WIT Press

Searching For Sustainable Urban Transport Solutions For Africa: A Case Study Of The Greater Johannesburg Region In South Africa


Free (open access)





Page Range

175 - 186




658 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


J. Chakwizira


The purpose of this paper is to undertake a critical review of existing urban transport interventions and innovations in Africa. The success factor that such measures have attained in seeking to reverse the trend of worsening and declining urban public transport services and infrastructure performance is assessed. Making use of the Greater Johannesburg region of South Africa as a case study, the urban transport hierarchy issues that make closing the loop difficult are identified and options for overcoming such obstacles discussed. The findings are based from a desktop analysis which is completed by an empirical research study in the Greater Johannesburg region carried consistently from 2007 up to 2011. These insights are complemented by key informants and transport stakeholder inputs. The aim of this longitudinal research is to seek to understand the complex and deeper issues that inform urban transport, policy, infrastructure and services dimensions. Overall, results confirm the consistent application of a mix of transport technology and non-technology solutions in the quest to solve urban transport problems in Africa. The tension and mismatch between transport infrastructure requirements and service gaps as contrasted with transport infrastructure and services budgeting and investment gap is an obvious weakness. Beyond transport plans and strategies, simultaneous application of transformative technology and related solutions is important if transport problems have to be reversed or significantly reduced. The need to implement more intelligent transport solutions today may serve developing countries from a worse transport situation in the future. Some of these transport technology innovations requiring serious consideration include a light rail; tram as well scope for underground train systems in the Greater Johannesburg region. Keywords: urban transport, innovation, solutions, technology, Greater Johannesburg region, South Africa, Africa.


Keywords: urban transport, innovation, solutions, technology, Greater Johannesburg region, South Africa, Africa.