|dc.description.abstract||The increase in the number of freight vehicles on South Africa’s rural road network has received
substantial attention. Insinuations persist that long-distance road freight haulage is of a
somewhat unsavoury economic nature, and that strict economic re-regulation of the land freight
transport is necessary. During the 1970s road transport replaced rail carriage as the dominant form of longdistance
freight transport (excluding minerals and ore) in South Africa. On long hauls road
freight carriers transport certain primary products of an organic nature (such as timber, fish and
agricultural produce), some semi-finished goods, many finished goods and most consumer goods.
Road freight carriers are continuously gaining market share on long-distance links where
rail transport is the more cost efficient mode. The greater value added by road freight carriers in
comparison with rail transport through service effectiveness is often more than the cost premium
paid for utilising their service rather than making use of rail transport.
Throughout history, governments have involved themselves in transport. A diverse range of
arguments have been advanced for this involvement in transport, including the following: (1)
Control of excessive competition, (2) co-ordination of transport, (3) integration of transport
with economic policy, (4) maintenance of safety, security, and order, (5) provision of costly
infrastructure, (6) provision of public goods, (7) recovery of the true resource cost of transport
inputs, (8) regulation of harmful conduct and externalities, (9) restraint of monopoly power,
and (10) social support.
A set of nine instruments can be identified that governments apply to influence the
performance of the freight transport industry: (1) Legislation, (2) direct supply, (3) fiscal
measures, (4) monetary measures, (5) moral appeal and persuasion, (6) policies relating to
strategic commodities, (7) procurement policy, (8) provision of information, and (9) research
The best prospects for a sound development of land freight transport activity in South Africa
will be offered within the framework of a free-functioning freight transport market.||en_ZA