South African Futures – 2030

SA2030-Paper-SliderThis recent publication, by Jakkie Celliers, executive director and co-founder of the Institute for Security Studies, sets out a trilogy of economic and political scenarios. While it may be of nominal interest to the man in the street, I would think that potential foreign investors would certainly consider its import. It is available in PDF or EPUB formats at the following link.

The paper presents three scenarios for South Africa up to 2030: ‘Bafana Bafana’, ‘A Nation Divided’ and ‘Mandela Magic’. The nation’s current development pathway, called ‘Bafana Bafana’ is the well-known story of a perennial underachiever, always playing in the second league when the potential for international championship success and flashes of brilliance are evident for all to see.‘Mandela Magic’, on the other hand, is the story of a country with a clear economic and developmental vision, which it pursues across all sectors of society. Competition is stiff and the barriers to success are high. The scenario of ‘A Nation Divided’ reflects a South Africa that steadily gathers speed downhill as factional politics and policy zigzagging open the door to populist policies.

The impact of the policy and leadership choices that South Africans will make in the years ahead, explored in this paper, is significant. The South African economy could grow 23 per cent larger in ‘Mandela Magic’ compared with its current growth path (‘Bafana Bafana’). The paper concludes with seven strategic interventions required to set South Africa on the most prosperous ‘Mandela Magic’ pathway. Source: Institute for Security Studies

A review of South Africa’s road and rail infrastructure

Creamer Media have published 2012 Road and Rail – a comprehensive review and insight into South Africa’s road and rail transport infrastructure and network. This should be a must read for any serious investor and comes at a price just shy of R 2000,00. 

For the much of the six-and-a-half decades from 1910, South Africa’s rail sector was carefully nurtured and handsomely resourced by successive administrations. Growing competition from road was kept at bay by tough regulatory practices that ensured rail freight of a virtual monopoly.

From the mid-1970s, however, rail’s pre-eminent position in South Africa began to come under scrutiny. A series of National Transport Policy Studies reviewed worldwide trends in transport deregulation. The findings reinforced a growing belief that an overprotected rail industry and an over-regulated road-freight sector were detrimental to the overall South African economy. This was undoubtedly true – but as often happens in these matters, in the following decades, and indeed, right up to the recent present, the stick was then bent excessively in the opposite direction.

The net result is that, on the freight side, rail has massively lost market share to road over the past 20 to 25 years. Road transport has been allowed to grow, but without the implementation of an effective road transport quality system. This imbalance in the modal split has been a key contributing factor to high direct logistics costs in the economy. The disproportionate shift of freight to road has had many other perverse and costly impacts – the road freight industry (unlike Transnet Freight Rail) does not directly carry the cost of building and maintaining the public infrastructure it uses and this has resulted in an increase in road construction and maintenance costs, deteriorating road conditions, congestion problems and road collisions.

This report investigates South Africa’s road and rail infrastructure, including the country’s road and rail networks, maintenance and the challenges facing the sector, among others. For details as to the content of the report please click here! Source: Creamer Media