A proposed freight and passenger road-to-rail strategy for South Africa

J.H. Havenga, A. de Bod, Z.P. Simpson, S. Swarts, and I.E. Witthöft
November 2021

A cornerstone of rail improvement in South Africa is the development of a road-to-rail strategy for both freight and passengers. The report proposes road-to-rail strategies for both freight and passengers to assist identifying key next steps to facilitate rail improvement. A succinct overview of major shifts since the 1980s in the structure of the state-owned entities involved in rail freight and passenger transport is provided for context. The report focuses on the development of proposed road-to-rail strategies, with a discussion on cross-cutting issues that need to be addressed by government to ensure successful implementation of the strategies. Many issues have been on the agenda for five decades — South Africa’s government needs to act decisively to avoid the collapse of foundational economic infrastructure that will be extremely difficult and costly to repair beyond a tipping point of collapse.