This paper serves to explore rural transport policy implications and directions in South Africa. Making use of a systems and gap analysis approach, the paper examines and compares the main pillars of the 2007 Rural Transport Strategy and the 2018 Rural Transport Strategy (RTS) review with a view to highlighting the nuanced changes in emphasis as a basis for understanding the desired impact of the current RTS in terms of facilitating access to socio-economic opportunities for rural communities and stimulating and oiling rural economic development. The relative currency of rural transport issues addressed in the 2018 iteration of the RTS are analyzed in the context of trend-setting national and international policy shifts impacting and impacted by the rural transport sector. The findings underline the rural transport policy gains that have filtered through into the 2018 RTS while at the same time highlight missed rural transport policy changing opportunities. In addition, some possibly transformative policy options in both iterations that have remained trapped through inaction are discussed. The paper concludes by making suggestions on how the missed opportunities could be reclaimed through local level innovative and collaborative transport engagement approaches.
Papers Presented at the 2018 37th Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2018 Pretoria, South Africa. Theme "Towards a desired transport future: safe, sufficient and affordable".