Pretoria: The Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, says partnerships between government and the private sector are crucial to realising the growth, integration and improvement of the transport industry.
“A good transport system has the ability of redesigning and changing the social landscape. For us to achieve that, partnerships with the private sector as well as investments in transport infrastructure are critical,” Vadi said at the 7th iTransport International Conference and Exhibition, held at the Gallagher Convention Center on Tuesday.
He commended the role played by the Intelligent Transport Society of South Africa (ITSSA) for their sustained contribution to skills development, capacity building and training in the transport industry.
The MEC said given the shortage of professional engineers, engineering technical and qualified supporting personnel, ITSSA’s contribution to helping to solve current and future transport challenges should be applauded.
He said ITSSA’s partnership with the International Public Transport Association was a good platform for the sharing of ideas, expertise and knowledge.
Vadi said ITSSA’s applications tied in well with Gauteng’s 25-year Transport Master Plan, in that they also include traffic management to ease congestion.
The MEC cautioned that there was a real threat to the future “if we continue on the existing path”.
He called on all the stakeholders in the transport fraternity, town planners, township developers, environmentalists, academics, the private sector and labour unions to work with his department in bringing the plan to fruition.
Held under the theme, ‘Enabling Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Integration’, the conference focused on the role of information, innovation, intelligence and integration in solving transport challenges.
The conference also put emphasis on benchmarking local expertise against international standards and showcased the delivery of transport and ITS projects.
ITS is a multi-disciplinary field of expertise that applies innovative solutions and technology applications to the transport arena.
It represents public and private sector stakeholders in applying ITS solutions.
The aim of ITS applications is to make transport operations more efficient, improve safety and security within transport, make using transport more people-friendly as well as reduce the carbon footprint of the transport sector.