Gauteng, freight industry associations establish partnership to improve efficiencies in the sector
In an effort to further enhance collaboration, improve efficiencies and continue the vital flow of goods and freight throughout South Africa and the continent, a partnership between the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and industry associations in the supply chain, transport and retail sectors has been established.
Referred to as the Gauteng Freight Forum, this initiative will serve to, primarily, provide a common platform for information-sharing between the private sector and government.
It will also assist with trouble-shooting and rapid intervention in various areas of concern, as and when they arise.
Championed by Gauteng MEC for Public Transport and Road Infrastructure Jacob Mamabolo, the following organisations have joined the Forum:
The Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA)
The Road Freight Association (RFA)
The South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF)
The South African Express Parcel Association (SAEPA)
The Transport Forum.
The forum has committed to ensuring that the movement of essential goods and services continues, with active co-operation between the private sector and various arms of government.
Remarking on the importance of the structure, MEC Mamabolo said "this forum is important so that the sector does not have to look for government".
"That is why it is important for us to meet monthly and analyse risks relating to the corridors (our roads, ports and rail) - looking at risks and threats, dealing with them promptly and swiftly. Information sharing is critical for this," he added.
Gauteng remains a key destination for freight - with more than 60% of freight originating, passing or leaving through the province.
"We want to re-position Gauteng as the inland hub for freight and logistics. We need to realise its competitive advantage," continued the MEC.
In its inaugural meeting on Monday, 19 July 2021, the Gauteng Freight Forum agreed to work on a concept to secure the corridor/s. This will include, amongst others, ensuring visible policing and undertaking law-enforcement activities.
Welcoming the establishment of the Forum, Dr Juanita Maree, SAAFF Chairperson, said "we are here. We are committed. We will collaborate all the way".
"We fully support the establishment of the Gauteng Freight Forum and look forward to working together to keep the wheels of our economy turning," said Mr. Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the RFA.
"We are now on a sound strategic footing for the secure movement of freight within the Gauteng Province. The voice of the freight industry will be heard," concluded the MEC.