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Instilling Pro-poor Values into Transport Assessment

Instilling Pro-poor Values into Transport Assessment

Conference: Gender, transport and development, Port Elizabeth, August 2006
Sub-theme: Transport policies, strategies and programmes
Lisa Kane, Urban Transport Research Group, University of Cape Town
lkane@ebe.uct.ac.za

 

Introduction

It has been argued that the clear definition of a problem is a central part of knowledge
generation (Popper, 1999). Conferences, and the associated papers and discussion,
are also about generating new, more relevant knowledge, and with that in mind I1
would like to start this paper with a thorough description of a problem which has been
concerning me for some time.
I believe that there is a mismatch between key values of the post-apartheid South
African government (namely, addressing poverty and redressing inequities) and the
values intrinsic to a most widely used transport assessment tool, the cost-benefit
approach. In this paper I will spend as much time discussing this mismatch as I do
describing the proposed solution and, given the aims of this conference, the problems
of poor women will be focused upon. The intention here is to generate debate on the
problem as much as it is to promote a particular effort at solving that problem.
To start with, I give a bit of background on the cost-benefit approach, which is widely
used in transport planning.
Cost-benefit analysis and its role in transport planning
Cost benefit analysis rests on value judgements and…value judgements
are not capable of resolution through some logical process. (Pearce and
Nash, 1981: 1)

1
In contradiction to convention I have purposefully chosen to write this paper in the first person. This
is due to my personal conviction that transport planning needs to be more closely connected with the
human subject, as represented by ‘I’. The third person implies a distance between the knowing
professional and the subject of investigation.

3

Value judgements are not therefore something to be avoided as if it is
somehow unscientific to be involved with them. They are unavoidable.
What does matter is that they should be made explicit. (Pearce and Nash,
1981: 9)
Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) was first adopted as part of US transport planning
practice in the 1950s. Since then it has become entrenched in transport planning
practice throughout the world, and South Africa is no exception. Interviews
undertaken in 2003 found that the cost-benefit approach was still at the heart of much
of South Africa’s transport planning, despite the perception of increasing
politicisation of decision-making (Kruger, Dondo et al, 2003). Criticisms of the
approach have been heard many times (see Dimitriou, 1992; Mackie and Preston,
1998; Vasconcellos, 2001), and there have been adjustments to the technique. In
South Africa I am aware of attempts to broaden the scope of the cost-benefit
approach; guidelines for economic evaluation of transport projects now include
discussions of income and equity issues (CTMTA, 1995).
The problem, as I and others see it, is that the cost-benefit approach is inappropriate
for assessing transport projects, particularly in the South African case. This
inappropriateness will not be resolved by tinkering with the CBA, and a new approach
to assessment that starts from scratch is needed. There are several reasons for this.

The problems of the cost-benefit approach for the assessment of transport
projects in South Africa
Problem: transport planning presumed to be scientific
Since the genesis of the discipline, transport planners have attempted to operate as
‘scientists’.2

The earliest theories about traffic bear witness to this, and many
transport practitioners are familiar with the ‘gravity model’ which basically equates
traffic attraction with planetary attraction, after Newton. The premise of many
transport planners is that there is a world which can be measured objectively, that
2 By ‘scientist’, I mean someone who believes that the scientific method (to observe facts; generate
hypotheses; test hypotheses; generate laws) is the best/only way of generating knowledge.

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scientific theories can be made, and that the application of these theories in models
will yield fairly accurate forecasts of behaviour. Although one can argue about how
poorly transport models have performed over the past 50 years (see Robbins, 1978;
Atkins, 1986; Garrett and Wachs, 1996; Mackie and Preston, 1998; Kane and
Behrens, 2002) and so can argue about how inaccurate most cost-benefit analyses
(which rest on them) probably are, some may still argue that it is simply a matter of
research, time and decent data before these transport models are validated and so do
perform to acceptable levels of accuracy. To argue this, though, is misleading, since
the key problem with the cost-benefit assessment stage of the transport planning
process is conceptual and so is in place well before data collection.
It is assumed by scientists that it is possible to observe data objectively, to record that
data, and so to develop theories which are independent of an observer (subject). The
problem is, who decides what to observe?3

A decision has to be made about what is
important enough to observe even before attempts are made to collect data. The
decision taken by those earliest developers of the transport planning method was this:
vehicles are what we need to observe. It has been speculated that the reason for this
relates to the belief by the planners in the US and UK that widespread car ownership
was inevitable, a sign of progress, and it was necessary to predict the future vehicle
patterns and provide infrastructure accordingly.
In taking the scientific approach, and choosing to focus only on what they considered
to be measurable, predictable and important, transport planners missed, for a whole
generation, a consideration of many more complex issues around travel. For example,
they did not consider travel behaviour in any detail, and by focusing on the vehicle
they missed issues of the walker and the public transport user, and in doing so (since
private vehicle users at that time were mainly male and middle-class) they missed the
needs of the young, old, female, and poor.
Equally as important, though, was that in placing themselves in the mould of
‘scientists’, transport planners missed what I believe is the essence of transport

3 This argument is also from Popper. See Popper, K. (1999) All life is problem solving. London:
Routledge: 6.

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planning. Transport planning is essentially about the resolution of conflicts of belief4
over what a city transport system should be. Conflicts of belief cannot be resolved
through modelling or scientific analysis, although these technical tools may assist at a
later stage.
Problem: the hidden ideal of efficiency as a goal
This problem is related to the birthplace of transport planning, which was in the
faculties and departments of highway engineering. Highway engineering has
traditionally concerned itself with the efficient use of materials, and it was natural that
transport planners should adopt the notion of efficiency when judging how well their
proposed schemes performed. They did this by considering the time and operating
cost savings that transport schemes gave to vehicle users, translated into monetary
values. This was offset by changes in safety (again measured in monetary terms) and
the construction costs themselves. This was the theoretical basis of transport
measurement which was used in cost-benefit analysis. The problem? The ideal of
efficiency was intrinsic to the method, and this value judgement (that efficiency
should be promoted) was hard-wired into transport cost-benefit analysis and could not
be adjusted according to project, or over time. Efficiency was (and is), without being

explicitly stated, the hidden goal in all scheme assessments which use only a cost-
benefit analysis.

As a nation strongly influenced by the capitalism of the West and the drive for
economic growth, we are used to hearing about efficient allocation of scarce resources
as a justification for schemes, but the question must be raised: What is meant by
efficient? Is ‘efficiency’ the only goal of transport infrastructure investment in the
South Africa of 2006?

4
Flyvbjerg (2004) has argued for placing values in a pivotal place in the planning method, and also for
a deep consideration of the issue of power relations. Watson (2003) examined power and planning
through a South African case study. In this paper I focus more on values than power issues.

6

Problem: the belief in the possibility of improved efficiency for transport
Some may argue that efficiency is a valid goal for transport infrastructure investment.

Even if this were the case, there are still strong arguments against the use of cost-
benefit analysis. These are explored below.

Intrinsic to the process of traditional cost-benefit analyses is the belief that, somehow,
the efficiency demonstrated by this cost-benefit analysis will happen in the period
after the investment takes place. In the case of transport, this idea deserves more
critical exploration. Certainly in the early days of transport planning, as described
above, it was assumed that new infrastructure would lead directly to more efficient
conditions for traffic and that these would be permanent. US practice is clear in that
the goals for infrastructure improvements are to attain a ‘higher’ level of service,
where level of service is a measure of transport speed, and so efficiency. As time
went on, it became clear that the efficiency (speed) gains forecast by the transport
models were being eroded at a greater rate than expected. The discrepancy between
traffic forecasts and actual traffic on the M25 ring around London was a high-profile
case of this. Finally, in the 1990s in the UK, consensus was reached that increases in
the supply of transport infrastructure had an impact on demand for transport, which in
turn eroded efficiency benefits (Goodwin, 1997; Behrens and Kane, 2004).
In the British case, the cost-benefit approach has been adjusted to take this ‘elastic’
demand for transport into account. This was necessary, given both theoretical and
empirical evidence which indicated that to ignore it would give rise to large errors.5
In my experience, in South Africa this important knowledge: that increases in
transport supply induce additional traffic, has not been widely recognised. The
common assumption is still that transport infrastructure can improve transport
efficiency, while the impact that new infrastructure has on demand for transport is not
known, or is disregarded.

5
For example, Coombe (1996) found that in West London induced traffic of just 1% led to an erosion
of benefits of 30%, and in Norwich, induced traffic of 2.3-2.9% led to reductions in benefits of 22-
20%.

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Problem: monetarisation

Linked to the scientific approach and the need to measure efficiency are the problems
of monetarisation, that is, the translation into money units of matters which are not
usually expressed in that way. For a basic cost-benefit analysis in transport schemes
this concerns the translation into money of: time savings, operation cost savings and
accident savings associated with transport schemes. Of these, operation cost savings
are relatively easy to calculate, and can be measured through analyses of maintenance
costs. There are also practical methods for measuring the value-of-time, using
‘willingness-to-pay’ survey techniques developed in Europe and the US, but they
throw up philosophical questions when considered in a developing world context.
Surveys which measure value of time show that a worker is more ‘willing to pay’ for
time than a non-worker. Does this mean that more investments should be made on
behalf of factory workers than of mothers? Since the value of time for a high-income
earner is more than it is for a low-income earner, then a scheme which benefits high
earners will be easier to justify through a cost-benefit analysis than a scheme which
benefits the poor. Is this right? The case of women is particularly interesting here.
As many women do not work in the formal economy, their value of time will be less
than will that of a man. In strict terms, then, the cost-benefit approach is biased
towards the upper-income, and towards men.6
However, the most problematic monetaristion of all is that of life. How do you value
the loss of a human life? Is a child more valuable than an adult? A worker more
valuable than a retired person? Do you measure through loss of economic output,
pain of suffering, cost of insurance? These difficult questions need to be answered in
a cost-benefit analysis. Work from the US indicates that, depending on the approach
chosen, the value attributed to a fatality can range between $2 and $7 million. The
value suggested for a South African life in 1998 was $60 286,7

only 3% of the
cheapest suggested US value. Two questions deserve attention. Who decides what
value a life is given in a cost-benefit analysis; and would more safety-related transport
schemes be promoted if life were given a higher value in cost-benefit analyses?
6 Although in theory this is true, in practice this gendered level of detail in measuring values of time
does not usually happen, due to resource constraints, and so all work time or non-work time is valued
equally. However, women are over-represented as non-workers.
7
From CSIR (1998), a value of R391 861, which at an exchange rate of 6.5R to the US$ gives $60286.

8

The problems are also acute when one looks at extended cost-benefit analyses, which
may include aesthetic and environmental considerations. How to value a landscape?
Or a frog? And even if these could be valued, the chances of stability in these
‘prices’, in the light of rapidly changing societies and politics, is remote.
Conclusions on the cost-benefit approach
CBA, for many, is discredited both on the theoretical grounds advanced
against it in the 1950s and the empirical grounds that emerged from the
attempts to apply it in the 1960s and 1970s. For others the alternatives
fare no better and, indeed, could be markedly worse (Pearce and Nash,
1981: 4)
In summary, then, the cost-benefit analysis provides a number which is presented to
decision-makers as being a scientifically sound means of assessing transport projects
and yet which is narrow in the scope of issues included; misleading about
improvements in vehicle conditions; and is totally silent on the central values of
developing countries.
This rather long criticism of the cost-benefit approach raises several reasons why a
different approach is needed, but for me the overriding issue is that of values. The
values today, in this South African democracy, I would argue, are radically different
from simply improving economic efficiency, and they concern human dignity; human
equality; human freedom; and redressing of poverty. Whilst economic efficiency is
certainly a concern of the South Africa government, it is not the overriding, single

concern, as the conventional cost-benefit analysis implies. Despite this, the cost-
benefit analysis is still widely used as a central tenet of transport infrastructure

assessment.

The work described below set out to look for an alternative to CBA that could be used
to assess transport in developing countries in a more relevant way. I would not wish
to pretend that this work is anything but a tentative first step towards an alternative
approach, but it does attempt to address the criticisms raised above.

9

Background to the Sustainable Transport Assessment Tool for South Africa
(STASSA)
A team from the UCT Urban Transport Research Group and Environmental
Evaluation Unit began formal work on a new assessment approach (which is now
called the Sustainable Transport Assessment Tool for South Africa, 2006 STASSA) in
2003, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency of the US. We began with a
current practice review (Kruger, Dondo, et al, 2003) which attempted through 23
interviews with transport or environmental assessment practitioners to establish
whether integrated planning was being done; and the role of environmental
assessment in the planning process8
.

Development of the 2003 Transport Assessment Checklist
It was clear from the review interviews undertaken during the project that cost-benefit
analyses were still widely used and that the assessment of environmental, human and
social concerns was seen as an unnecessary adjunct to the ‘real’ process of project
planning. Many viewed environmental assessments, for example, as cumbersome, too
detailed and a hindrance. The problem we were left with was: what could be
developed which would stimulate transport planners to consider the full range of
complexities in a transport project (especially social and human issues, as demanded
by the Constitution), while not adding another layer of process which would be too
onerous and demanding to complete meaningfully?
Given the intention of the funders that this work should have international relevance,
and that it should utilise the concept of sustainability, the sustainability value was
taken as a central theme, with the Constitution and transport-relevant legislation of
South Africa taken as guiding goals. We chose to interpret ‘sustainability’ in the
context of the equity and poverty problems of the developing world. Vasconcellos
(2001: 241) expresses the sustainability-equity-poverty problem clearly:

8 Throughout the process ‘environmental’ was interpreted widely to include social and human
concerns.

10

Sustainable development in developing countries cannot be achieved until
poverty and inequality are addressed. To the aforementioned question
about what is to be sustained, one should add a vital question for
developing countries: We should provide sustainability for whom? If this
question is not asked, we remain prisoners of a superficial, politically
naïve vision of the issue, as if general sustainability targets such as
‘economic sustainability’ would be equally beneficial or relevant to all
people.
It was clear to me that a sustainability assessment framework as comprehensive as an
EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) that attempted to measure and then evaluate
alternatives across the full spectrum of issues would prove too cumbersome for use as
a complement to the cost-benefit analysis in the transport sector. It was also clear to
me that at this stage of South Africa’s development it was just as important to raise
the significance of social and human issues in practitioners’ awareness as it was to
have a full formal evaluation of alternatives.

We debated this and other topics at project team workshops, and the final principles
which emerged were:
 the adoption of a checklist approach (in contrast to a fully measured
framework approach) to sustainability assessment in transport;
 the use of integrated planning and sustainability as central values in the
checklist;
 separate consideration of the project process and the project outcomes;
 the intention that the assessment process should be fully compliant with all
relevant South African laws, but most especially with the Constitution;9
 the use of the ‘sustainable livelihoods’ description of resources as a starting
point for the checklist;10

9

For ease of use the process issues were divided into queries about: open and transparent decision-
making; co-operative governance; integrated planning; public participation; and sustainable

development.
10 The sustainable livelihoods approach includes an examination of the assets of the poor and divides
them into: natural capital; human capital; social capital; physical capital and financial capital. I
suggested that ‘time’ should be added as a sixth resource.

11

 an intention to be clear, readily understood and time-efficient.
Inherent in the South African legal frameworks and the broad sustainability agenda
we adopted were a human-centred approach, with a particular emphasis on addressing
the needs of the poor including, of course, women.
The use of ‘sustainable livelihoods’ work

On scanning the literature I found work on ‘sustainable livelihoods’ which looked
promising as a starting point for the main body of the checklist. This work was
developed by the Department for International Development (DfID in the UK), 11 but
used more recently by the World Bank12
.

I found the sustainable livelihoods approach relevant to this work, since it focuses
on:13
 putting people at the centre of development;
 building on people’s strengths rather than needs;
 incorporating all relevant aspects of people’s lives; and
 emphasising links between policy and household decisions.
It proposes a dual focus on sustainability and vulnerability, and an examination of the
‘assets’ or ‘capital’ that poor people have to overcome vulnerability. These ‘assets’
(which we renamed ‘resources’) were adopted as a starting point. In the classic
sustainable livelihoods approach there are five types of capital:14 natural, human,
social, physical and financial. In working with the sustainable livelihoods concept we
adapted it in several ways and eventually arrived at a set of six basic resources of the
poor:

11 See more at http://www.livelihoods.org/info/guidance_sheets_pdfs/section2.pdf
12 See details of the World Bank’s use of the sustainable livelihoods approach, in the transport sector at
http://www.poverty.worldbank.org/library/view/4615. . See also Carney et al (1999). Livelihoods
approaches compared: a brief comparison of the livelihoods approaches of the UK DfID, CARE,
Oxfam, and the UNDP. London: DfID.
13 See online commentary at http://www.livelihoods.org/Sldefn.html
14 Ibid.

12
Natural — essentially the natural environment;
Human – skills, knowledge, ability to work and health;
Social – community and family networks;
Financial – covering both the flows of individual cash, and salaried employment;
Infrastructure and Service – physical infrastructure, such as roads; and services, such
as public transport;
Time

In addition, for the purposes of this assessment we felt it important to also include a
measure of economic efficiency, as measured most often by the CBA.
The final 2003 Checklist

An extract from the work on the Checklist is shown in Table 1 (Barbour and Kane,
2003). We used a disaggregate approach for the Checklist, whereby benefits to
‘impact groups’ (of which women are one) would be isolated before they were
assessed. Unfortunately, one outcome of this comprehensiveness was an enormous
appraisal output. For example, a comparison of two scenarios, for nine different
impact groups, covering two geographical areas, would yield 36 comparisons. As
each of the six tables in the full assessment had on average seven checklist criteria,
this meant a total of 1512 different criteria to compare. At the end of the project it
was clear that if the Checklist was to be implementable, then something would have
to change. Unfortunately this project had run out of time, and so the sustainability
assessment framework ideas rested for two years, until another funder expressed
interest in developing them.

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Integrated Sustainable Transport Checklist
Geographical area of check:
Impact Group to be checked: Gender:(Male/ female) Income: (High/middle/low) Age: (Child/adult/elderly) Other: (Eg able/ disabled)
Social Resources/Capital
(which are the social resources on which people draw in their lives: for example relationships and membership of social networks)
Checklist criteria
Does the proposed intervention have the potential to:

For example by:

Promote or weaken community structures?  Promoting access or increasing severance between community members,

groups and facilities

Promote or reduce interaction between social groups?  Promoting or reducing access for local political gatherings, support groups,

religious activity, etc.

Reduce or promote the vulnerability of vulnerable
groups?

 Reducing or promoting access and safety for women, children, elderly and the
disabled

Promote or reduce knowledge in the community?  Promoting or reducing access to libraries, schools and other educational

facilities

Promote or reduce kinship and cultural ties?  Promoting or reducing access to family and friends
Reduce or create social problems?  Promoting or reducing access and exposure to alcohol, drugs, crime and

disease

Promote or reduce the power of individuals or groups?  Promoting or reducing access to physical, financial and human resources
Increase or reduce personal fear?  Promoting or reducing access and safety and opportunities for crime-related

activities

Promote or impact on other social resources?
Overall, does the intervention promote or harm the sustainable development of social resources?
Table 1: Extract from the Sustainable Transport Checklist developed during 2003

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The Development of 2006 STASSA
In mid 2005 the non-governmental organisation Sustainable Energy Africa expressed
an interest in using funding from the British High Commission to develop the
Checklist further, in partnership with the University of Cape Town. One constraint of
the funding was that the tool developed had to be a computer tool. I balked at this
idea, and saw it as a move in the wrong direction, towards another assessment
framework based on mechanical measurement rather than awareness, but as a team
we worked through the issues and developed the concept of a website-based
assessment tool, which:

 could be used as an educative, explorative experience, or for assessment;
 would make use of data where it was readily available or easily measurable,
but have enough flexibility to allow for either no measurement or judgement
to be applied;
 would be clear, non-academic, and practical.
The Checklist was used as starting point, but initial reviews indicated that the
Checklist would need to be firmly edited if it was to have any chance of adoption by
local government. During a series of edits the reference to specific impact groups,
including women, was removed, on the understanding that the remaining criteria
would take into account women’s needs and issues. As an example, the assessment
table dealing with social issues (see extract in Table 2) was firmly edited, but
measures concerning communication in communities was retained, acknowledging
the support which women, especially poor women, draw from community links and
the role which transport investments can play in this – both negative and positive.
The tool as it stands today has 33 impact criteria. Removing the suggestion of
considering impact groups separately meant that a typical output (with two scenarios
and two geographical areas to consider) would have 132 items. Although still a large
number, this is less than 10% of the original suggestion, whereby women and other
impact groups were considered separately.

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Possible impacts Can be measured by…
communication between and in
communities – local

 casual interactions in street or
neighbourhood

communication between and in
communities – district

Preferably:
 accessibility of group gatherings, eg
church/mosque
 accessibility of family and friends
Otherwise:
 accessibility of nearest public
transport service
Table 2: Edited Social Resources Table in the 2006 STASSA
Discussions with the client and with local government agencies led to a decision to
take the STASSA beyond a checklist, and to incorporate some degree of measurement
on the criteria. Coincidentally, during the final stages of the STASSA development,
the 2003 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) became available for the first
time. The NHTS represents a step change in the way surveys have been undertaken in
South Africa, and it was possible to introduce baseline data into the tool, at a district
level, on a range of matters which had previously received little attention. The tool
was developed to allow estimates of impacts, as well as actual data, to be entered, and
in order to encourage exploration of options using the tool, a graphic summary of the
outputs from the tables is being developed.
We hope to have the 2006 STASSA online by August 2006, with the intention that it
should receive comments, and be subject to revision in light of these, for some time to
come.

Points of interest about 2006 STASSA

Text from selected pages of 2006 STASSA is given in Appendix A. Although the
tool was developed for use by managers of transport planning processes, and for
planners or engineers involved in individual projects, members of the public
interested in sustainability issues may also find it useful. The tool is in four main

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parts. The first two of these will be mainly of interest to managers, the others should
interest anyone involved at a project level.
Part 1: Check on integrated planning
These pages give extracts from Integrated Development Plans and Integrated
Transport Plans for Cape Town, Ethekwini and Tshwane (the selected case-study
locations). The process or project under review can be checked against high-level
local values and goals here, with the intention that every transport investment should
be in line with the higher-level metropolitan values.
Part 2: Legal requirements for transport planning
The intention here is to give a framework for good sustainable transport planning
practice. These pages give the legal requirements, and some guidelines, for good
practice. They cover legal requirements for: open and transparent decision-making;
co-operative governance; integrated planning; public participation; and sustainable
development, and include extracts and references to the relevant legislation and
Constitution.15

Part 3: Check on resource use
These pages give a detailed framework for project assessment. There are seven
resource areas covered: natural; social; human; financial; economic; infrastructure and
service; and time. These build on the ‘sustainable livelihoods’ work regarding
assets/resources.

Part 4: Transport trends
This section gives data on historical trends for selected indicators, and helps to fulfil
the education objective given for the project.
During the development of the 2006 STASSA I introduced some unconventional
elements to the human resources section around health. I suggest that transport
infrastructure can, at a local level, enhance or detract from the urban environment

15 I used the Bellagio Principles for sustainability to check this section. These provided a useful
overarching set of principles for good sustainability practice. Available online at
http://www.iisd.org/pdf/bellagio.pdf

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which in turn impacts people’s ability to socialise, take exercise, and travel freely.
This has an impact on people’s well-being, especially in poorer communities. To date
an acknowledgement of the relationship between transport design and urban design
has been often resisted by transport engineers, and has not been an explicit part of any
South African assessment framework guideline.
At a macro level, public transport schemes in particular can widen individual
boundaries, and increase freedom of movement. We can only speculate what the
ability to move freely does to human well-being and health of the poor. Issues of
safety are also relevant here, for while the CBA measures loss of life, the impact of
disability and death on individuals, families and communities is not fully
acknowledged.
Finally, I felt it was important to acknowledge the impact which transport can have on
the finite resource of time. For example, mothers are particularly affected by the need
to accompany children and the elderly to school or medical facilities. Improving
safety and security of streets, which would allow children independence, could give
mothers time. For the families concerned this could have immense value, but since
mothers are often not working, and since walk trips are not measured, it is not often
acknowledged as a transport problem. These issues were all included as criteria in the
2006 STASSA.

Some final reflections

The 2006 STASSA will be criticised by transport planners for being inadequately
quantified, for playing insufficient attention to double counting, for being too large in
scope and for placing too much emphasis on non-economic factors. In contrast,
delegates at this conference may be critical of the 2006 STASSA in that it is not an
explicitly gender-based assessment framework. I would argue that in South Africa, in
the current low-capacity local government transport planning environment, an
explicitly gender-based assessment framework is unlikely to be used by anyone other
than gender specialists. What is needed is an implementable assessment framework
which can be used by all transport professionals to consider a range of fresh human
and social perspectives. These fresh perspectives will be challenging for some

18

transport practitioners, as the new approaches confront decades of received wisdom
about how transport scheme assessment should be done, and they are radically
different from the conventional cost-benefit approach. It will be difficult to change
the thinking of transport planners schooled in a scientific modus operandi to consider
the intangible, and often immeasurable, human and social impacts of transport
infrastructure. The task will require convincing arguments about the true nature of the
transport problem, and about why current approaches based on cost-benefit analysis
are inadequate. I hope this paper has gone some way to helping in that task.

Acknowledgements
I would like to acknowledge the work of Marianne Vanderschuren (University of
Cape Town) and Campbell Tyler (Sustainable Energy Africa) who worked on the
ideas for 2006 STASSA. Also Paul Barter, Assistant Professor at the National
University of Singapore, for his review of the original draft of 2006 STASSA; Rob
Kane and Marion Marchand for their reviews of this paper and Roger Behrens, who
provided a useful review of the CBA.
References
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http://www.iisd.org/pdf/bellagio.pdf).
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review. Proceedings of South African Annual Transport Conference, Pretoria.
Kruger, L., Dondo, C., Kane, L. and Barbour, T. 2003. State of current practice in
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Popper, K. 1999. All life is problem-solving, transl. by Camiller, P. London:
Routledge.
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developing countries. London: Earthscan.
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20Paper%201.pdf
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in Cape Town under political transition. London: Routledge.

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APPENDIX A:
EXTRACTS FROM TEXT OF 2006 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR SOUTH AFRICA

21
Sustainable Transport Project Assessment Framework

PART 1: CHECK ON INTEGRATED PLANNING PROCESS IN ETHEKWINI16

Does the transport planning process take into account higher level planning:

From the eThekwini Integrated Development Plan:17
By 2020, eThekwini Municipality will enjoy the reputation of being Africa’s most caring and liveable city, where all citizens live in harmony. This
Vision will be achieved by growing its economy and meeting people’s needs so that all citizens enjoy a high quality of life with equal opportunities,
in a city that they are truly proud of.
“Minimum things that all citizens, the business community and visitors must enjoy…:
 Have ease of movement in the City
 Enjoy a safe environment in every corner of the Municipality
 Afford what the city offers
 Enjoy a clean and green city
 Have access to economic opportunities
 Enjoy homely neighbourhoods
 Access services to meet needs in particular municipal services, health and education”. (Section 2.2.2 The Draft IDP Review)
(in the online version further information is given from the City Plans).

16 All policy documents current at 8 March 2006.
17 Source: The Draft IDP Review 2005/2006 [ for eThekwini] available online at http://www.durban.gov.za/eThekwini/Municipality/policy/policy/idp/idp2005.pdf.
Accessed 8 March 2006.

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Part 2: LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AFFECTING TRANSPORT PLANNING IN SOUTH AFRICA

OPEN AND TRANSPARENT DECISION-MAKING

Does the project identification and planning process take into account the legal
requirement:

Reference

 to uphold the right of individuals and the public to administrative action that is
lawful, reasonable, accountable and procedurally fair.

Constitution s 33, Constitution s 195(1)(f) & the PAJA s
3, s 4 and s 6(2)

 to foster open and transparent decision-making and public administration by
providing the public with timely, accessible and accurate information.

Constitution s 32, Constitution s 195(1)(g); DFA s
3(1)(g); NEMA s 31 [‘environmental’ information] and s
2(4)(k); PAIA preamble and ss 11 & 50 ; LGMSA s
5(1)(b) – (e) & DFA s 3(1)(f)(ii)

 to ensure that administrative action is based on ‘adequate’ reasons and to provide
written reasons for decisions taken, which can be explained and justified.

Constitution s 33, s33(2) & PAJA s 5 and s 6

For practical guidelines see:
Human Rights Commission (2005) Guide on how to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) online guide available at
http://www.sahrc.org.za/sahrc_cms/publish/cat_index_40.shtml#11
The Corruption Fighter’s Toolkit, collected case study examples from Transparency International available at http://www.transparency.org/toolkits/2002/index.html
Tools to Support Transparency in Local Governance, from UN-HABITAT and Transparency International available at
http://www.transparency.org/toolkits/dnld/ti_un_toolkit.pdf
(The online version gives tables similar to this one for co-operative governance, integrated planning, public participation and sustainable
development).

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PART 3: ASSESSMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CRITERIA

SOCIAL RESOURCES
Possible project impacts… Can be measured by…
communication between and in communities – local  casual interactions in street or neighbourhood
communication between and in communities – district Preferably:

 accessibility of group gatherings, eg church/mosque
 accessibility of family and friends
Otherwise:
 accessibility of nearest public transport service
long distance communications  accessibility of public telephones, post offices
HUMAN RESOURCES
Possible project impacts… Can be measured by…
loss of life, disabilities, hardship  fatal accidents, serious accidents, slight accidents
health levels
(Through changing access to clinics, hospitals, doctors)

 accessibility of clinics/hospitals/doctors

health levels
(Through changing access to fresh water)

 accessibility of fresh water supplies

health levels
(Through changing amount of walking/ cycling relative to motorised transport)

 amount of walking/cycling relative to motorized transport

health levels
(Through changing access to health facilities such as parks, sports fields, public open
spaces, gyms)

 accessibility of sport facilities such as soccer fields, public open spaces, gyms, safe
walking areas

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health levels18
(Through impacting on personal well-being, dignity, and sense-of-freedom)

 degree of personal well-being and dignity
 freedom

education  accessibility of education opportunities such as schools, colleges, universities, crèches,

adult education and libraries
transport-related personal fear  real and perceived safety
FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES
Possible project impacts… Can be measured by…

FINANCIAL – PERSONAL
job security  travel time to work
job creation  changing opportunities for labour-based construction during construction
opportunities for entrepreneurship
(Through changing access to markets, including informal markets)

 changing opportunity for informal trading after construction

financial well-being of individual
(Through changing affordability of transport)

 affordability of transport

FINANCIAL – STATE
budget available to state  direct cost of project to state
FINANCIAL – AGENCIES/ PARASTATALS/ BUSINESSES
budget available to agencies/ parastatals/businesses  cost of project to agencies/ parastatals/businesses
ECONOMIC
economic productivity (Through impacts on transport efficiency)  changes in transport efficiency
INDIRECT COSTS
economic productivity, environment, people  changes in other non-quantifiable assets such as natural environment.

18 Transport schemes can, at a local level, enhance or detract from the urban environment, which in turn impacts on people’s ability to socialise, take exercise, and travel
freely. This has an impact on people’s well-being, especially in poorer communities. At a macro level, public transport schemes in particular can widen individual
boundaries, and increase freedom of movement. From a sustainability perspective this must be balanced with the need to preserve the environment.

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INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICE RESOURCES
Possible project impacts… Can be measured by…

INFRASTRUCTURE
physical foot/cycleway infrastructure  number of paved/ unpaved foot/cycleways
physical road infrastructure  number of paved/ unpaved roadways
 nmount of network good or fair condition

physical public transport infrastructure  number of dedicated public transport lanes/ways/tracks
SERVICE
NMT service provision  cycle availability
private vehicle service  private vehicles availability
public transport service  public transport availability
TIME RESOURCES
Possible project impacts… Can be measured by…

free time available  travel time to work
child dependence on parents and elders (This, turn, contributes to time resources
available to parents and other care-givers)

 children who walk to school independently

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