Welcome To Launch Of Transafrica By Craig Newman

Good morning Ladies and Gentleman, We are delighted to have such a good turnout for the launch of the important 2014 TransAfrica to be held at the Johannesburg Expo Centre from October 7-9.

October is Transport Month in South Africa and TransAfrica will be a major feature of the national focus on the transport aspects of infrastructure development and forward planning by the government during this month.

This is the second TransAfrica conference and exhibition to be held in Johannesburg and it is more relevant than ever before, because transport - in all its facets - is a key driving ingredient for the success of the government’s National Development Plan being rolled out.

TransAfrica is very much about “Moving from Policy to Reality” as time is the essence in this sphere of development, because most transport-related projects need long lead times and usually involve a lengthy process to implement, particularly as regards the construction of new infrastructure.

Now is the time to spell out how the plans will be turned into action in line with the National Development Plan’s timeline to 2030.

A number of important speakers will participate in TransAfrica and the three-day conference is seen as the ideal platform for major transport development announcements to be made.

TransAfrica 2014 is endorsed and supported by the Transport Minister, Ms Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, as well as its Acting Director General, Mr Mawethu Vilana, who is present today.

In her endorsement the Transport Minister says: "Transport is the heartbeat of South Africa’s economic growth and social development.”

She goes on to say that the Transport Department also has a vital role to play in the government’s integration with the Southern African Region and the African continent as a whole, as well as being the conduit for exporting products to the rest of the world.

The streamlining of cross-border transport is a major challenge that needs to be met and effective measures put in place to speed up this import aspect of our transport network.

The Minister said she sees TransAfrica as an ideal platform to bring together public and private sector transport industry stakeholders, to discuss investment opportunities within the scope of transport and its related infrastructure development.
The Acting Director General says that he and his department are looking forward to partnering with Umthombo Exhibitions, Events and Promotions in this joint initiative to showcase its plans for major public transport projects as well as highlighting future investments in road, rail, maritime and aviation infrastructure development.

For this reason attendance at the conference, with daily sessions running from 9 am to 1 pm, should be a “must” for all the stakeholders involved in transport, be it government, parastatals or private sector.