Going digital - unleashing new frontiers

The digitalisation boom is creating new opportunities for transport. From connected cars to smart traffic light solutions like the award-winning Flowtack, digitalisation is heralding in a new era for transportation that will make it safer, more efficient and fully accessible.

The connected transport ecosystem also demands greater collaboration between partners across the transport system. Introducing smart connected cars thus requires a close partnership from both the public and private sector. From shaping strategic transport policies at national and regional level to collaborating with car manufacturers, insurance providers, amongst many others, the dialogue is necessary to ensure that we maximize the value of the integrated perspective.

Royal HaskoningDHV is a founding member of the Mobility Centre for Africa (MCA), a platform for the research, testing and deployment of future smart mobility solutions and stakeholder interaction.

Building bridges

Bridges play a vital role within an integrated transport network and can be a new lifeline for urban communities. The newly constructed Grayston Bridge in Johannesburg for example, provides a safe cycling and pedestrian bridge across the very busy N1 Freeway, connecting residents in Alexandra to work opportunities in the central business hub of Sandton.

In rural South Africa, the new Tugela Ferry Bridge re-unites a small town that had become divided. A single-lane steel girder bridge across the Tugela River, dating back to the 1930’s, was causing severe congestion and delays.

The conflict has been resolved by retaining the old bridge for the exclusive use of pedestrians, animals and cyclists and diverting vehicular traffic onto the new two-lane bridge. Residents have faster, safer access to facilities and the town now has room to expand, which ultimately enhances economic development and work opportunities.

Connecting communities - roads

New and improved roads shorten journey times and connect communities more efficiently. They provide better access to services, bring workers closer to their jobs and provide better shopping and business opportunities.

As part of the S’hamba Sonke programme, the Department of Transport asked Royal HaskoningDHV to prepare a national Access Roads Development Plan for South Africa. The study examined access to all public facilities and identified missing road links in all nine provinces, particularly in the most remote areas.

The plan resulted in a programme to complete the road network in line with the Department’s mandate to provide access for all citizens. Royal HaskoningDHV is proud to have been involved in the S’hamba Sonke programme, which invested over R50 billion in provincial road asset maintenance, and created 800 000 job opportunities.

In Durban, the new P577 road link across the uMngeni river has provided a much needed, direct connection between KwaMashu and Pinetown, avoiding the heavily congested N2/N3 Freeway. The new route directly connects local people with the industrial complex in Pinetown, a major employer in the area. It reduces the travelling distance by 12 kilometres and eases congestion on the freeway system.

Transit Oriented Development (TOD)

Transit Oriented Development leverages transportation-related infrastructure to make cities more accessible, liveable and sustainable. It integrates urban planning with key transportation hubs to create vibrant new neighbourhoods.

In South Africa it has particular relevance, in creating affordable housing for township residents that, due to Apartheid planning, are in locations far removed from cities. These citizens currently spend a large portion of their income on transport costs.

Royal HaskoningDHV is involved in many TOD initiatives to help develop transport hubs into vibrant commercial areas with new, integrated neighbourhoods.

Non-motorised transport

Creating a low-cost, safe and well-connected network for non-motorised transport drives positive outcomes in urban areas. Cycling, for example, is affordable and sustainable, eases congestion and drives health benefits for the population.

In 2017 Royal HaskoningDHV partnered with the Dutch Cycling Embassy to explore how cycling could drive better mobility in South Africa. We shared insights from this work at Mobility Indaba, Cape Town and Cycle Indaba, Johannesburg to promote cycling for improved mobility, upliftment of communities and enhanced economic growth.

New horizons – enabling next generation mobility

At Royal HaskoningDHV, we believe that infrastructure can create inclusive growth. Whether it is connecting communities, creating jobs, having access to public services or education, infrastructure plays a key role in South Africa as the foundation for growth and investment.

From prize winning projects such as the Grayston and Tugela Ferry bridges to iconic projects like the Main Road P577, our work has demonstrated the importance of infrastructure and how it can connect communities, making mobility safer, enhancing economic performance and directly creating career opportunities for local people.

We are proud that through these projects, we are able to train and mentor the next generation of South African engineers to create the future of the country through inclusive growth.

Transport: catalyst for growth 

Transport is integral to South Africa’s ongoing development. It’s well recognised that countries with effective transport infrastructure display consistently higher productivity, growth and economic competitiveness.

Well maintained and safe roads and railways connect people with jobs, education and health services; they also deliver more efficient transportation of products within and between cities, fostering trade and investments into the country. Maintaining these systems also provides job opportunities, skills development and new supplier opportunities.

Put simply, transportation networks play a critical role in enhancing social mobility and economic development.