South African Legislators Meet with UCLA Urban Planning Specialist in Public Transportation Study
Six members of the Standing Committee on Public Transport, Roads and Works for the Republic of South Africa's key province hold discussions at UCLA February 10 during national fact-finding tour.
Six South African legislators and department heads specializing in transport infrastructure visited UCLA February 10 as part of a 10 day national fact-finding tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The six were from Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, Soweto, and Pretoria. Often described as the economic powerhouse of Southern Africa, Gauteng produces some 40 percent of South Africa’s GDP, 10 percent of all of Africa’s GDP, and houses 60 percent of South Africa’s total workforce, 44 percent of all registered vehicles, and 53 percent of all commuter rail passengers in South Africa. The tour was administered nationally by the Africa-America Institute and was conduced on the UCLA campus by the International Visitor's Bureau of the UCLA International Institute.
A State Department briefing on the visit said, "Of vital interest to the Republic of South Africa in this era of globalization and interdependence is the expansion and integration of a more efficient transportation system. Such a system will allow greater mobility within and between cities and provinces in South Africa, facilitating commerce, and alleviating obstacles faced by commuters. A major province in South Africa, Gauteng,
"Because of the small size of the province, and the high volume of vehicles, numerous transportation problems have arisen. The area is experiencing massive congestion on primary road networks. In order to address this phenomenon, the local government is proposing cut backs on the use of private motor vehicles for home-work trips and is focusing on improving and expanding public transport. Upon assessing this issue, the Department of Public Transport, Road and Works of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature is faced with the daunting task of implementing an efficient public transportation system."
The U.S. tour aimed to study:
- Congestion management on the road network;
- Road infrastructure prioritization, funding, construction, and maintenance;
- The shift towards public transportation in big cities and the provision of modal transfer facilities;
- The planning and introduction of rapid commuter/intercity rail systems and its integration into the transport system;
- The development of integrated transport plans and the linkage to land-use planning
The delegation included Ms. Thabo Nikoana LEKGANYANE, Committee Coordinator, Gauteng Provincial Legislature; Mr. Jack TVAN DER MERWE, Department Head, Public Transport, Gauteng Provincial Government; Mr. Coffee Godfrey TSOTSETSI, Chairperson, Public Transport, Roads, and Works Department, Gauteng Provincial Legislature; and members of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Mr. Manny Simoa de FREITAS, Mr. Joseph CHIOLE, and Ms. Elliot Mshiyeni SOGONI.
The group met with Professor Donald Shoup of the UCLA Department of Urban Planning, who is former director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, and with Azeb Tadesse, Program Coordinator of the James S. Coleman Center for African Studies.
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2003