To collaborate on freight to improve its efficiencies and continue the vital flow of goods throughout the country and the African continent, a partnership between the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport and industry associations in the supply chain, transport and retail sectors have been established. Called the Gauteng Freight Forum, this initiative provides a common platform for information sharing between the private sector and Government. This Forum will also assist in trouble shooting and intervening in areas of concern as they arise.
Championed by Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport 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 the active co-operation between the private sector and various arms of Government.
“This Forum is important so that the sector does not have to look for Government, said Gauteng MEC Jacob Mamabolo. “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”.
Gauteng remains a key destination for freight: More than 60% of freight originates or leaves through Gauteng. “We want to re-position Gauteng as the inland hub for freight and logistics: we need to realise its competitive advantage,” continued Mamabolo. In its inaugural meeting today, the Gauteng Freight Forum agreed to work on a concept to secure the corridor/s. This includes ensuring there are visible policing and law enforcement activities.
The freight industry has welcomed the establishment of the Forum. “We are here. We are committed. We will collaborate all the way,” said Dr Juanita Maree, Chairperson of the South African Association of Freight Forwarders. “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 Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the Road Freight Association.
“The voice of the freight industry will be heard,” concluded MEC Mamabolo. “We are now on a sound strategic footing for the secure movement of freight within the Gauteng Province”.