Plans to enhance southern Africa links to global markets

South Africa is a key transit country for the region. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

IRU, the world road transport organisation, has extended its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA) of South Africa, an organisation dedicated to improving the cross-border flow of commuters and freight operators, to help link southern Africa to international markets

With South Africa a key transit country for the region, acting as a conduit for many landlocked neighbours to global markets, the MoU will help to enhance international transport, facilitating transit and professionalising road transport. 

Currently, road transport and border crossing challenges, a lack of harmonised procedures and fragmented national transit systems are leading to high costs for many logistics operators and traders active in the region, according to IRU. It is in consideration of this that the two organisations have extended their MoU for an additional two years.  

In doing so, the two are aiming to enhance their cooperation and improve border crossings and international transport and transit in South Africa and regionally. 

The enforcement of global standards and best practices is one target that could help to achieve this goal. TIR, a tried-and-tested UN instrument, for example, has helped streamline border crossings globally for around 75 years and could significantly reduce transport and transit times across Africa, in addition to minimising costs. 

IRU and C-BRTA will also work together to develop a professional qualification framework to formalise the road transport sector. According to IRU, such measures will improve the overall efficiency of transport operations while enhancing road safety in South Africa.