Transport Experts Gather in South Africa to Rethink Transportation and Celebrate IRF 75th Anniversary

Transport Experts Gather in South Africa to Rethink Transportation and Celebrate IRF 75th Anniversary

Under the theme “Rethinking transportation: planning and building resilient systems to meet global externalities” the 41st Annual Southern African Transport Conference was held in Pretoria, South Africa, on 10 – 13 July 2023.

The IRF – who has been supporting SATC for several years – was pleased to join industry experts, policymakers and other stakeholders from all over the world for the 4-day conference to discuss how to provide optimum, effective and efficient transportation solutions to improve service delivery and meet the needs of all users of our transport systems. 

“Innovative thinking is by itself never only the direction we must take but equally to figure out the most effective integrated way of working together to implement the solutions. The requirement to plan for and build resilient transport systems that must meet global externalities can never be an easy fit and never achievable through working in silos and lacking integrated systems and implementation” said South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Hon. Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga, at the opening ceremony. She also acknowledged and thanked the IRF for “their continuous support, finding wisdom in our actions and endorsing this auspiciously significant Conference in our annual regional interaction”.

IRF Director General, Susanna Zammataro, led discussions on the IRF Special Session “Innovation and Digitalisation for a Sustainable Future” which was part of the official programme on day 1. The session addressed the pivotal role of digitalisation in revolutionising transportation and welcomed as speakers: Nicolas Miravalls (Oris), Subu Kamal (TRL), Marianne Vanderschuren (University of Cape Town), and Justin Coetzee (GoMetro). More specifically, speakers discussed the potential of data from diverse sources and tools to expedite the transition towards safe, efficient, inclusive and more sustainable mobility. 

SATC 2023 is one of the many events through which the International Road Federation is celebrating its 75th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the SATC cocktail party was hosted this year by the IRF and offered the stage to bestow to the South African Road Federation (SARF), an IRF 75th Anniversary Awards as a long-standing member of the Federation. “The South African Road Federation is honoured to be a member of the IRF and to receive the IRF 75th Anniversary Award. We are grateful for the support the IRF has given us all these many years and for the opportunity to serve on various IRF Committees to deliver together sustainable, resilient, and safe transportation” commented Vusi Tshabangu, President of SARF in receiving the award. 

A summary of SATC proceedings and final recommendations will be presented over the next weeks to the office of the South Africa Minister of Transport for further consideration and action. 

To learn more about IRF 75th Anniversray Celebrations, visit

To access SATC Gallery visit: 

To access the Call for abstracts for SATC 2024 visit:

South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Hon. Sindisiwe Lydia Chikunga. Credits: SATC
Stand of IRF and SARF at SATC.
IRF DG, Susanna Zammataro with SARF President, Vusi Tshabangu

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