Transport in Southern Africa
This investigation provides a description of regional transport infrastructure in Southern Africa, evaluates the likelihood of success of rehabilitation projects, and identifies actions to increase the viability of the region’s transport system. A historical perspective is given from colonial times until the independence of many African countries during the 1960s, as well as a description of existing transport routes in Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Transport efficiency is evaluated. Given the realities of the Southern African situation, the shortest transport routes may not be the most cost-effective or efficient. Factors like reliability, safety and security also determine cost, and transport efficiency depends also on tariff structures and political pressure. Recommendations are made for positive steps to be taken by the SADCC and by South Africa to enhance transport efficiency in the region. In conclusion, the future seems moderately optimistic, and the situation may achieve enough stability to improve transport throughout the region. There are signs of progress in rehabilitating the infrastructure, although security remains the most critical issue. Dependence on South African routes will probably be reduced but not eliminated. The author believes that ultimately the flow of goods can be compatible and consistent with government policy in the region, and that it is an attainable goal.