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5.6 Key Mitigation Sector - Transport


Transport systems form the backbone of South Africa’s socio-economic activities through enabling the movement of people and products. Apartheid planning has left a legacy of transport networks that are poorly integrated and where the majority of citizens live far from places of work. Many people still do not have access to an existing and extensive formal railway and road infrastructure, and live in areas where there is no reliable transport.

In the context of climate change –

  • The transport sector is the most rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa, and is the second most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions therefore significant mitigation benefits can be found in the transport sector.

  • According to the GHG inventory 2000, transport emissions contributed 12% of the 2000 energy emissions, a decrease of 9.4% between 1994 and 2000. However, reports show that diesel and gasoline fuel consumption had increased from 1994 to 2000 respectively by 22.4 and 7.9% respectively. It was therefore concluded that the decrease in the emissions was an emission location issue rather than an actual decrease in overall transport emissions.

  • Transport was responsible for 25.7% of energy demand in 2004. Road transport represented 84% of transport energy use.

  • Through transport mitigation there are co-benefits that can be realised such as reduction in accidents, improved urban air quality, increased productivity through reduction of time between trips, etc.

  • The EU directive on Aviation is an example of an international measure that is likely to have an impact on South Africa’s aviation industry. It will implement the first emission caps in 2012, and will affect operators such as South African Airways. This could potentially reduce the relative importance of SA as a flight hub in relation to other hubs in Africa or the Middle East. It could also result in other impacts such as raising direct costs to comply with targets, raising operational costs in monitoring and reporting and increasing fuel costs.

  • The current international discussions on options to reduce shipping related emissions could impact shipping transport and industry.

  • Climate change impacts could result in the destruction of transportation infrastructure. Floods and storm surges have in the past destroyed roads, bridges and railway lines and sea level rise poses threats to coastal transport infrastructure, including harbours.

In response to these challenges, South Africa will –

  1. Continue to put in place transport policies and developments that result in a modal shift in passenger transport to public and low carbon forms of transport including plans to move freight from road to rail over time.

  2. Encourage the integration of land use and transportation planningin cities in a manner that encourages public transport, non-motorised transport (walking and cycling) and promotes alternative communication methods such as tele-commuting, in order to reduce long term transport fuel use patterns.

  3. Improve the efficiency of our vehicle fleet across the board through a range of measures including the use of fuel standards.

  4. Invest in the further development and deployment of cleaner technologies for the transport sector such as electric vehicles and hybrids.

  5. Build capacity to deal with transport mitigation in the areas of planning, engineering, and relevant technical skills.

  6. Support the production and use of cleaner fuel technologies and alternative fuels away from current fossil fuels.

  7. Implement the flat rate specific excise tax based on passenger vehicle carbon emissions which applies to each gram CO2 vehicle emissions above a target range and investigate expanding the emissions tax to include other categories of motor vehicles.

  8. Consider further incentives in the form of lower fuel taxes to encourage cleaner fuels, e.g. cleaner diesel fuel

  9. Integrate climate change information into transport planning, in order to minimise the potential risk to infrastructure from extreme weather events. 


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• Promote sorting of waste and recycling at source
• Have differential tariffs for domestic/ commercial waste based on weight/ volume to incentivize recycling.
• Municipalities need to focus on the large scale roll out of recycling pick up.


• Specifically provide incentives to organisations including schools that provide mass transport services during peak travelling times


This must be looked at, instead of the big-guys running the show forever.The change must be made, industrially to start with but must move into the logistics sector.The fuel can still be levied and controlled if done correctly.This would reduce carbon emissions significantly and utilize many waste products including old oils, RDF and tyres.