Building the economy through transport infrastructure | Western Cape Government

Building the economy through transport infrastructure

(Western Cape Government)

South Africa’s transport network system, which includes transport by road, rail, air and sea, is more than a means of getting from one point to another. It plays a critical role in the economy by enabling the movement of people, goods and services.


Train image

Transport by rail contributes to the economy in three major ways:

Freight  Rail handles block train consignments of primary minerals, commodities and imports and exports. Read more about rail freight transport on the National Department of Transport’s website.
Passenger transport A great share of the Department’s budget is spent on fixing damaged and worn roads. People using the train for their daily commute relieve the burden on our roads.
Tourism An example would be the Southern Line rail route which stretches from Cape Town to Simonstown and the Atlantic Rail which showcases attractions along the way including “Oom Samie se Winkel” and farm lands stretching through to the Hottentots Holland.


The Western Cape Transport Infrastructure Act sets out rules for certain features of railways in the province:

  • Widths of railway lines
  • Responsible authorities
  • Building lines and restrictions
  • Procedures

Read more about rail transport:



In South Africa, most exports are conveyed by sea.

The Western Cape Government partnered with Saldanha Bay Municipality and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in 2013 to establish the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) at the Port of Saldanha Bay to promote economic growth and jobs.

Facilities and services of the IDZ include enabling infrastructure, back-of-quay precincts, Transnet, TNPA and Operation Phakisa Infrastructure, Ease of doing business centre and SEZ incentives

Watch: World Maritime Day 2019 - Empowering Women in the Maritime Community




Using transport by air has some key benefits:

  • Only worldwide transportation network
  • Interregional exports of goods

South Africa will celebrate International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD) in December.

The purpose of ICAD is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation for social and economic development.

At the launch of the George Airport’s solar plant in 2016, Minister of Transport and Public Works Donald Grant described this facility as being at the heart of George’s economic potential. 

Read more about transport by air:



Road transport continues to be a popular choice for commuters and businesses.

The National Transport Survey published by Statistics SA in July 2017 showed that road passenger journeys increased by 3,2% and road freight grew by 9,2%.

The Department of Transport and Public Works maintains and upgrades the Western Cape’s provincial road network and allocates a big portion of the budget to road construction and maintenance projects.

We recently added a 3rd lane to the N1 at the Durban Road Interchange, extended the road network in support of the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone, and designed the upgrade of the Wingfield Interchange on the N1/N7.

The content on this page was last updated on 12 February 2020