United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

South Africa

1
STATEMENT BY SOUTH AFRICA AT THE INTERACTIVE
THEMATIC DISCUSSIONS ON TRANSPORT AT THE
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE
NINETEENTH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
NEW YORK, 1 MARCH 2011
Mr Chairman,
On behalf of the South African delegation, I would like to thank the
distinguished panelists for their enlightening presentations. South
Africa aligns itself with the statement made by Argentina on behalf of
the Group of 77 and China.
For South Africa, which lies at the southern tip of the African
continent, transport is a central component of sustainable
development and key to promoting economic growth, connectivity, as
well as access to trade for the country and the region. This is also
true for the significant industrial and tourism shipping traffic that
passes our coasts and Marine Exclusive Economic Zone in both
directions. Transport systems form the backbone of developing
countries? socio-economic activities by enabling the movement of
people, products and services. However, basic transport
infrastructure and services are still inadequate or lacking in many
rural areas of developing countries, making it difficult for the rural
poor, including women, youth and children, to receive basic social
services such as health and education, and for workers to access
jobs.
2
Mr Chairman,
In order for us to address these challenges, CSD 19 needs to adopt a
concrete, coherent and comprehensive suite of policies and
measures to promote improvement and expansion of public transport
systems which is more-reliable, safe, clean, affordable, time saving
and environmentally sound. Furthermore, the integration of transport
considerations in development planning in order to ensure more
sustainable transport systems in the future by reducing the need for
travel and minimizing travel distances is urgently needed.
We need to accelerate modal shifts towards more economical,
affordable and energy efficient modes of transport such as electric
and hybrid vehicles, including greater use of railways, pipelines and
inland waterways which offer low carbon options for passenger and
freight transport. Multi-modal systems can provide an array of options
for passenger and freight transport and can enable developing
countries to participate more fully in international trade as well as
foster national and regional commerce. This can be achieved through
appropriate land-use policies, mixed-use development and mediumto-
high population densities along key corridors.
Greater support is needed in the area of research, innovation and
deployment of advanced technologies in a move towards a
sustainable resource efficient and low-carbon transportation systems.
This will include the need to curb the dumping in developing countries
of old vehicles, aircraft, and ships, and/or those nearing their end of
life.
Finally, Chairman, international financial institutions could play a
greater role in accelerating investment to expand transport
infrastructure and transport services in developing countries.
Innovative financial solutions, private sector and public-private
partnerships are also crucial in financing and managing public
transport systems. A shift is needed in investment in roads that also
provides for infrastructure for non-motorised transport.
I thank you,
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