Three-day public transport seminar in Tshwane
The Ambassador of France Christophe Farnaud and the Acting DG of the Department of Transport Mathabatha Mokonyama opened the three-day seminar on public transport within the framework of the bilateral cooperation between France and South Africa.
The seminar took place from the 28th to the 30th of November at the Sierra Burgers Park Hotel in Tshwane. It gathered more than 100 delegates from South Africa (Department of Transport, National Treasury, Provinces, Municipalities, PRASA) and from France (Ministry of Transport, research institute, regional transport authority, university, parastatals, private companies). Two site visits were organised at the PRASA CRES Pretoria Station and on the BRT system of Tshwane A Re Yeng. The French speakers specifically presented the public transport systems from Paris/Île-de-France, Reims and Dijon as well as from Africa and the world.
The new framework of the South African – French cooperation in the field of transport dates back to June 2015 when the South African Minister Dipuo Peters and the French Minister Alain Vidalies signed the agreement at the Le Bourget Air Show.
The major bilateral business cooperation in transport is the Gibela contract signed in 2013 in which a consortium led by Alstom is providing 3 600 coaches to PRASA for the Metrorail. It confirms the trust of the South African part in the knowhow of the French transport industry with strong commitments in provision of local content, skills development as well as suppliers’ development.
Related to this huge contract, the signing of a partnership between PRASA and SNCF funded by France through its development bank AFD took place on the eve of the seminar. The objective of the partnership is knowledge sharing between the two parastatals as regards rolling stock takeover, enabled through trainings, workshops and study tours both in South Africa and in France.
The first outcomes came in 2017 with a study tour on rail in France in April and the three-day seminar on public transport in Tshwane in November.
Among the issues discussed during the seminar were:
The governance of transport (regional and local transport authorities, relations to operators, association of existing stakeholders into an integrated public transport network, funding of operations);
The close relationship between urban planning and transport (Transit Oriented Development, station design, land use);
A study tour in France will follow in 2018.