JOHANNESBURG, September 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The Deputy Minister for the South African Department of Transport, Jeremy Cronin MP, will share insights into South Africa's recently released R846 billion (US$ 114 billion) transportation expenditure plan at the Southern African Transportation Infrastructure Conference. The Deputy Minister will conduct the opening address at the event, discussing South Africa's plans to develop the country's transportation infrastructure projects as part of the roadmap to improve Southern Africa's economic competitiveness.
The impetus behind the summit stems from the knowledge that Southern African nations are losing out on huge potential economic gains in their trade and export markets because the region's transportation networks are inefficient and are not meeting demand requirements. Outdated, unsuitable and poorly maintained road and rail networks are largely the cause of these gaps in supply and demand and the causes for this neglect can be attributed to various factors, including a lack of funding, poor governance and, in some cases, civil war.
The forum will investigate topics and showcase projects from regional governments, including road construction and maintenance, development and rehabilitation of commuter rail and long distance rail, and local public transportation and BRT networks. The four day event will focus on showcasing upcoming transportation projects from across Southern Africa, investment and financing strategies for transportation and developing transportation frameworks for mineral and logistics networks.
While resource rich countries such as Australia hugely benefited from the construction boom before the global economic downturn, mining giants in Southern Africa largely missed out due to insufficient freight capacity.
Huge opportunities exist in the region's mineral industry and mining companies have been left frustrated at the perceived lack of infrastructure to transport coal, iron and other minerals from the mine to the ports.
The same can be said for the transport of everyday goods such as produce and manufacturing materials, with landlocked countries and rural areas feeling the pinch when they are left unable to sell their excess stock due to inadequate transport capabilities.
Things are set to change soon though, with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) recently putting forth an infrastructure development masterplan to remedy an estimated US$100 billion deficit in road, rail and port infrastructure in the region. The recommendations put forth in the masterplan have already begun to take shape in the form of government backed transportation infrastructure schemes and various grants from development organisations such as the World Bank.
Southern African countries such as Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique are enacting their own investment strategies, with each country looking at developing road, rail and port projects to improve their economic competitiveness and, in turn, the socioeconomic conditions of each country's inhabitants.
Government representatives from these countries' transport ministries and organisations will be meeting to discuss these issues at the Southern African Transportation Infrastructure Conference, taking place in Johannesburg 21 - 24 November. Along with the event inauguration by Deputy Minister Jeremy Cronin, additional presentations will be featured from the Zambian Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Central East African Railways Company, the Malawi Road Funds Authority, and other regional bodies.
Supported by leading transportation solution providers, including Talgo and Tubular Track, the event will be an important meeting for leaders and stakeholders in Southern Africa's transportation future.
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For information about the Southern African Transportation Infrastructure Conference, taking place 21 - 24 November 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa please visit http://www.satransportationprojects.com or contact Katia Andrejev, Marketing Manager, IQPC at email@example.com or call +9714-446-2748
SOURCE IQPC Middle East