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 dramatic emphasis placed on social upliftment in the post-apartheid era in South Africa has, in effect, contributed to the enormous pressure inflicted on the road network. On the one hand the
redistribution of wealth has led to an increase in car ownership and movement of traffic while strict financial policies have curtailed new road projects. Population distribution will be based on income
rather than race but, despite the fact that AIDS is expected to greatly reduce the future population figures that were predicted in the past, the impact on our transport infrastructure will be significant.
The traditional demand driven approach to transport coupled with the philosophy of “building our way out of trouble ”is failing. The redirection of funding to social spheres and the spiralling costs of developing and maintaining the road network dictates that other alternatives, potential of our existing infrastructure, should be given a high priority. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)are one such alternative.
This paper introduces the concept of ITS for developing countries such as South Africa, where the improvement in the efficiency of existing transport infrastructure through management measures is targeted as opposed to the traditional course of expanding infrastructure.
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