government transcend its traditional service delivery functions (where in the
past planning was focussed on the promotion of apartheid objectives of racially segregated
spatial, social and economic development) to cope with its current requirement to play an active
developmental role. As such, every municipality in South Africa is required to produce an
Integrated Development Plan (IDP), which is the principal strategic instrument guiding all
planning, management, investment, development and implementation decisions in the
medium-term, taking into account input from all stakeholders.
This strategy process imposed on municipalities is however not peculiar to South Africa and the
principles of an IDP range from the provision of basic governance to the Tibetan Refugee
Community of 130,000 (in settlements in India and Nepal) to a business plan for Johannesburg,
whose 3,200,000 population contribute almost 16% to the national economy.
Transport contributes to poverty reduction by enabling the productive activities that create
effective economic growth, and by providing poor people with access to economic opportunities
and social services, and a means of participating fully in society. Although much of the prosperity
we have enjoyed in the 20th century can be attributed to roads and vehicles, transport related
social issues such as an increasing number of traffic accidents, congestion, and other
environmental problems are now plaguing most countries.
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) apply a broad range of diverse technologies (including
computers, information processing, communications, control, and electronics) to improve the
effectiveness of transport systems and maximise the use of the existing road infrastructure.
This paper investigates whether the operational objectives of transportation, and in particular
ITS, have strategic significance in terms of the IDP prioritisation process which allocates annual
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