by Andrea Muller


The Transport, Infrastrcutre and Investment Expo

The TransAfrica conference will take place between 1 and 4 October 2013

With South Africa’s transport infrastructure being one of the most developed in Sub-Saharan Africa, the world has their eye on Africa as a promising opportunity with the potential for exponential growth. This has made South Africa a conduit for international trade.

In the 2013 Budget Speech, Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan said that government remains committed to a large-scale infrastructure investment programme. The allocation to the Department of Transport increased from R42.3 billion next year to R53.4 billion in 2015/16, reflecting increased allocations to the Passenger Rail Agency for its rolling stock procurement programme and further investment in the national road network. 

Furthermore, Transnet, which owns the majority of ports and freight railways in the country, is in its second year of a record-breaking seven-year R307-billion rolling infrastructure development programme to improve South Africa’s transport system, bringing large-scale investment to South Africa’s largest ports. Last year the company, which funds its projects on the strength of its balance sheet, spent an unparalleled R27.5-billion.

“With this phenomenal infrastructure spend at the forefront of our transport sector, TransAfrica will provide an unrivalled exhibition and conference platform, designed to showcase innovation and facilitate discussion between thought leaders and highlight enormous infrastructure and growth potential,” says Corin. “TransAfrica will also underline opportunities available within the transport sector, particularly around empowerment, skills development and employment opportunities, empowering delegates from across Africa with information on how to seize new opportunities within the African transport sector,” he added.

TransAfrica will be held at the Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg from 1-4 October 2013. The event has received full support from the Department of Transport and the Minister of Transport has been invited to provide a keynote address at the opening ceremony. Various pioneers in the African transport industry, including amongst others Transnet Group Chief Executive, Mr Brian Molefe, will also address the conference. It is anticipated that Chief Executives, Senior Managers, Senior Government officials including Ministers from the African continent, will also attend.


The three-day TransAfrica Conference, themed - Revitalizing the transport sector on the African continent - will feature senior experts from transport operators and recognised authorities—including various government bodies, financiers and recognised consultants. “The conference will advance knowledge and bridge the gap between all sectors of the transport industry,” says Corin. Topics will include investments in transport systems, the benefits of strategic partnerships, public-private partnerships success stories, comparing new products and latest technological innovations, legal and regulatory frameworks, commercial trends in transport globally and in Africa, operations and marketing, infrastructure and transport policy, rail passenger transport, human resources, safety, security and environmental themes.

With a focus on ports, railways, shipping and pipelines, the first day of the Conference will see CEOs from leading transport operators discussing global industry trends as well as the impact of those industry trends on Africa. Break-away sessions will include discussions around infrastructure and development, as well as key issues in aviation, pipelines and shipping. 

A look at the status quo on the African roads, passenger and freight network, as well as harmonising the integration of SADC borders, and the critical role of corporate social responsibility within the transport sector - will be the focus on the second day of the TransAfrica Conference. Areas of focus during the break-away sessions will include the empowerment of women in transport, the impact of proposed transport laws as well as logistics and the energy sector. 

The final day of the TransAfrica Conference will address the issues of youth employment, skills development and procurement across the transport value chain, as well, as the role that government plays in empowering the growth of SMEs. Finally speakers will also address risk management and security and discuss how innovative technology solutions can address the requirements of the transportation industry. 

The exhibition component of TransAfrica will include a showcase of the transport industry as well as information sharing and networking opportunities. Exhibitors will include leading names from all four transport disciplines—road, rail, air and maritime transport systems, as well as cargo and pipeline transport systems. TransAfrica is set to attract quality delegates from across the industry, including fleet managers and owners, operations and logistics managers, company owners and executive managers as well as supply chain and warehouse managers.

As a strategic platform, TransAfrica is aligned to Transnet’s vision for South Africa’s transport sector. “This event will provide the ideal platform to learn how to take advantage of the expected growth in transport infrastructure and investment,” says Corin. “We look forward to launching this critical industry event, which is set to become a leading annual fixture on the South Africa transport industry events calendar,” he concluded.



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