Paper presented at the 20th Annual South African Transport Conference 16 - 20 July 2001 "Meeting the transport challenges in Southern Africa", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT: The demise of public transportation in South Africa manifests itself in practically every public transportation study. There is continuous debate on the current public transport system, the quality of service, the ageing infrastructure, the rationalisation processes, land use patterns, poor subsidy targeting, poor public transport planning, operation and regulations, the funding of the implementation of Moving South Africa (MSA) and the need for an integrated public transportation system. Frustration is setting in on skilled transportation engineers and is evident in the number of professional transportation engineers emigrating to Europe, North America, and Australia.
The National Land Transport Transition Act 2000 focuses on public transportation. It is significant that many officials and consultants in South Africa contributed to this policy. However, are there
capable public transport professionals in South Africa to implement an effective and efficient public transport system? The common practice in South Africa is that many Civil Engineers attempted public transport
projects and through time has come to believe that they are public transport experts. Many officials travelled worldwide to experience public transportation in short periods and have also come to believe that they are public transport experts too. Transportation professionals should have post-graduate qualifications and more appropriately, from
a tertiary institution in a country like for example, the USA, where effective, and sophisticated public transport research and implementation occurs. To implement the public transport plans for South Africa, it is imperative to utilise or appoint learned public transport professionals.
This paper investigates the availability of capable public transport professionals in South Africa to provide an efficient and effective public transport system in South Africa according to its policies.
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