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The Urban Transport Problem in South Africa and the Developing World: A Focus on Institutional Issues

The Urban Transport Problem in South Africa and the Developing World: A Focus on Institutional Issues

April 2002

Lisa Kane

Urban Transport Research Group,
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment,

University of Cape Town

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CONTENTS

Page No

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
1. INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Overview of Paper 1
2. DEFINING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS 2
2.1 Defining institutions and organisations 2
2.2 Defining Urban Transport Institutional Planning Frameworks (IPFS)
2
3. THEMES FOR CHANGING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS 4
3.1 Introduction 4
3.2 Organisational Issues 4
3.3 Regulatory Procedures 5
3.4 Human Capacity Resources 7
3.5 Funding Resources 8
3.6 Management Structure 12
3.7 Planning philosophy, procedures and techniques 14
3.8 Discussion of the review method 15
4. COMPARING REVIEWS OF INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN DEVELOPING
COUNTRIES 16
4.1 Introduction 16
4.2 Barat’s (1990) work 16
4.3 Bultynck’s (1992) Work 16
4.4 Diaz Padilla and Autheurs’ (2000) Work
17
4.5 Vasconcellos’s (2001) Work 17
4.6 Common Arguments 17
5. A REVIEW OF INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA 19
5.1 Introduction 19
5.2 Critical Review of Institutional Arrangements in South Africa in the early 1990s 19
5.3 White Paper on National Transport Policy (1996) 20
5.4 Moving South Africa 20
5.4.1 Customer demand conditions 21
5.4.2 Input factor condition 21
5.4.3 Industry Structure 21
5.4.4 Institutional and Regulatory Structure 21
5.4.5 Externalities – safety and the environment
21
5.4.6 Funding Framework 22

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5.5 Current Institutional Arrangements: Legal Requirements
22

CONTENTS (continued)

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6. CURRENT INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: PRACTICAL
DEVELOPMENTS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT 23
6.1 Introduction 23
6.2 The Durban Unicity Transport Authority Process3

23

6.3 The Johannesburg Roads Agency4

23
6.4 Denneboom, Tshwane Public Transport Interchange Transport Management5
24

6.5 Centurion Road Network Development Forum6
26
7. CONCLUDING REMARKS 27
8. REFERENCES 28

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This paper draws on work undertaken for the International Scientific Committee of
CODATU, a French group concerned with developing urban and suburban transportation,
particularly in developing countries. Their financial assistance is acknowledged. The
remainder of the work was assisted by a grant from the South African National Department of
Transport. The content was guided by the Urban Transport Research Group, University of
Cape Town. Thanks in particular to Roger Behrens for reviewing the paper and to Dennis
Baloyi and Erik Buiten for permission to use their figure regarding the Denneboom Forum.

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1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background
This paper is the third in a series of Working Papers, developed by the Urban Transport Research
Group at the University of Cape Town, which illustrate different perspectives of the urban
transportation problem, particularly as it is found in South Africa. Working Paper 1 considers the
urban transport problem from ‘an urban spatial structure’ perspective. It looks at the role of urban
transport systems in city development and city performance, and focuses on the relationship between
urban transport systems, land use activity patterns and city structure. Working Paper 2 considers the
urban transport problem from a user’s perspective, and reviews primary and secondary research into
the nature and extent of movement needs in South Africa. This Working Paper 3 examines the
institutional perspective of the urban transport problem. This paper will be followed by more papers,
which will examine aspects of transport policy in South Africa, transport practice, disjunctures
between them, and possible ways forward.
1.2 Overview of Paper
De Saint Laurent, a Development Bank of South Africa employee commenting on urban transport in
South Africa (1998) described the situation as a ‘time bomb’, and argued that what was needed in
South Africa, amongst other things, was an ‘institutional breakthrough’1

. This paper attempts to
describe, within the constraints of available resources, some features which this ‘institutional
breakthrough’ may need to have if it is to be successful. Section 2 provides definitions of
organisations, institutions and the ‘institutional planning framework’ (which is the model used to
structure section 3). The problem of defining promising institutional changes for South Africa is
addressed using three perspectives:
 developing world case study lessons (section 3), which provide general international lessons
regarding institutions;
 similar reviews or theoretical work by other authors (section 4), which allow the lessons from
section 3 to be at least partly validated; and
 recent South African developments (sections 5 and 6), which provide information on the
extent to which South Africa is already implementing international good practice.
These matters are drawn together, and some general conclusions made, in section 7.

1 De Saint Laurent (1998) argued that “transport authorities have to be empowered and could be responsible for all modes in
their territory…” “The taxi system has to find a room in this scheme..”

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2. DEFINING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS

2.1 Defining institutions and organisations
According to the Oxford English dictionary an institution is an ‘institute’ especially for charitable or
social purposes. An institute is a society or organisation for promotion of scientific, educational or
other public object. An organisation is an organised body or system of society. Hence an institution
is an organised body of people with some purpose. Institutions exist in both a physical sense (in terms

of the numbers of people employed, the buildings they occupy, the plans they produce) and a non-
physical sense (in terms of the interactions they have; the philosophies they adhere to; the time they

make available). The difficulty when probing institutions is to find a technique for analysis, which
enables institutions to be fully explored.
Morgan (1997) considers that all descriptions of organisations are at some level incomplete. Hence it
is possible to describe an organisation as a ‘system’, or as an arena of political interplay. Both views
are right, and wrong. The systemic approach will highlight relationships, but will fail to focus on
power. The political perspective will highlight power, but could generate mistrust in its wake.2
Morgan highlights at least eight theories of organisation, which he considers actually to be metaphors,
or means of viewing, organisation. None are perfect, but all can provide a useful perspective.

Morgan encourages a plurality of perspectives to be covered, to encourage managers to see the multi-
faceted nature of the organisations within which they work.

In this paper Barat’s theory of urban transport planning institutions is used as the framework within
which case studies are investigated. Barat highlights a number of perspectives which he believes to
be important in the transport sector, and his model is described below.
2.2 Defining Urban Transport Institutional Planning Frameworks (IPFS)
According to Barat, transport planning is not undertaken in isolation from other activities. Many
agencies are involved and it is these organisations or individuals, plus the formal or informal linkages
between them, which constitute an Institutional Planning Framework (IPF) (Barat, 1990). In Barat’s
view, the IPF can be viewed as having three parts: organisations, procedures and resources, which
are co-ordinated by a linking management structure and guided by planning philosophies, procedures
and techniques. Organisations would include the national, provincial and local authority authorities,
but also the transport operators and user groups. The legal and regulatory systems which guide
transport operations are procedures of the IPF. These can be at many different levels: national,
regional or local. Organisations can call on resources principally in the form of funding, or human
capital. These components of the IPF are illustrated in Figure 1, below. One can argue with the
validity of Barat’s model, and the emphasis placed on the various components. Following the
argument of Morgan we can assume that Barat’s model is no better, or worse, than any other. It
simply presents a conceptual framework by which we can explore some of the facets of the urban
transport problem.

2 As Morgan (1997: 212) says “In a course that I teach on the nature of organizational politics I usually begin by warning my
students that by the second or third week there is a danger that they will be looking for hidden motives everywhere, even
wondering if a colleagues innocent offer to buy coffee is really a political act…….under the influence of a political mode of
understanding, everything becomes political. The analysis of interests, conflicts and power easily gives rise to a
Machiavellian interpretation that suggests everyone is trying to outwit and outmanoeuvre everyone else”.

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FIGURE 1.Barat’s Institutional Planning Frameworks (Adapted from Figure 7.1 of Barat, 1990)

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3. THEMES FOR CHANGING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS

3.1 Introduction
This section of the working paper draws on a review of ‘successful’ institutional case studies in the
developing world, undertaken during the period November 1999 to July 2000, and documented in an
unpublished report (Kane, 2000). This review of over fifty papers from international conferences,
journals or books, actually found very few examples of ‘success’ in institutional planning frameworks.
Generally the papers which do focus on non-technical issues describe problems which have been
encountered.
Of course, defining success is problematic since, fundamentally, the transport planning exercise is a
normative one, where the underlying values of those involved will surface in the policies and projects
which they adopt. If one accepts this, then it is impossible to derive one definition of success, since
‘success’ will be as variable as the belief-systems are in the developing world. Successful practice in
Mumbai, for example, may seem very inappropriate in Mexico City. Despite the lack of consensus on
what success means, the articles reviewed for this paper found that it is possible to identify features of
the urban transport system, which are commonly considered by authors to be worth changing, or (less
frequently cited) worth emulating. Hence, it has been possible to identify from case studies some
common themes which probably have some local relevance in South Africa, given the pool of
experiences shared by the planners of urban transport in developing countries. In this section, then,
the elements of the Institutional Planning Framework according to Barat are considered in turn, and
features which writers have identified as having potential for change, are identified.
3.2 Organisational Issues
Calls for organisational change in the developing world urban transport literature are largely in
response to widespread fragmentation in the functions and roles of agencies responsible for transport,
and the apparent lack of co-ordination between those agencies. This was particularly evident in
Africa (Fouracre et al, 1994; Kwakye, 1995; Bultynck, 1992) and in India (Datta, 1998; Kulkarni,
1998; Khare and Agarwal, 1998), where Datta noted some cities with 10-15 agencies having urban
transport responsibility and the urban transport situation being described as having reached crisis
proportions. Fragmentation of urban administration was also noted in a review of Latin America’s

mega-cities (Figueroa, 1996). There are two main proposals in the literature: for greater co-
ordination of agencies; and for de-centralisation of responsibilities. These are dealt with separately

below.
The recognition of the fragmented institutional set-up in many developing countries, and the need for
greater co-operation, is not new. In Caracas, for example, a single metropolitan transport authority
was proposed by consultants in 1976, but has yet to be implemented, despite the seeming necessity of
it (Boccalandro et al, 1996). Elsewhere in Latin America there have been difficulties in implementing
single Transport Authorities, due to political constraints in Buenos Aires (Turco and Arcusin, 1998)
and due to lack of agreement between local authorities in Rio de Janiero (Ratton Neto, 1998).
Despite these difficulties, the call for Transport Authorities is widespread (Goel and Gupta, 1996;
Victor, 1996; Rivasplata, 1996; Bultynck, 1998; Mitric, 1994), and in South Africa the development
of new Metropolitan Transport Authorities (MTAs) has been described as a ‘key challenge’.
(Walters, 1998).
A metropolitan Transport Authority implies some level of decentralisation of functions, but the
UNCHS, are specific in their reference to this. They argue that urban transport decision-making
should be decentralised to the local level, as a means of ensuring that all urban residents are
adequately served by effective transport services at affordable prices (Williams, 1998). Vasconcellos

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(1996) notes that excessive centralisation of powers in developing countries can hinder local authority
decision-making, and this is demonstrated in Cairo where a strong central state has conspired against
local level implementation (Mitric, 1994).
So what would these decentralised, unified Transport Authorities look like? Victor (1996) suggests
that they should follow French and German models of structure. Rivasplata, referring to Santiago
(1996); Walters, referring to South Africa (1998); Agarwal, referring to Indian cities (2000) and
Williams (1998), referring to UNCHS policy, all suggest a model which separates an elected,
representative political body – who define goals and ask fundamental questions about policy direction
– from an executive body who manage the implementation of the decisions. The executive would
comprise of employees, or sub-contractors, to the authority, with specialist knowledge and it would be
their responsibility to define the product or service most capable of implementing the goals of the
elected body. Walters (1998) defines the elected body as ‘strategic’ and the executive body as
‘tactical’. There is a third level to Walters’ model: the operational level – which consists of people
able to implement the services or products defined by the executive. These could, for example, be
transport operators. This level of explicitness in defining the requirements of a Transport Authority is
relatively rare in the literature reviewed, however, and many authors simply describe the need for
better co-ordination of functions.
Case studies of fully functioning and successful transport authorities as described above were not
generally evident. Nevertheless, there appear to have been some moves towards co-ordination in
many countries. These vary widely in their scope and level of apparent success but two themes are
evident: the development of specialist units, often comprising professionals and interested employees
of state; and the instigation of inter-ministerial or inter-sectoral committees. In Curitiba the IPPUC
(Curitiba Research and Planning Institute) is a technical group of local planners, architects and
engineers who have effectively influenced the development of the public transport system there
(Rabinovitch and Hoehn, 1995). Similarly, the World Bank supported Urban Transport Project in
Ghana initiated the Urban Transport Unit to help move that project forward (Kwakye and Fouracre,
1996) and Buenos Aires has a Metropolitan Transport Unit to oversee some of the roles which a
Transport Authority would undertake (Turco and Arcusin, 1998). Meanwhile in South Africa there
are technical committees at metropolitan, provincial and national levels (Chinnappen and Hugo,
2000), and there have been some moves toward Transport Authorities here (see section 6).
In Ghana the technical committees preceded the development of committees of political
representatives. Ghana now has inter-ministerial committees in place (Kwakye and Fouracre, 1996;
Kwakye et al, 1997); inter-sectoral committees have been developed and urban transport policy,
regulation and execution issues are now under one minister. Buenos Aires also has political
committees looking at urban transport issues at the three levels of government (Boccalandro et al,
1996), as does South Africa (Chinnappen and Hugo, 2000).
In summary, we conclude that :
 there are widespread calls for institutional change, and particularly for greater co-ordination
between, and integration of, agencies for urban transport.
 many suggest decentralised transport authorities should be adopted, but examples of these are not
generally evident.
 however, there are clear practical moves towards political and technical liaison in several
countries.

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3.3 Regulatory Procedures
Clearly the organisational structure is only one element of the institutional environment which may
effect the successful operation of urban transport. Another key dimension is the regulatory
environment which controls the public transport sector in particular, and the effectiveness of the
enforcement of those regulations. Regulation of public transport has undergone significant shifts
internationally over the last two decades. The rise in the privatisation of public sector enterprises,
which started in the UK and the USA, eventually focused on public transport as a sector worthy of
reform. Up until the late 1970s public transport in the developing world had been partially or fully
regulated. Deregulation was promoted in response to increasing subsidy levels required from
governments; consumer dissatisfaction; and increasing pressure from private operators to enter the
market. The model of deregulation and privatisation adopted in the UK was subsequently used in
many developing countries in the 1980s, with various levels of success (Amsler, 1998). In this
section these changes in regulatory frameworks are discussed. The various methods of deregulation
adopted are described, and the particular problems of enforcement are also covered.
Of all the changes in regulatory systems adopted in the last 20 years in developing countries, those of
Chile are probably the most dramatic, and provide a useful case study of the potential impact of
deregulation in developing countries. Chile decided to opt for total deregulation, with the government
exercising no control at all over the new system. The result was unfortunately an increase in fares and
reduction in service diversity (Darbera, 1993). It has been speculated that Chile’s policy makers
actually misinterpreted the ‘rules’ of deregulation, and assumed that a complete absence of regulation

was the aim. India generally, and New Delhi specifically, have also been criticised for their ‘ill-
conceived’ adoption of de-regulation policy. Large-scale liberalisation of services was first attempted

in 1992 and operators were allowed to ply routes for a fee, but this lead to poor behaviour and
unsatisfactory results. Later, as a result of growing financial losses and public criticism of the system,
the Redline Bus Scheme was developed, which favoured very small operators (less than five
vehicles). Permits were issued to operators on the basis of a lottery, and terminal use was provided
via fee-payment. Unfortunately in abrogating their social responsibility for public transport provision,
the New Delhi policy makers also lost control of the system. However, despite the unsatisfactory
result of de-regulation commentators on this case suggest that a return to nationalised service
provision is not the answer, rather there needs to be a system with private sector efficiency and public
sector values, where route allocation encourages healthy competition, and government has the
infrastructure for management, supervision and enforcement in place.
Methods of regulation vary widely internationally, but can basically be divided into regulations of
quality and regulations of quantity. The authority in charge of regulation can, for example, attempt to
enforce routes, schedules, fares and service levels through control of the number and type of operators
entering the system. Entry to the system of provision can be controlled via vehicle, driver and route
licences (Singh Kharola and Gopalakrishna, 2000). Policy decisions made on regulation will thus
directly affect the degree of service competition, and the type of service offered to consumers.
Unfortunately, in practice, the regulatory frameworks have either been poorly conceived, and/or have
not been enforced sufficiently. The need for stronger enforcement of regulations is raised in Buenos
Aires (Brennan, 1996); Santa-Cruz (Figueroa and Pizarro, 1998); Nigeria (Bolade, 1998) and Ghana
(Fouracre et al, 1994). Lack of enforcement of regulations is one reason for the entry into the urban
transport market of informal operators, and the persistent poor service record attributed to them. In
the absence of formal organisation in many places the unions of informal operators have become
tremendously powerful, exerting strong control over operations in their areas (Fouracre et al, 1994; de
Saint Laurent, 1998; Kulkarni, 1998). Such strong unions can act as agents against change, if they
believe that change will affect their constituency, and the income from that.
Following the failure of monopolistic urban transport, and also the subsequent failure in many places
of de-regulation and attendant informal transport, it is difficult to see positive alternatives to the
current situation. Koprich proposes that a time frame for deregulation and appropriate regulatory

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mechanisms should be created for each city are essential. In addition he says that appropriate access
to information for users is required; investors and operators needs have to be established and the
public sector require resources for planning (Koprich, 1994). Bultynck also offers some suggestions,
noting in Sub-Saharan Africa that firm management could reap rewards, and that success was more
likely in the areas he studied where supervising authorities were allowed to act without interference
from others (Bultynck, 1992).
Bultynck has also noted that operators needed freedom to manage their own affairs, in order to
establish credibility. One place where this seems to have taken root in a practical sense is in
Pakistan, where an NGO based regulatory system is being used. The NGO approach was in response
to ‘ineffectual regulatory bureaucracies’, and involved the setting up of an NGO to run the business of
public transport initially in Faislabad, and later in Lahore. The office bearers of the NGO are officials
of government, but the decision-making environment of the NGO is more conducive to action than the
bureaucratic, existing government. In addition, the NGO environment allows for representation of
operators and other interests. The workings of the NGO are such that operators make vehicles
available to the NGO, and agree to abide by certain rules of courteousness, fare levels and safety. The
NGO employs staff to monitor the adherence of operators to the rules, and raises funds for the NGO
through service charges by operators and fines from operators. The NGOs have taken over
responsibility for route permits; fare control; route demarcation; safety of vehicles and the
enforcement regime. The conclusion is that the NGO system appears effective, improving service
levels to passengers and overcoming bureaucratic hurdles to effectiveness (Russell and Anjum, 1998).
In Curitiba the notion of community ownership of urban transport has been used to overcome violence
in the informal sector, and has been successfully used to improve service quality and reduce conflict
(Reynolds, 2000).
In summary we can conclude that:
 the issue of regulation in the urban transport sector is difficult, and as yet largely unresolved in
the developing world.
 solutions from the developed world are not necessarily transferable.
 the informal sector has particular problems which are not found in the developed world.
 a balance is called for, between instigation of appropriate regulatory frameworks by the
authorities; enforcement of those regulations; credibility to the operators; and involvement by
the public in defining service levels.

3.4 Human Capacity Resources
The notion of institutional strengthening implies that improvements are required to the organisational
environment; regulatory framework and also to the human capacity of those in the institutions. The
particular importance of building human capacity is mentioned several times in the papers reviewed,
and is noted as a specific lesson which has been gained from the World Bank/ United Nations Sub
Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program, which is aimed at improving transport sector performance
(Bultynck, 1998). Bultynck notes that in order to improve the urban transport system through sector
policy reform, the establishing of an institutional and regulatory framework is absolutely necessary if
any developments are to be sustained, and these changes require a strengthening of local expertise. In
an earlier review of twelve Sub Saharan states he noted that one of the traits for success was
“continual and systematic” training, controlled by government (Bultynck, 1992). Ghana is one
country which is participating in the SSATP, and the findings there confirm the overall conclusions
reached by Bultynck. In the earliest days of the urban transport development work there, two
requirements were determined for the successful operation of public transport: the creation of a
professional cadre at local and central levels, and qualified staff to maintain this cadre (Fouracre et al,
1994). In this regard, two staff have been sent overseas for post-graduate training, there have been

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secondments, attendance at conferences and seminars, and short courses for all local technical staff
have been considered (Kwakye and Fouracre, 1996). It is not only in the SSATP that the importance
of human capacity development has been noted. In Buenos Aires the development of a new
institutional approach to co-ordinated transport included as an important component the development
of core groups of technical skills (Turco and Arcusin, 1998). Dimitriou (1990) noted the need to
enhance local government capabilities through specialist training in Indonesia in order for successful
project implementation, and in Lae City Puvanachandran (1996) saw the need for much more
attention towards staff training. In Nigeria also, the government has responded to management
problems in mass transit by introducing training and guidelines for operators (Bolade, 1998).
One current theme is a focus on the training of local staff, and the criticism of the use of consultants
or expatriates. Consultant’s planning and policy studies in Ghana were said to be too numerous, with
too obvious conclusions and unrealistic recommendations. Expatriate input was found to be
expensive and perhaps only temporarily effective, unless it was systematically transferred to local
staff (Kwakye and Fouracre, 1996). Overall, the SSATP has suggested that expatriate advisors should
act as ad-hoc facilitators and advisors only and that there needs to be ownership by local staff, and
targeted training if the use of expatriates is to be worthwhile (Bultynck, 1998). Puvanachandran,
discussing the case of Lae City in Papua New Guinea agrees that local staff should be the primary
agents for change, and that if consultancy services are used, then they should not conclude at a final
report or plan, but rather should cover short to medium term implementation (Puvanachandran, 1996).
In summary, we can conclude that :
 The development of local human capacity in urban transport institutions, through targeted
training, is vital.
3.5 Funding Resources
One of the most commonly raised reasons for failure in urban transport found in this review was the
lack of a sufficient, or reliable funding source. Many countries noted a funding base which was
highly constrained (Bandopadhyaya, 1996; Mouette et al, 1998; Dimitriou, 1990; Ratton Neto, 1998;
Bhatnagar, 1996; Dalvi and Patankar, 1998; Walters, 1998) and several called for either clearer
funding arrangements, or for a proper funding strategy (Brennan, 1996; Bolade, 1998; Krynauw and
Anderson, 2000). A common problem appears to be the disjuncture between the responsibilities of
local authorities and their ability to raise revenue, or their access to revenue. A strong central
government control over funding was noted in Indonesia (Dimitriou, 1990); Ghana (Kwakye and
Fouracre, 1996) and Santiago (Rivasplata, 1996) and an adequate funding base ‘involving three levels
of government’ was advocated in South Africa (Walters, 1998). The UNCHS have noted the funding
issue and call for a situation where government financing of public transport is given a stable basis
with explicit and secure revenue sources (Williams, 1998).
The crisis in funding of urban transport has grown in recent times, for many reasons. There has been
increased urbanisation, leading to increasing demand for urban transport services. The problem is
exacerbated by poorer communities who tend to locate on cheaper land at the very outskirts of cities,
and who thus have long commutes into work. Campinas, is one such example of this (Mouette et al,
1998). The increase in demand has not been generally well-served by the existing public transport
services, which have tended to be government-owned companies, often monopolies, and with many
inherent problems. One issue is the discrepancy between the government as service operator
committed to providing a low cost service to the local people versus the government as employer,
wishing to demonstrate fairness in wage policy (Singh Kharola and Gopalakrishna, 2000). In reality
the public transport companies are a drain on the public purse, despite, in some instances, providing
only a minority of the urban transport needs (Russell and Abbas Anjum, 1997). The reasons for the
ongoing loss-making in the public transport sector in Pakistan, which also often apply more generally,

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include: low fare regimes imposed by government; increasing operating costs due to rising
congestion; increasing costs of spare parts and vehicles (due to developing country currency
weakness); insufficient, or lack of, government subsidy; high wages to staff; low productivity and
costly capital finance (Russell and Anjum, 1997 and Kulkarni, 1998). In Lahore, Russell and Abbas
Anjum (1997) also note the specific problems of over-staffing; an old fleet requiring high
maintenance; an ‘unhealthy’ relationship between trade unions and management and pilferage as
being problems. The response to the demise of government-owned public transport services has been
two-fold. On the part of government, since the 1980s there has been a move towards
commercialisation or privatisation. However, pre-dating this has been the rise of informal transport in
developing countries – a response to poorer service provided by the formal sector.
Informal transport is found in many guises throughout the developing world, but does have some
common traits. Informal transport services are privately owned, demand responsive public transport
systems with owners who are individuals, families or groups. Whilst many operators have only one
vehicle, examples also exist of operators with small fleets. The choice of vehicle depends on
availability and affordability considerations mainly, and may, in fact, be quite unsatisfactory, in the
longer term, for public transport use. Informal transport is characteristically demand responsive in
terms of routes, scheduling and fare structure. It can be highly profitable, although the profits may in
fact be illusory and only short-term, as operators often ignore vehicle depreciation (Mouette et al,
1998; Fouracre et al, 1994). Given this description certain advantages and disadvantages of the
informal sector over the formal sector emerge. Firstly the sector is an important employer, especially
at the semi-skilled level; secondly it increases (in some cases dramatically) the public transport
capacity of cities; and thirdly it effectively reduces the subsidy burden on governments. Nevertheless,
there is a general perception that informal services are chaotic and unsafe. The profit motives of
operators are generally not consistent with policy objectives of government, and for users the service
can be unpredictable and unreliable (Kunaka, 1996).
In terms of funding considerations, it is important to note the nature of informal operators, that is
emergent entrepreneurs outside the formal business framework. This means that, for example in
Ghana, private investment in the sector is seen as risky, and little institutional money is available
(Fouracre et al, 1994). This lack of money impacts particularly on the vehicle fleet, which is costly to
replace. In response to this, some governments have used the lure of vehicle replacement
(recapitalisation) as a means of trying to bring the informal operators under a formal policy
framework. In Ghana a Transport Financing Corporation has been instigated to assist in
recapitalisation of private fleets (Fouracre et al, 1994; Kwakye, 1995) and in Nigeria the state
provided lenient terms for the purchase of a fleet of over 2000 buses in an attempt to modernise the
vehicle stock. It also introduced concessions on spare parts (Bolade, 1998). In Pakistan financial
incentives are in place to encourage operators to replace vehicles with newer stock (Abbas Anjum and
Russell, 1997) and in Curitiba also there are strong incentives to invest in new vehicles (Rabinovitch
and Hoehn, 1995). Attempts at recapitalisation are currently underway in South Africa. Elsewhere,
in Brasil, there have been attempts to integrate the informal operators into a more formal environment
through automated ticket collection. The reluctance of operators to participate in this is attributed
partly to existing tax evasion on the part of the informal sector (Mouette et al, 1998). The challenge is
for developing countries to utilise the highly responsive private sector, whilst instilling public sector
values which meet the needs of users.
Regardless of what successes there may be in integrating the informal sector into a public service (and
so far few success stories are evident), the fact remains that government will still need to play a
regulatory role in the public transport sector and to make some financial contribution. Dhingra and
Savant argue that, as long as accessibility is a state responsibility in India, then government will need
to take some financial responsibility for providing it (1998). The subsidy system, however, can lead
to poor productivity (Bultynck, 1998) and large subsidies are less and less feasible in an environment
of constrained public sector finances (Vasconcellos, 1996). The answer, therefore, seems to be a
mixture of regulation of the private sector, with well controlled targeted subsidies for some services.

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Linked to the issue of funding and finance is that of a policy for public transport fares. This is
especially pertinent given the apparent impact of de-regulation in some countries, which was to
escalate fares (Bolade, 1998; Darbera, 1993). Some authors advocate that there should be a system of
‘fair fares’, that is, fares which take into account income levels and so are affordable to the poor
(Enriquez, 2000; Williams, 1998; Kulkarni, 1998). For other authors, however, the issue is not the
level of fare, per se, but rather the role that fare policy can play in the overall integration of an urban
transport system. Fare integration has been called for in Buenos Aires (Brennan, 1996); Campinas
(Mouette et al, 1998) and in Rio de Janeiro (Ratton Neto, 1998).
Generally speaking urban transport funding systems are funded by a combination of fare-box revenue
(which does not cover operating costs in most cases) and subsidies from either state or local
government (Amsler, 1998). Common ways in which transport systems contribute to government
income is through fuel taxes, vehicle transfer taxes, vehicle licensing taxes, transport parking charges
and levies on public transport interchanges (Dimitriou, 1990), but generally speaking, in developing
countries, these income sources are not then automatically earmarked for use by the transport sector.
Amsler identifies the lack of dedicated “off-budget” resources to urban transport as a ‘major
difference’ between developed and developing countries and notes that these “off-budget” resources
are often a major contributor to urban transport development (Amsler, 1998). The need for dedicated
funding was noted in Dakar, where the Sub Saharan Africa project aims to develop an Urban
Transport Development Fund (Bultynck, 1998). Given government apparent reluctance to dedicate
sufficient funding to urban transport, alternative funding sources have been sought, or called for
(Brennan, 1996; Kwakye and Fouracre, 1998; Victor, 1996; de Saint Laurent, 1998). Three
alternative sources are briefly discussed below: international donors, public-private sector
partnerships and innovative approaches. Given the complexity of the financing field, these
discussions are kept necessarily brief, concentrating mainly on issues of commonality between case
studies examined.
International donors have been active in selected countries across the world. The International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development has provided loans to help the Buenos Aires transport sector
(Turco and Arcusin, 1998); Calcutta and Bombay have benefited from World Bank assistance (Datta,
1998), as have Ghana (Kwakye et al, 1997) and Cairo (Mitric, 1994); Delhi has recently benefited
from a new corporation formed as a partnership between Delhi State and a Japanese organisation.
However, Gaabucayan et al (2000) note that, at least in Asia, there has been a reduction in the role of
Overseas Development Agencies, and an increased necessity to examine public-private sector
partnerships for the funding of urban transport.
The private sector has been increasingly encouraged into the funding of urban transport projects for
two key reasons: firstly the potential of it bringing in additional funding and so relieve the burden on
governments, and secondly to introduce private sector efficiencies into urban transport delivery
(Gaabucayan et al, 2000). Improvements in operational efficiencies have also been a key reason for

the encouragement of the private sector into public transport operations, through the privatisation/ de-
regulation processes. Public-private sector partnerships come in a number of guises: Build-Operate-
Transfer (BOT); Build-Operate-Own (BOO); Design-Build-Finance-Operate (DBFO) and others. The

details of these will not be considered here, but the partnerships have in common the sharing of risk
by the government and private sectors in return for a share in profits from the scheme. Such
partnerships have been used for rail project development in, amongst other places, Bangkok, Kualar
Lumpar and Metro Manila (Gaabucayan et al, 2000) and have been seriously considered for urban
transport projects in, amongst other places, Mumbai (Dalvi and Patankar, 1998); Ghana (Kwakye and
Fouracre, 1998) and Papua New Guinea (Puvanachandran, 1996). Public-private sector partnerships
can seem like a panacea to funding problems. Unfortunately, in reality, Amsler (1998) notes that
public authorities contribute to the financing of transport projects, even when BOT-type arrangements
are used, and that almost everywhere in the world the cost of public transport operation is not fully
covered by fare revenue. In order to attract private finance into Asian schemes Gaabuyacan et al
(2000) found that governments were required to offer the private sector import tariff exemptions, tax

UTRG Working Paper 3 11
holidays for a period, guarantees against fluctuations in foreign exchange, guarantees against
fluctuations in interest rates and assistance in land acquisition.
A number of authors have identified innovative funding mechanisms which can be used with or
without private sector involvement. ‘Value capture’ funding mechanisms are considered where there
is to be a large rail-type investment and describe the recovery of taxes from those who benefit from a
major scheme. Such taxes could include surcharge on tickets from other (complementary) modes; an
employment tax for employers in the rail corridor; a location benefit tax from other residents or
businesses and a general tax on goods and services from the benefiting city. It is anticipated that such
taxes would contribute to the equity required from the government sector as their contribution to a
partnership (Dalvi and Patankar, 1998). Other possibilities for raising revenue include revenue from
property development along routes or at terminals, income from office and retail space letting (Datta,
1998); and advertising revenue (Dalvi and Patankar, 1998). In Nigeria financial incentives have been
given for the local manufacture of spares for vehicles, which, it is anticipated, will assist in vehicle
upgrades as a major problem locally is the relative expense of imported spare parts (Bolade, 1998).
The same author also calls for government to guarantee loans needed for new rolling stock, as a way
of assisting the financing problem.
In summary, we can conclude that:
 the funding dilemma has been identified by many authors, and appears as a key problem
throughout the developing world.
 there are a range of options available for raising finance in the sector, but to date governments
have been reluctant to earmark funding for improvements.
 in light of this there has been a search for alternative funding. Overseas donors are one possible
source, as are the private sector, but private finance initiatives should not be seen as a panacea, as
they require some support from government.
 if public transport improvement is being sought, then the government support will be required
beyond construction and into the operation phase.
Although there appears from the literature to be quite an emphasis placed on obtaining additional
funding for urban transport infrastructure and development, others are more circumspect. Amsler
(1998) reminds readers that almost everywhere in the world the cost of public transport is not fully
covered by fare revenue, and even when projects are built using BOT type funding, then the public
authorities are still required to contribute to financing. Additionally, all major urban public transport
systems receive both capital and operating subsidies, at least for some services. In particular, there
are strong arguments which warn developing countries away from large infrastructure investment in
metro systems, as they are hugely costly and risky. Furthermore, the use of BOT-type arrangements is
not the panacea some may claim, and there is no evidence that BOT produces either financially viable
projects, or widespread public benefits (Allport, 1998). Allport suggests that low-cost alternatives
should preferably be examined.
Others have also called for an increased emphasis on ‘low-cost’ measures such as traffic management
or infrastructure for non-motorised modes. Indeed, Dimitriou, writing about his alternative approach
to transport planning identifies the adoption of low-cost measures as one of six key principles
(Dimitriou, 1990). De Saint-Laurent (1998), in a review of South African urban transport sees the
lack of low-cost well prepared field tests as one key concern, and the need for a renewed focus on
low-cost measures is also raised in India (Bandop, 1996; Datta, 1998). Given the crisis in funding in
developing countries, and the relatively large benefits possible from low-cost measures, it is then
pertinent to ask why the use of low-cost measures has failed to become more widespread. Mitric
provides some useful evidence on this matter in his review of experience in Cairo (1994). In the early
1980s the World Bank initiated an unusual urban transport programme (for that time) in Cairo, mainly
consisting of low-cost measures. A review of experience since then indicates that Cairo went in the
opposite direction, towards metro and road construction. It is suggested by Mitric that there were

UTRG Working Paper 3 12
several reasons for the inconsistency between the technical advice given and the actual action taken.
One reason was the small amount of institutional capacity available to undertake lower-cost
improvements. The paradox is that low-cost measures seem easier to apply in rich countries, whereas
poorer countries are almost forced towards large-scale investment due to insufficient capacity. One
reason is that traffic management methods are staff intensive, and there are simply no trained
technicians to do the job. A further hypothesis is that low-cost improvements are not prestigious
enough for political support. Clearly, Mitric argues, the political and organisational issues need more
consideration.
In summary, we can conclude that:
 the issue of funding deserves more attention by urban transport planners.
 low-cost measures are also worthy of more attention.
3.6 Management Structure
A number of authors have noted the need to take note of differences in and the influence of power,
both in the developing world (Ahlstrand, 1998; Goetz and Sczyliowicz, 1997; Gomez-Ibanez, 1996;
Johnston et al, 1988; Kain, 1990; Meyer and Miller, 1984 and Wachs, 1995) and in the developing
world (Kwakye, 1995; Puvanachandran, 1996 and Vasconcellos, 1996). The consensus in this work
is that transportation planning is an inherently political exercise, and that ignoring the political
dimension is perilous and unlikely to lead to success in the long run. Vasconcellos notes that the
political aspects are perhaps even more important to consider in developing countries than elsewhere,
due to the ‘fragile’ nature of democratic processes in those countries. In the developing world, he
argues, political representation mechanisms are not strong, and decision-making processes are
dominated by an essentially middle-class elite, who make decisions favouring themselves. Given the
apparent importance of politics in transport, the literature used in this study was examined for
examples where policy and political aspects have contributed to notable success and failure, and these
are described below.
A policy vacuum or ill-conceived policy was evident in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Figueroa and Pizarro,
1998) and in Santiago (Rivasplata, 1996), and was particularly bemoaned by Indian authors regarding
privatisation of bus services in New Delhi (Khare, 1998 re: Mumbai; Dhingra and Savant, 1998).
Several writers noted the need for a concrete, clearly articulated and well communicated set of policy
goals for developing countries (Bolade, 1998; Bultynck, 1992 and 1998; Dimitriou; 1990 and
Krynauw and Anderson, 2000) and in places where policies are well-defined, some success has been
noted. A widely quoted example is Curitiba (Rabinovitch and Hoehn, 1995). It is interesting to note
that in addition to a clearly articulated policy framework, policy development in Curitiba follows an
unusual pattern which is in contrast to the traditional approaches of transport planning. Problem
solving is seen in Curitiba to be a continuous process, rather than a one-off plan or policy framework.
It is accepted that small incremental changes can, over the longer term, bring about large changes, and
so the process of policy making and project adoption is one of ‘trial-and-error’. Proposals are made,
the ideas are tested at a conceptual level and then applied in the field. Feedback and monitoring from
the application is then used to assess the success of the intervention.
Generally however, even where policies were in place, there was often a lack of political will for their
implementation, or else the policy changed too frequently for it to be effectively implementable. This
again is well documented by those writing of the Indian context (Bhatnagar, 1996; Datta, 1998;
Kulkarni, 1998). Lack of political will to implement policy was also evident in Caracas (Boccalandro
et al, 1996) and is discussed by Mitric in the case of Cairo (1994). He suggests that one of the reasons
for the rejection of low cost measures advocated by the World Bank in the 1980s was their apparent
lack of (political) prestige, especially when compared with large public transport investments such as
metros or rail systems. (This phenomenon of politicians promoting metro or light rail systems, for

UTRG Working Paper 3 13
which the rational arguments may be questionable is also noted in Europe, by Mackett and Edwards,
1998). It is clear from these examples that political issues were given insufficient attention in the
development of policy and projects.
Political will to implement policy is noted as a key success factor in the Curitiba case described above
and in the ‘Arrive Alive’ case. This safety initiative was established as an independent project and
one of the reasons for its apparent success has been attributed to strong support by political structures
(Chinnappen and Hugo, 2000). In Faislabad, Pakistan, a prime-ministerial visit and a strong local
leader helped to overcome a system which had previously stalled in attempts to improve public
transport. This political intervention lead to the formation of a Non-Governmental Organisation
which was charged with changing the public transport system. To date the system has demonstrated
some notable improvements (Anjum and Russell, 1997 and Russell and Anjum, 1998).
Elsewhere, delays or problems with the political process have lead to creative solutions by those
frustrated at the turn of events. In Buenos Aires, when plans for a new Transport Authority were
defeated due to political constraints, officials developed an externally funded project, in an attempt to
overcome delays in the political process and still alleviate transport problems in the city. It remains to
be seen whether this attempt to bypass the conventional structures will be a success. Other case

studies suggest that unless all key role players are involved with the transport planning decision-
making process then there are likely to be problems. De Saint Laurent (1998) warns that decision-
makers need to be more firmly involved if the ‘remarkable’ Moving South Africa policy initiative is

not to be shelved. This is re-iterated by Krynauw and Anderson, again in the South African context.
Kunaka (1996) notes that for developing countries generally, both users, non-users, operators and
government need involvement. Inclusivity in the decision-making process is also called for in Ghana,
where policy development without the involvement of the transport trade unions is considered futile,
due to the power they have over the public transport terminal buildings and organisation (Fouracre et
al, 1994).
Although political issues were often noted in the literature as important, methods for dealing with
politicians or key role players, were very limited. One interesting approach was demonstrated by
Villegas Lopez (2000) in Mexico City. In evaluating a status quo and policy alternative, the writer
compares economic costs and benefits; financial feasibility and then political feasibility, that is the
likelihood of interested parties (such as federal government, motorists, motor industry, opposition
parties, environmental activists and others) to agree or disagree with the proposed policy alternatives.
The conclusion to Villegas Lopez’s work is that, despite the apparent attractiveness of the policy
alternative, the status quo scenario is the most politically acceptable, and so it stands. Some other
cases where practical suggestions were made for considering political elements specifically related to
citizen participation are given below.
Despite the lack of stable democracies in many developing countries; the concomitant lack of political
representation for poorer people in government; corruption; and the need for public transport systems
to address user needs, there is a surprising absence of discussion of citizenry involvement in the
planning process in the urban transport planning literature examined for this review. The one clear
exception to this trend is in South Africa, where citizen involvement is seen as a key part of policy
development. Schnackenberg et al (1998) suggest that proposals which they developed for travel
demand management required broad and intensive consultation and participation, and the project team
employed an experienced facilitator to guide this process. Walters (1998), talking about institutional
structures for public transport authorities describes public participation and consultation as ‘vital’ if
public transport plans are to reflect the public’s needs and preferences. Chinnappen and Hugo (2000),
describing the key principles for a road traffic management plan include community ownership (thus
implying the need to involve the community in the process), and Krynauw and Anderson (2000)
concluded that development proposals in Pretoria should only take place after consultation.
The reasons for the apparent importance of public participation and consultation in South Africa are
complex. One reason could be the strong civic structures which developed during the resistance

UTRG Working Paper 3 14
period of South African politics, and the traditional lack of representivity for communities at a
political level, which lead to a deep distrust of those government structures. During the transition
period, when there was a move towards democracy, but incomplete representivity, it became
important for planners to consult widely in order to ensure acceptance of proposals. Thus there is a
history of public participation, but insistence on the need for it persists today, despite an apparent
democratic political structure.
Elsewhere, broader participation in the decision-making processes has been noted in Ghana, Metro
Manila and, to an extent, Faislabad. It has also been called for in Santiago (Koprich, 1994;
Rivasplata, 1996), and in India (Datta, 1998). The Urban Transport Project in Ghana (Kwakye et al,
1997) has used a sociologist and a non-motorised expert in engaging the local communities in the
design of non-motorised paths and local road networks, and this process is said to have lead to some
design adaptations. The Sub Saharan Africa Transport Project (SSATP) has concluded that in the
long run, reaching consensus by involving main stakeholders in the improvement process offers the
best chance of reaching solutions (Bultynck, 1998). Outside of Africa, Metro Manila adopted a
systematic participation process in order to assess the transport problem, identify solutions and, it was
hoped, achieve a new level of responsibility and understanding about urban transport with the
participants who were all, in some way involved in decision-making for urban transport (Ernst, 1998)
Hence it can be seen that, despite the acknowledged importance of political matters in transport
planning; the need for greater ‘ownership’ of urban transport problems and participation by main
stakeholders in projects, methods for involving key decision-makers, and the public, in the transport
planning process are poorly defined and only sporadically implemented.
In summary, we can conclude that:
 urban transport planning is an inherently political exercise, and this needs to be accounted for in
the planning process.
 lack of political will can be a problem, and so consensus building and participation strategies
form a key part of the planning process.
 policy goals need to be concrete, clear, well communicated, and adapted through an on-going
monitoring process.
 there are few existing guidelines to help transport planners in achieving the above.
3.7 Planning philosophy, procedures and techniques
Generally speaking transport planning approaches have been imported from the developed world, and
have been implemented with some refinement for local conditions. However, a number of authors
have questioned the validity of using this approach. Dimitriou (1990) is a particularly vocal
opponent, and says that conventional approaches to transport planning are inappropriate to Third

World countries, and part of the reason for this is the lack of institutional resources for planning, co-
ordination and management. Vasconcellos criticises conventional approaches for being unreasonable

in a Third World context (1996), and that a lack of reliable data can lead to ‘absurd’ results. He notes
that the approaches were invented and adjusted mainly for European and North American conditions,
which are dominated by considerations of accommodating the car, in an environment of high car
ownership. Others have similarly criticised the application of conventional planning techniques to the
developing world context (Thomson, 1983 cited in Atkins, 1986; Kane, 1998; Khisty, 1993).
In summary, we can conclude that:
 Conventional planning processes are inappropriate to developing world conditions and need to be
re-evaluated.

UTRG Working Paper 3 15

3.8 Discussion of the review method
One of the conclusions of the review which informed this working paper is that there are very few
urban transport success stories noted in the literature. By contrast, the number of case studies which
report problems are very large but many of them describe technological aspects and relatively few
describe the institutional, financial and political aspects which were the interest of this particular
piece of work. There are a number of reasons why so few success stories are reported in the
literature. The most obvious one is that there has actually been very little success in the developing
world in the urban transport sector. However, there are perhaps other reasons for the lack of reported
success in the developing world. One reason could be the difficulty which developing world
researchers find in undertaking relevant case study research and then publishing the outcomes. Lack
of institutional organisational and human capacity at the city level has been widely reported in this
review and this issue would also contribute to a lack of published papers. In addition to lack of
human capacity, there may also be problems in obtaining the necessary research resources which
enable papers to be written.
Secondly, there is the issue of language. Since large parts of Africa have their main published
language as French, and of course large parts of Latin America would be published largely in Spanish
or Portuguese, this would preclude much information related to this piece of work. It is interesting to
note, for example, that the Curitiba success story which is so widely quoted has, as one of its source
documents, a publication which originated in the United States, not Brazil. Similarly, Ghana, which
has received a relatively large amount of attention in the literature, has done so through partnership
with a British organisation, the Transport Research Laboratory via a World Bank funded project. If
this literature review was extended to include languages other than English, and if role-players were
directly contacted, then some more useful case studies could perhaps be found.

UTRG Working Paper 3 16

4. COMPARING REVIEWS OF INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
4.1 Introduction
Five authors were found during the review who had also attempted to summarise traits for
institutional success. These authors were Barat (1990); Bultynck (1992); and Diaz Padilla and
Autheurs (2000); and Vasconcellos (2001). Their work is considered in turn..
4.2 Barat’s (1990) Work
Barat examined case studies of urban transport across the developing world and reached seven
conclusions regarding deficiencies in the urban transport institutional planning frameworks in Third
World cities. He said that in general there was:
1. An undue influence of the highway planners over the more complex arena of urban transport,
leading to highway design methods and ideas dominating urban transport planning. Specifically
this has lead to urban transport being dominated by capital intensive projects.
2. Centralised control of urban transport projects, with central authorities imposing their decisions
and local bodies resisting the imposition and lacking commitment to implement.
3. Adoption of structures which mimic developed world situations, but without the pre-requisite
levels of administrative and professional skill to ensure such structures can be successful.
4. Shortage of municipal administrative and professional staff exacerbating the problem.

5. Insufficient clarity about roles and responsibilities between agencies, and subsequent poor co-
ordination.

6. A tendency to pass the responsibilities of under-performing planning agencies to poorly resourced
new agencies, or to older, more established bodies, with attendant problems of poor
accountability for urban transport.
7. A domination of the sector by projects rather than plans, a tendency reiterated by politicians and
outside donors.
4.3 Bultynck’s (1992) Work

Bultynck presented the outcome of a study which studied the public transport systems in 12 Sub-
Saharan African cities during the decade 1980-1990. On the basis of this work he suggested a ‘5C’

framework for the sustained development of public transport in Sub-Saharan Africa:
1. Complementarity between the informal and formal sectors, that is, accepting the roles each have
to play, but requiring the local authority to clearly demarcate those roles.
2. Co-ordination of the public transport sector.
3. Coherent objectives, that is, Government needs to balance its role as regulator with an historical
tendency to control public transport, which can be detrimental.
4. Control over the execution of Government measures by management training, improved
information and continuity of fewer policies and regulations.
5. Credibility of operations. This can be achieved by allowing operators to manage their own affairs
whilst developing productivity via human capital development; regular maintenance and
commercially-minded management of the system.
4.4 Diaz Padilla and Autheurs’ (2000) Work

UTRG Working Paper 3 17
These authors examined critical success factors for public transport by examining three diverse case
studies in Eindhoven, London and Curitiba, and attempted to apply them to a public transport system
in Mexico. They devised eight ‘critical success factors’ which are both institutional and ‘technical’,
that is, they are implementable in a physical sense. All eight are listed below:
1. Political decisions as the first step of public transport developments. A political decision was
found to have been the starting point for public transport development in the case studies.
2. Central Planning Authority (CPA) as an essential element for integrated public transport. The
authors identified that this CPA must be truly centralised and comprise a multi-disciplinary team,
which has power to implement decisions and the support of political parties, to allow continuity
required for the development of long term projects.
3. Dynamic relationship between land-use and transport. It is speculated that a better understanding
of this relationship will lead to better long term planning.
4. Quantitative Analysis “a necessary but limited tool”. Traditional quantitative analysis was seen
as a necessary tool but one which should be complemented with more qualitative and dynamic
analytical work.
5. Parallel strategy of “push and pull” incentives. By this the authors are referring to the need to
raise the price of private vehicle travel in order to ‘push’ users onto the system whilst also
‘pulling’ them with public transport improvements.
6. Qualitative analysis: representation of end-users. There is a need to re-focus the analysis on the
end-user, the customer, and to move away from considerations based purely on achievement of
measurable efficiencies.
7. The end-user as an active participant in the planning process. The end-users are also neglected in
the planning process, are often not given an opportunity to participate in the process, and
generally are not influential in system design. If public transport systems are to be more attractive
then this must change.
8. Dynamic monitoring system. This involves the monitoring of data on revenues and usage and
then to use this data to reconsider plans of to replan accordingly.
4.5 Vasconcellos’s (2001) Work
The major institutional challenge in the view of Vasconcellos is unco-ordinated policy. In making
proposals for institutional change Vasconcellos (2001:258) proposes that cities of small, medium and
large size need to be considered separately. In small to medium cities he proposes the definition of
one single public agency to deal with all urban issues, including transport. In large areas he proposes
separate arrangements for each area, whilst taking care not to subjugate comprehensive action. With
metropolitan areas he acknowledges an even greater challenge which perhaps can be addressed
through open-ended decision-making processes and broad forms of social involvement, to avoid
powerful parties taking over. He guards against the type of transport authorities found in Europe,
arguing that they are not suited to the political culture of conflict found in developing counties.
4.6 Common Arguments
The observers discussed in this section, and the conclusions from the earlier sections, advocate the
following regarding urban transport institutions:
1. More attention needs to be given to political issues in urban transport, including the apparent
lack of political will to implement projects or programmes in this sector.
2. More clarity is required on the roles and responsibilities of agencies in transport, and in the
definition and communication of policy goals. Those working in urban transport need
assistance in order that they can assist with this process.
3. At present there is an absence of experience in public participation in urban transport planning,
which may be one reason for problems in implementation. Again, those in urban transport need

UTRG Working Paper 3 18
to become more skilled in consensus building, and the development of relationships with
systems operators and users.
4. The need for institutional change is a strong theme, and institutional fragmentation and lack of
co-ordination or integration is criticised. More attention is required in this area. Case-studies
from the developing world of the implementation of strong co-ordination could be valuable.
5. There needs to be greater emphasis placed on the development of local staff to undertake urban
transport work through well-targeted local training and the very careful use of consultants and
expatriate staff.
6. Successful models of effective public transport regulation, and enforcement of that regulation,
are not common and where they exist need to be publicised.
7. In particular, methods for integrating the informal sector into the formal sector are required, as
this is a particularly problematic area.
8. Feasible ways of addressing the funding crisis need to be found and it would be valuable to
publicise case studies from developing countries where earmarking of funding has led to
substantial improvements, in order to convince decision-makers of its necessity. Public-private
sector partnerships appear to be a growing tool for assisting with funding, and more information
is needed on this area.
9. Generally, the methods used for planning in the developing world are inappropriate and new
approaches need to be defined. In particular, transport planning methods in which funding and
resource considerations are considered in the early stages, and which include on-going feedback
and monitoring, should be explored.
10. Low-cost measures for urban transport appear to be one positive method for improving urban
transport in developing countries. They deserve a much higher profile and increased
investigation.

UTRG Working Paper 3 19

5. A REVIEW OF INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

5.1 Introduction
In the fluid South African urban transport environment new institutions are being created in the wake
of the legislation and policy described in Working Paper 2 of this series. In this section key
documents related to institutional arrangements are presented: critical Aide Memoires written by the
World Bank in the early 1990s; the National White Paper on Transport (1996); the Moving South
Africa strategy document (1999); and the National Land Transport Transition Act (2000).
5.2 Critical Review of Institutional Arrangements in South Africa in the early 1990s
In 1991 the World Bank sent to South Africa the first of three Missions to comment on the transport

sector and so form an important contribution to the development of new transport policy in post-
apartheid South Africa. The first mission, which visited South Africa in April/May and

November/December 1991 was an urban sector reconnaissance and as such focused on the urban
problems. The Aide Memoire which reported on the mission was broad ranging, and identified,
amongst many other issues, a fragmented institutional framework both between and within
government. Whilst private bus and train services for black workers lay with central government,
traffic management and municipal transport services lay with local authorities whilst land-use and
transport planning lay with regional government. The Aide Memoire identified this arrangement as a
severe handicap to comprehensive transport and land-use planning and management. At that time the
Mission stated that:
“Urban transport policy can only be implemented when responsibilities for all public transport
services, parking, traffic restraint, traffic management etc. are vested in the same body. This body

should also control pricing policy and fares and have close liaison with the body responsible for land-
use utilization”.

With respect to institutional matters the mission of 1991 identified a need for devolution of power for
management and planning; training to develop local level skill gaps; and the addressing of funding
problems. In 1993 another Mission visited South Africa, to continue the urban sector work of 1991.
The work focused on analysing the policy framework currently guiding the urban economy with a
particular emphasis on spatial structure and local government finance. This mission re-iterated
devolution of planning powers and believed that transport planning would be done most effectively at
a local authority level. With respect to funding, progressive taxation was promoted, such as fuel
levies, new vehicle levies and increased parking charges.
By 1995 a newly elected government was in place and the scope of the third mission was more
specific, and its recommendations broader ranging. The objectives of this mission were to:
 develop a framework of policies for urban passenger transport in South Africa;
 identify short-term transition issues that might impede the implementation of policies; and
 suggest demonstration projects that would assist in managing transition.

Again fragmentation of responsibilities was highlighted as a problem and the mission noted “no co-
ordination between commuter rail, municipal bus, private bus and combi-taxi services”. The transport

inefficiencies were seen to be exacerbated by “uncoordinated and inefficient responses to user
demands”. The mission reiterated earlier concerns about fragmentation of responsibilities between
the various tiers of government and went on to criticize the complex administration boundaries
making co-ordinated planning and administration “virtually impossible”.

UTRG Working Paper 3 20
The Mission described a number of principles which, if adopted, would contribute to the efficacy,
integrity and viability of a subsidy policy. They called for clarity in policy; transparency in allocation
of money and political accountability. They also called for the separation of public transport
operators and a regulatory body for them. Devolution, mentioned earlier was discussed in relation to
financial needs, that is, if responsibilities are devolved there is a concomitant requirement on national
government to financially support lower levels until responsibility and fiscal capability is clarified.
5.3 White Paper on National Transport Policy (1996)
The White Paper was detailed, and much of the work was subsequently superseded by the Moving
South Africa project and the National Land Transport Transition Act, however it is noteworthy that
the White paper identified the past role of government was one of “regulator of bureaucratic detail, a
provider of infrastructure, and a transport operator, but … weak in policy formulation and in strategic
planning”. The thrust of the White paper is therefore towards a focus for national government on
policy and substantive regulations, with a fresh emphasis on strategic planning. This required (and
subsequently lead to) a restructuring of transport departments throughout government, and the
promotion of the Moving South Africa project. To promote co-ordination across provincial
boundaries and with national authorities a ‘Ministerial Conference of Ministers of Transport
(MINCOM) was established, and still remains.
5.4 Moving South Africa
The Moving South Africa Project was an attempt to develop a strategic framework to move forward
the vision set out in the White Paper. It was written up in two documents: a draft “Towards a
Transport Strategy for 2020”, which was released for public comment in September 1998 and
“Moving South Africa: The Action Agenda. A 20 year strategic framework for transport in South
Africa”. (MSA) This section focuses on the latter report, published in May 1999, which was adopted
by the national Department of Transport as their Action Agenda.
The issue of institutional arrangements is mentioned throughout the MSA document, but is discussed
in some detail in the chapters “Foundations of the Moving South Africa Strategy” and “Integrating the
Strategic Framework”. Within the context of a reorientation of transport towards customer needs, the
need for an integrated vision and strategy are repeatedly described. Government’s role in is seen to
require five steps:
1. The establishment of a clear vision.
2. The establishment of strong institutions
3. The setting of clear rules for reinforcing the vision
4. The development of human capacity
5. The measuring and monitoring of performance.

(Page 21, Moving South Africa The Action Agenda, 1999)

The ‘foundation’ for the visions is seen to rest on four ‘pillars.:
 Customer demand conditions
 Input factor conditions
 Industry structure
 Institutional and regulatory structure
It is argued that certain system-wide issues also need to be addressed: physical infrastructure; human
capacity development; externalities (such as safety and the environment); and a funding framework
for transport. The institutional aspects of these topics are dealt with in turn below.

UTRG Working Paper 3 21
5.4.1 Customer demand conditions
MSA considers customers of the SA transport system to be disempowered and weakly organized. The
upgrading of customer power is seen to be a precondition for improvement to the transport system.
Means of achieving this are seen to be via the consolidation of users into high volume systems, and
the promotion of innovative competition. There must also be transparent decision-making, with
transparent funding and pricing systems. Transport authorities need to provide information regarding
performance and cost of the system to the customers.
5.4.2 Input factor condition
‘Input factors’ relate, in the case of transport, to human resource capacity and infrastructure. These
are considered separately, in turn, below. Firstly, within the new roles assigned to National
government as a result of the White Paper, critical human capacity gaps have emerged. This requires
a skills development strategy able to anticipate and respond to changes in skills requirements. The
NDoT’s role in this is seen to be that of the facilitation of a common programme, throughout its
agencies. Carefully selected demonstration projects are seen as one vehicle for learning. Secondly,
there has been long-term under-investment in road infrastructure as a result of:
 Institutional considerations – fragmentation of authority, inefficient co-ordination and unclear
interpretation of policy;
 Insufficient human capacity at provincial and local levels to plan;
 Insufficient balance between road user costs and externalities; and
 Lack of adequate funding.
MSA recommends more co-ordination of prioritisation, while devolving specific responsibilities to
local government. Thirdly, MSA identifies that institutional reform is necessary in order to relocate
local rail responsibility with respective local authorities. Finally, the urban passenger strategy
advocates that decision-making about, and responsibilities for, planning, services and infrastructure be
located within a single institution at a local level – the transport authority.
5.4.3 Industry Structure
MSA calls for a competitive, customer orientated transport sector which is regulated only where
customer choices are not clearly in evidence.
5.4.4 Institutional and Regulatory Structure
The role for National government defined by Moving South Africa is that of a strategic player,
defining a vision, integrating functions, investing in development, defining rules, creating
transparency and enforcing regulations; promoting customer power and human resource development.
Implicit in this is the need for other institutions to address institutional reform. The constitution is
explicit on the requirement for co-operative governance, and MSA calls for co-operation between
transport and other line functions and within transport.
5.4.5 Externalities – safety and the environment
MSA suggests that the addressing of externality problems required the internalisation of costs and
‘institutional alignment’.
5.4.6 Funding Framework
Despite identifying funding as a core problem in under-investment in road infrastructure, MSA does
not propose a specific funding strategy, rather the document claims to ‘lay the foundations for such a
debate to occur’. They identify a number of challenges requiring additional funding, and the

UTRG Working Paper 3 22
possibility of moving towards ring-fenced funds, using user-charging as a means of raising revenue,
but the process of finalizing a funding strategy is left unresolved in the MSA document.
5.5 Current Institutional Arrangements: Legal Requirements
A brief synopsis of the institutional requirements of the National Land Transport Transition Act
(NLTTA) (22 of 2000) is given below. The stated purpose of NLTTA is to provide the measures
necessary to transform and restructure South Africa’s land transport system. Naturally a large
component of such a task requires institutional restructuring, and the principles of the Act include a
principle of the promotion of coordinated institutional functions in land transport; and an integration
of land transport functions with related functions such as land-use and economic planning and
development. Although the Act has been passed by the National Parliament, only parts of the Act are
enacted by the State President which means that at present the Urban Transport Act of 1977 is still in
effect. This Act requires the establishment of a ‘core city’ within a Metropolitan Transport Area,
which is mandated with some tasks of co-ordination of planning within the Area.
Part 5 of the Act allows that Transport Authorities (TA) may be established following a written
agreement between the MEC and local municipality/s. Such a transport authority is ‘juristic’ separate
from participating municipalities, and is governed by a body consisting solely of councillors from the
constituent municipalities. The agency performing the work of the TA can be either one or more
municipal administrations of the constituent municipalities or a separate transport executive. A
transport authority has certain duties including he development of transport plans and the supervision
of tender contracts for public transport. TAs may receive funding from the Minister, MECs and
municipalities, but there is no legal requirement for the funding of TAs, except where there work
relates to Ministerial of Provincial functions. (Part 6 (15)).
Although the establishment of TAs is not a requirement, the Act requires the establishment of
Provincial Operating Licensing Boards to oversee applications for licenses to operate inter and intra
provincial transport. This function can be delegated to a board under the auspices of the TA. (Part 8
(30)). Under the Act transport authorities may not operate any public transport service. (Part 10 (49))
Registrars must be appointed at Provincial and national level to process applications for registration
by members of the minibus-taxi industry. There also exist in the act a number of requirements for
mini-bus taxi associations.

UTRG Working Paper 3 23

6. CURRENT INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: PRACTICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN
A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

6.1 Introduction
The very recent introduction of legislation dictating institutional change in South Africa, and the slow
progress in enacting that legislation, means that concrete changes are few and, where they are exist,
not well established. To the author’s knowledge there has been no widespread review of the
implementation of the NLTTA. Some interesting examples of initiatives in the institutional arena
have been noted at the local Transport Conference and summaries are presented here. These are
intended to be indicative of local change only.
6.2 The Durban Unicity Transport Authority Process3
Under the auspices of the Land Transport Co-ordinating Committee, a study was undertaken of the
possible advantages and disadvantages of establishing a TA in a metropolitan area. Specific areas of
concern were:
 The lack of clarity in the NLTTA regarding funding (particularly given the importance
attached to sustainable funding by both the World Bank missions and the Transport White
Paper).
 Possible institutional fragmentation of land-use and transport planning
 Possible unco-ordinated outputs from different functional agencies.
 The fit between functions and resources, important given the lack of technical expertise in
most areas.
During the study these issues were considered with the institutional options available and the
legislative prerogatives and a recommendation was made that the best ‘model’ would be for a
Transport Authority consisting of councillors in a separate committee, served by a transport executive
working as an internal agency within the Unicity administration. This falls short of the draconian full
separation of authority and executive from the Unicity.
It is suggested that rail should remain as is for the time being, with the eventual intention to channel
all payments to the South Africa Rail Commuter Corporation via the transport authority. Given the
lack of clarity on funding the study recommends that there should be a Transitional Transport
Authority established, which would only become fully operational once funding was finalized.
6.3 The Johannesburg Roads Agency4
The Igoli 2002 plan presented programmes to address the financial and institutional problems faced in
that city. One programme provided for the establishment of ‘municipal agencies’ which could operate
along business lines in the provision of a service to a group of users. Senior employees receive
performance related contracts and the ‘business’ is customer focused. The agency budget is from the
local authority budget, whilst expenditure is monitored by a unit within the council.

3
See Peters, AM (2001) The Durban Metropolitan Unicity Municipality’s Transport Authority Process. South Africa
Transport Conference.
4
See Dlamini, MAV, Froneman, ZJ and Clarke, WSD (2001) Transformation of the Roads Delivery Process and System –
The Johannesburg Initiative. South African Transport Conference.

UTRG Working Paper 3 24
One such agency. The Johannesburg Roads Agency (Pty) Ltd was registered in November 2000. The
JRA employ 2230 employees, previously employed in the Roads and Stormwater/ Technical Services
departments of six previous local authorities. No major restructuring can take place for the first three
years of the JRA, due to protected contracts for staff.
The function of the JRA is “the management of municipal roads and traffic management systems”.
The planning function takes place within a planning division of the Unicity. Hence there is a
subdivision of responsibilities where the JRA ensures the efficiency of the transportation system
whilst the Unicity ensures the effectiveness of the system as presented in the Interim Transportation
Plans. Generally the Unicity’s functions are strategic, whilst the JRA is operationally focused. A
number of documents relating development management, road reserve management, traffic
engineering, pavement management and stormwater management detail the responsibilities of the
JRA and the Unicity.
6.4 Denneboom, Tshwane Public Transport Interchange Transport Management5
As a case-study in local area institutional issues, this section traces the progress of the development of
intermodal facilities at Denneboom (Mamelodi), which was subsequently adopted by the Greater
Pretoria Metropolitan Council as a model for the development and management of public passenger
transport facilities. In 1996 approval was given for the development of improved facilities at
Denneboom and this was followed in early 1997 by the formation of Denneboom Forum, to facilitate
stakeholder participation in the process. The Forum actively participated in the concept and detailed
planning of the project. Public were welcome to attend the project and in the early stages more than
150 people attended, although this later stabilized to around 50.
From the outset the project was viewed as an institutional project with the following deliverables:
 Establishment of a management structure
 Establishment of rules and procedures for taxis. Buses, hawkers and passengers;
 Preliminary operational phase aimed at support and monitoring.
The Forum resolved that the following principles should guide the operations and management of the
Interchange:
 Involvement of local stakeholders;
 Private sector funding for local commercial development opportunities;
 Effective participation of local entrepreneurs in the operation and maintenance of the facility;
 Municipal authority control over policy decision-making;
 Separation of policy-making, regulation and service delivery functions; and
 Retention of ownership by the municipal authority.
To support the work the Forum decided to adopt an institutional framework of two bodies: a Rank
Management Board to co-ordinate and regulate the facility; and a Property Development and
Management Company to take on responsibilities for commercial development and service delivery.
A diagram illustrating the arrangement is given below.

5
See Baloyi, D and Buiten, E (2001) Developing, Managing and Funding Public Passenger Transport Facilities: The
Tshwane Experience. South African Transport Conference

UTRG Working Paper 3 25

UTRG Working Paper 3 26

6.5 Centurion Road Network Development Forum6
The Centurion Road Network Development Forum (CRNDF) is part of the Urban development
branch of Centurion Town Council and comprises six groups: road access management committee;
traffic calming, safety and speed; road network operational working group; traffic signals and traffic
control working group; traffic signs and road markings working group; public passenger
transportation forum. This although its working title implies a road orientation, it includes public
transport issues in its remit.
The professed philosophy behind the Centurion planning approach is ‘delivery based integrated pro
active’. Integration comes from the efforts to involve and co-operate with ‘a wide spectrum of
stakeholders’ including the authorities with some influence in the area, other departments in council,
developers, politicians and operators of public transport. According to the authors the Road
Network Development Forum (RNDF) has developed a formal structure for the resolution of issues
affecting the Pretoria-Witwatersrand road network which has ‘proven to be a most successful
mechanism for conflict resolution and problem solving’. The authors make some suggestions to guide
other organisations: the development of an ‘ultra-long term vision’; an adaptable planning process, to
facilitate monitoring and review; a balance between local, regional and national needs; planning

within resource constraints; integrated environmental management; use of new technology; and land-
use and transportation integration. This paper does not detail how these things are achieved.

6
See Joubert, H S, Fourie, L, Coetzee, H and Roux, J N (2001). A Vision for Transportation System Planning for Centurion
in the New Millennium. South African Transport Conference

UTRG Working Paper 3 27

7. CONCLUDING REMARKS
The institutional aspects of the transportation problem are multi-faceted and often difficult to analyse
in a satisfactory way. This can be attributed to their nature, since most issues related to institutions
are embedded in human behaviour and as such are frequently changing and open to different
interpretations. Certainly for the typical transport planner, trained in quantitative skills and used to
solving technical problems, the illusive nature of management problems can be frustrating.
Nevertheless, as several authors have pointed out, institutional issues can be at the nub of real change
and so this is one area which required addressing, regardless of the difficulties.
In particular the funding of transport, which has been identified by a number of authors as crucial in

establishing sustainable systems of transport management, remains fragmented and poorly co-
ordinated. Bus and rail subsidies remain the responsibility of national government, and are not at all

linked to housing policy and practice. This on-going control of transport subsidy funds by national
government mean that local authorities have no lever over public transport in their areas, and no
power to use in the development of co-ordinated systems. The fuel price is effectively managed by
the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs, and so user pricing using a fuel levy is difficult. In
these circumstances the local authority has few tools to implement demand management through
pricing.
The international literature points to areas which require concerted effort (see pages 17-18) and the
comments of the World Bank missions to South Africa in the early 1990s, not surprisingly, endorse
these general conclusions. The Moving South Africa policy takes on board some of these points, but
the legislation makes only general moves in the direction of the required change. In particular the
matters of co-ordination between rail and road public transport; the funding strategy; and the
devolution of power to some co-ordinated structure remain unresolved.
Local authorities have made some independent moves towards new institutional arrangements, as
detailed in section 6. It is difficult to review these given the early stage of their development and the
indicative nature of the material available. Nevertheless, there appears to remain much scope for
improvement in the South African institutional systems, and the next 5 years will be important in this
regard. More work is needed in reviewing local examples of promising change in institutional
systems.

UTRG Working Paper 3 28

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624. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.
Singh Kharola, P. and B. Gopalakrishna (2000). Public sector – private sector partnership – the
immediate solution to problems of urban transport. Urban Transportation and Environment.
Proceedings of the CODATU IX Conference eds. O. Diaz, G. Palomas and C.Jamet, pp617-623.
A.A.Balkema, Netherlands.
Turco, N.L. and S.N. Arcusin (1998). Institutional bottom-up approach for the Buenos Aires
transport. Urban Transport Policy: A Sustainable Development Tool. Proceedings of CODATU VIII
Conference eds P. Freeman and C. Jamet, pp803-807. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.
Vasconcellos, E.A. (1996). The Urban Transportation Crisis In Developing Countries:
Alternative Policies for an Equitable Space. Proceedings of the CODATU VII Conference, New Delhi,
ppIII173-III181.
Villegas Lopez, A. (2000). Analysis of the air quality-transportation policies in Mexico City.
Urban Transportation and Environment. Proceedings of the CODATU IX Conference eds. O. Diaz,
G. Palomas and C.Jamet, pp15-20. A.A.Balkema, Netherlands.
Wachs, M. (1995). The Political Context of Transportation Policy ed. S. Hanson. The Geography
of Urban Transportation, pp53-77. The Guilford Press, New York.
Walters, J. (1998). The role of institutional structure at metropolitan level in South Africa in
organising public bus transport. Urban Transport Policy: A Sustainable Development Tool.
Proceedings of CODATU VIII Conference eds. P. Freeman and C. Jamet, pp901-909. A.A. Balkema,
Rotterdam.
Williams, B. (1998). The Missing Link: Towards sustainable urban transport. UNCHS ‘Habitat
Debate’ Vol 4 (2), pp1-5.

The Urban Transport Problem in South
Africa and the Developing World:
A Focus on Institutional Issues

April 2002

Lisa Kane

Urban Transport Research Group,
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment,

University of Cape Town

UTRG Working Paper 3
CONTENTS

Page No

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
1. INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background 1
1.2 Overview of Paper 1
2. DEFINING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS 2
2.1 Defining institutions and organisations 2
2.2 Defining Urban Transport Institutional Planning Frameworks (IPFS)
2
3. THEMES FOR CHANGING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS 4
3.1 Introduction 4
3.2 Organisational Issues 4
3.3 Regulatory Procedures 5
3.4 Human Capacity Resources 7
3.5 Funding Resources 8
3.6 Management Structure 12
3.7 Planning philosophy, procedures and techniques 14
3.8 Discussion of the review method 15
4. COMPARING REVIEWS OF INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN DEVELOPING
COUNTRIES 16
4.1 Introduction 16
4.2 Barat’s (1990) work 16
4.3 Bultynck’s (1992) Work 16
4.4 Diaz Padilla and Autheurs’ (2000) Work
17
4.5 Vasconcellos’s (2001) Work 17
4.6 Common Arguments 17
5. A REVIEW OF INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA 19
5.1 Introduction 19
5.2 Critical Review of Institutional Arrangements in South Africa in the early 1990s 19
5.3 White Paper on National Transport Policy (1996) 20
5.4 Moving South Africa 20
5.4.1 Customer demand conditions 21
5.4.2 Input factor condition 21
5.4.3 Industry Structure 21
5.4.4 Institutional and Regulatory Structure 21
5.4.5 Externalities – safety and the environment
21
5.4.6 Funding Framework 22

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5.5 Current Institutional Arrangements: Legal Requirements
22

CONTENTS (continued)

Page No

6. CURRENT INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: PRACTICAL
DEVELOPMENTS IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT 23
6.1 Introduction 23
6.2 The Durban Unicity Transport Authority Process3

23

6.3 The Johannesburg Roads Agency4

23
6.4 Denneboom, Tshwane Public Transport Interchange Transport Management5
24

6.5 Centurion Road Network Development Forum6
26
7. CONCLUDING REMARKS 27
8. REFERENCES 28

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This paper draws on work undertaken for the International Scientific Committee of
CODATU, a French group concerned with developing urban and suburban transportation,
particularly in developing countries. Their financial assistance is acknowledged. The
remainder of the work was assisted by a grant from the South African National Department of
Transport. The content was guided by the Urban Transport Research Group, University of
Cape Town. Thanks in particular to Roger Behrens for reviewing the paper and to Dennis
Baloyi and Erik Buiten for permission to use their figure regarding the Denneboom Forum.

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1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background
This paper is the third in a series of Working Papers, developed by the Urban Transport Research
Group at the University of Cape Town, which illustrate different perspectives of the urban
transportation problem, particularly as it is found in South Africa. Working Paper 1 considers the
urban transport problem from ‘an urban spatial structure’ perspective. It looks at the role of urban
transport systems in city development and city performance, and focuses on the relationship between
urban transport systems, land use activity patterns and city structure. Working Paper 2 considers the
urban transport problem from a user’s perspective, and reviews primary and secondary research into
the nature and extent of movement needs in South Africa. This Working Paper 3 examines the
institutional perspective of the urban transport problem. This paper will be followed by more papers,
which will examine aspects of transport policy in South Africa, transport practice, disjunctures
between them, and possible ways forward.
1.2 Overview of Paper
De Saint Laurent, a Development Bank of South Africa employee commenting on urban transport in
South Africa (1998) described the situation as a ‘time bomb’, and argued that what was needed in
South Africa, amongst other things, was an ‘institutional breakthrough’1

. This paper attempts to
describe, within the constraints of available resources, some features which this ‘institutional
breakthrough’ may need to have if it is to be successful. Section 2 provides definitions of
organisations, institutions and the ‘institutional planning framework’ (which is the model used to
structure section 3). The problem of defining promising institutional changes for South Africa is
addressed using three perspectives:
 developing world case study lessons (section 3), which provide general international lessons
regarding institutions;
 similar reviews or theoretical work by other authors (section 4), which allow the lessons from
section 3 to be at least partly validated; and
 recent South African developments (sections 5 and 6), which provide information on the
extent to which South Africa is already implementing international good practice.
These matters are drawn together, and some general conclusions made, in section 7.

1 De Saint Laurent (1998) argued that “transport authorities have to be empowered and could be responsible for all modes in
their territory…” “The taxi system has to find a room in this scheme..”

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2. DEFINING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS

2.1 Defining institutions and organisations
According to the Oxford English dictionary an institution is an ‘institute’ especially for charitable or
social purposes. An institute is a society or organisation for promotion of scientific, educational or
other public object. An organisation is an organised body or system of society. Hence an institution
is an organised body of people with some purpose. Institutions exist in both a physical sense (in terms

of the numbers of people employed, the buildings they occupy, the plans they produce) and a non-
physical sense (in terms of the interactions they have; the philosophies they adhere to; the time they

make available). The difficulty when probing institutions is to find a technique for analysis, which
enables institutions to be fully explored.
Morgan (1997) considers that all descriptions of organisations are at some level incomplete. Hence it
is possible to describe an organisation as a ‘system’, or as an arena of political interplay. Both views
are right, and wrong. The systemic approach will highlight relationships, but will fail to focus on
power. The political perspective will highlight power, but could generate mistrust in its wake.2
Morgan highlights at least eight theories of organisation, which he considers actually to be metaphors,
or means of viewing, organisation. None are perfect, but all can provide a useful perspective.

Morgan encourages a plurality of perspectives to be covered, to encourage managers to see the multi-
faceted nature of the organisations within which they work.

In this paper Barat’s theory of urban transport planning institutions is used as the framework within
which case studies are investigated. Barat highlights a number of perspectives which he believes to
be important in the transport sector, and his model is described below.
2.2 Defining Urban Transport Institutional Planning Frameworks (IPFS)
According to Barat, transport planning is not undertaken in isolation from other activities. Many
agencies are involved and it is these organisations or individuals, plus the formal or informal linkages
between them, which constitute an Institutional Planning Framework (IPF) (Barat, 1990). In Barat’s
view, the IPF can be viewed as having three parts: organisations, procedures and resources, which
are co-ordinated by a linking management structure and guided by planning philosophies, procedures
and techniques. Organisations would include the national, provincial and local authority authorities,
but also the transport operators and user groups. The legal and regulatory systems which guide
transport operations are procedures of the IPF. These can be at many different levels: national,
regional or local. Organisations can call on resources principally in the form of funding, or human
capital. These components of the IPF are illustrated in Figure 1, below. One can argue with the
validity of Barat’s model, and the emphasis placed on the various components. Following the
argument of Morgan we can assume that Barat’s model is no better, or worse, than any other. It
simply presents a conceptual framework by which we can explore some of the facets of the urban
transport problem.

2 As Morgan (1997: 212) says “In a course that I teach on the nature of organizational politics I usually begin by warning my
students that by the second or third week there is a danger that they will be looking for hidden motives everywhere, even
wondering if a colleagues innocent offer to buy coffee is really a political act…….under the influence of a political mode of
understanding, everything becomes political. The analysis of interests, conflicts and power easily gives rise to a
Machiavellian interpretation that suggests everyone is trying to outwit and outmanoeuvre everyone else”.

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FIGURE 1.Barat’s Institutional Planning Frameworks (Adapted from Figure 7.1 of Barat, 1990)

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3. THEMES FOR CHANGING URBAN TRANSPORT INSTITUTIONS

3.1 Introduction
This section of the working paper draws on a review of ‘successful’ institutional case studies in the
developing world, undertaken during the period November 1999 to July 2000, and documented in an
unpublished report (Kane, 2000). This review of over fifty papers from international conferences,
journals or books, actually found very few examples of ‘success’ in institutional planning frameworks.
Generally the papers which do focus on non-technical issues describe problems which have been
encountered.
Of course, defining success is problematic since, fundamentally, the transport planning exercise is a
normative one, where the underlying values of those involved will surface in the policies and projects
which they adopt. If one accepts this, then it is impossible to derive one definition of success, since
‘success’ will be as variable as the belief-systems are in the developing world. Successful practice in
Mumbai, for example, may seem very inappropriate in Mexico City. Despite the lack of consensus on
what success means, the articles reviewed for this paper found that it is possible to identify features of
the urban transport system, which are commonly considered by authors to be worth changing, or (less
frequently cited) worth emulating. Hence, it has been possible to identify from case studies some
common themes which probably have some local relevance in South Africa, given the pool of
experiences shared by the planners of urban transport in developing countries. In this section, then,
the elements of the Institutional Planning Framework according to Barat are considered in turn, and
features which writers have identified as having potential for change, are identified.
3.2 Organisational Issues
Calls for organisational change in the developing world urban transport literature are largely in
response to widespread fragmentation in the functions and roles of agencies responsible for transport,
and the apparent lack of co-ordination between those agencies. This was particularly evident in
Africa (Fouracre et al, 1994; Kwakye, 1995; Bultynck, 1992) and in India (Datta, 1998; Kulkarni,
1998; Khare and Agarwal, 1998), where Datta noted some cities with 10-15 agencies having urban
transport responsibility and the urban transport situation being described as having reached crisis
proportions. Fragmentation of urban administration was also noted in a review of Latin America’s

mega-cities (Figueroa, 1996). There are two main proposals in the literature: for greater co-
ordination of agencies; and for de-centralisation of responsibilities. These are dealt with separately

below.
The recognition of the fragmented institutional set-up in many developing countries, and the need for
greater co-operation, is not new. In Caracas, for example, a single metropolitan transport authority
was proposed by consultants in 1976, but has yet to be implemented, despite the seeming necessity of
it (Boccalandro et al, 1996). Elsewhere in Latin America there have been difficulties in implementing
single Transport Authorities, due to political constraints in Buenos Aires (Turco and Arcusin, 1998)
and due to lack of agreement between local authorities in Rio de Janiero (Ratton Neto, 1998).
Despite these difficulties, the call for Transport Authorities is widespread (Goel and Gupta, 1996;
Victor, 1996; Rivasplata, 1996; Bultynck, 1998; Mitric, 1994), and in South Africa the development
of new Metropolitan Transport Authorities (MTAs) has been described as a ‘key challenge’.
(Walters, 1998).
A metropolitan Transport Authority implies some level of decentralisation of functions, but the
UNCHS, are specific in their reference to this. They argue that urban transport decision-making
should be decentralised to the local level, as a means of ensuring that all urban residents are
adequately served by effective transport services at affordable prices (Williams, 1998). Vasconcellos

UTRG Working Paper 3 5
(1996) notes that excessive centralisation of powers in developing countries can hinder local authority
decision-making, and this is demonstrated in Cairo where a strong central state has conspired against
local level implementation (Mitric, 1994).
So what would these decentralised, unified Transport Authorities look like? Victor (1996) suggests
that they should follow French and German models of structure. Rivasplata, referring to Santiago
(1996); Walters, referring to South Africa (1998); Agarwal, referring to Indian cities (2000) and
Williams (1998), referring to UNCHS policy, all suggest a model which separates an elected,
representative political body – who define goals and ask fundamental questions about policy direction
– from an executive body who manage the implementation of the decisions. The executive would
comprise of employees, or sub-contractors, to the authority, with specialist knowledge and it would be
their responsibility to define the product or service most capable of implementing the goals of the
elected body. Walters (1998) defines the elected body as ‘strategic’ and the executive body as
‘tactical’. There is a third level to Walters’ model: the operational level – which consists of people
able to implement the services or products defined by the executive. These could, for example, be
transport operators. This level of explicitness in defining the requirements of a Transport Authority is
relatively rare in the literature reviewed, however, and many authors simply describe the need for
better co-ordination of functions.
Case studies of fully functioning and successful transport authorities as described above were not
generally evident. Nevertheless, there appear to have been some moves towards co-ordination in
many countries. These vary widely in their scope and level of apparent success but two themes are
evident: the development of specialist units, often comprising professionals and interested employees
of state; and the instigation of inter-ministerial or inter-sectoral committees. In Curitiba the IPPUC
(Curitiba Research and Planning Institute) is a technical group of local planners, architects and
engineers who have effectively influenced the development of the public transport system there
(Rabinovitch and Hoehn, 1995). Similarly, the World Bank supported Urban Transport Project in
Ghana initiated the Urban Transport Unit to help move that project forward (Kwakye and Fouracre,
1996) and Buenos Aires has a Metropolitan Transport Unit to oversee some of the roles which a
Transport Authority would undertake (Turco and Arcusin, 1998). Meanwhile in South Africa there
are technical committees at metropolitan, provincial and national levels (Chinnappen and Hugo,
2000), and there have been some moves toward Transport Authorities here (see section 6).
In Ghana the technical committees preceded the development of committees of political
representatives. Ghana now has inter-ministerial committees in place (Kwakye and Fouracre, 1996;
Kwakye et al, 1997); inter-sectoral committees have been developed and urban transport policy,
regulation and execution issues are now under one minister. Buenos Aires also has political
committees looking at urban transport issues at the three levels of government (Boccalandro et al,
1996), as does South Africa (Chinnappen and Hugo, 2000).
In summary, we conclude that :
 there are widespread calls for institutional change, and particularly for greater co-ordination
between, and integration of, agencies for urban transport.
 many suggest decentralised transport authorities should be adopted, but examples of these are not
generally evident.
 however, there are clear practical moves towards political and technical liaison in several
countries.

UTRG Working Paper 3 6
3.3 Regulatory Procedures
Clearly the organisational structure is only one element of the institutional environment which may
effect the successful operation of urban transport. Another key dimension is the regulatory
environment which controls the public transport sector in particular, and the effectiveness of the
enforcement of those regulations. Regulation of public transport has undergone significant shifts
internationally over the last two decades. The rise in the privatisation of public sector enterprises,
which started in the UK and the USA, eventually focused on public transport as a sector worthy of
reform. Up until the late 1970s public transport in the developing world had been partially or fully
regulated. Deregulation was promoted in response to increasing subsidy levels required from
governments; consumer dissatisfaction; and increasing pressure from private operators to enter the
market. The model of deregulation and privatisation adopted in the UK was subsequently used in
many developing countries in the 1980s, with various levels of success (Amsler, 1998). In this
section these changes in regulatory frameworks are discussed. The various methods of deregulation
adopted are described, and the particular problems of enforcement are also covered.
Of all the changes in regulatory systems adopted in the last 20 years in developing countries, those of
Chile are probably the most dramatic, and provide a useful case study of the potential impact of
deregulation in developing countries. Chile decided to opt for total deregulation, with the government
exercising no control at all over the new system. The result was unfortunately an increase in fares and
reduction in service diversity (Darbera, 1993). It has been speculated that Chile’s policy makers
actually misinterpreted the ‘rules’ of deregulation, and assumed that a complete absence of regulation

was the aim. India generally, and New Delhi specifically, have also been criticised for their ‘ill-
conceived’ adoption of de-regulation policy. Large-scale liberalisation of services was first attempted

in 1992 and operators were allowed to ply routes for a fee, but this lead to poor behaviour and
unsatisfactory results. Later, as a result of growing financial losses and public criticism of the system,
the Redline Bus Scheme was developed, which favoured very small operators (less than five
vehicles). Permits were issued to operators on the basis of a lottery, and terminal use was provided
via fee-payment. Unfortunately in abrogating their social responsibility for public transport provision,
the New Delhi policy makers also lost control of the system. However, despite the unsatisfactory
result of de-regulation commentators on this case suggest that a return to nationalised service
provision is not the answer, rather there needs to be a system with private sector efficiency and public
sector values, where route allocation encourages healthy competition, and government has the
infrastructure for management, supervision and enforcement in place.
Methods of regulation vary widely internationally, but can basically be divided into regulations of
quality and regulations of quantity. The authority in charge of regulation can, for example, attempt to
enforce routes, schedules, fares and service levels through control of the number and type of operators
entering the system. Entry to the system of provision can be controlled via vehicle, driver and route
licences (Singh Kharola and Gopalakrishna, 2000). Policy decisions made on regulation will thus
directly affect the degree of service competition, and the type of service offered to consumers.
Unfortunately, in practice, the regulatory frameworks have either been poorly conceived, and/or have
not been enforced sufficiently. The need for stronger enforcement of regulations is raised in Buenos
Aires (Brennan, 1996); Santa-Cruz (Figueroa and Pizarro, 1998); Nigeria (Bolade, 1998) and Ghana
(Fouracre et al, 1994). Lack of enforcement of regulations is one reason for the entry into the urban
transport market of informal operators, and the persistent poor service record attributed to them. In
the absence of formal organisation in many places the unions of informal operators have become
tremendously powerful, exerting strong control over operations in their areas (Fouracre et al, 1994; de
Saint Laurent, 1998; Kulkarni, 1998). Such strong unions can act as agents against change, if they
believe that change will affect their constituency, and the income from that.
Following the failure of monopolistic urban transport, and also the subsequent failure in many places
of de-regulation and attendant informal transport, it is difficult to see positive alternatives to the
current situation. Koprich proposes that a time frame for deregulation and appropriate regulatory

UTRG Working Paper 3 7
mechanisms should be created for each city are essential. In addition he says that appropriate access
to information for users is required; investors and operators needs have to be established and the
public sector require resources for planning (Koprich, 1994). Bultynck also offers some suggestions,
noting in Sub-Saharan Africa that firm management could reap rewards, and that success was more
likely in the areas he studied where supervising authorities were allowed to act without interference
from others (Bultynck, 1992).
Bultynck has also noted that operators needed freedom to manage their own affairs, in order to
establish credibility. One place where this seems to have taken root in a practical sense is in
Pakistan, where an NGO based regulatory system is being used. The NGO approach was in response
to ‘ineffectual regulatory bureaucracies’, and involved the setting up of an NGO to run the business of
public transport initially in Faislabad, and later in Lahore. The office bearers of the NGO are officials
of government, but the decision-making environment of the NGO is more conducive to action than the
bureaucratic, existing government. In addition, the NGO environment allows for representation of
operators and other interests. The workings of the NGO are such that operators make vehicles
available to the NGO, and agree to abide by certain rules of courteousness, fare levels and safety. The
NGO employs staff to monitor the adherence of operators to the rules, and raises funds for the NGO
through service charges by operators and fines from operators. The NGOs have taken over
responsibility for route permits; fare control; route demarcation; safety of vehicles and the
enforcement regime. The conclusion is that the NGO system appears effective, improving service
levels to passengers and overcoming bureaucratic hurdles to effectiveness (Russell and Anjum, 1998).
In Curitiba the notion of community ownership of urban transport has been used to overcome violence
in the informal sector, and has been successfully used to improve service quality and reduce conflict
(Reynolds, 2000).
In summary we can conclude that:
 the issue of regulation in the urban transport sector is difficult, and as yet largely unresolved in
the developing world.
 solutions from the developed world are not necessarily transferable.
 the informal sector has particular problems which are not found in the developed world.
 a balance is called for, between instigation of appropriate regulatory frameworks by the
authorities; enforcement of those regulations; credibility to the operators; and involvement by
the public in defining service levels.

3.4 Human Capacity Resources
The notion of institutional strengthening implies that improvements are required to the organisational
environment; regulatory framework and also to the human capacity of those in the institutions. The
particular importance of building human capacity is mentioned several times in the papers reviewed,
and is noted as a specific lesson which has been gained from the World Bank/ United Nations Sub
Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program, which is aimed at improving transport sector performance
(Bultynck, 1998). Bultynck notes that in order to improve the urban transport system through sector
policy reform, the establishing of an institutional and regulatory framework is absolutely necessary if
any developments are to be sustained, and these changes require a strengthening of local expertise. In
an earlier review of twelve Sub Saharan states he noted that one of the traits for success was
“continual and systematic” training, controlled by government (Bultynck, 1992). Ghana is one
country which is participating in the SSATP, and the findings there confirm the overall conclusions
reached by Bultynck. In the earliest days of the urban transport development work there, two
requirements were determined for the successful operation of public transport: the creation of a
professional cadre at local and central levels, and qualified staff to maintain this cadre (Fouracre et al,
1994). In this regard, two staff have been sent overseas for post-graduate training, there have been

UTRG Working Paper 3 8
secondments, attendance at conferences and seminars, and short courses for all local technical staff
have been considered (Kwakye and Fouracre, 1996). It is not only in the SSATP that the importance
of human capacity development has been noted. In Buenos Aires the development of a new
institutional approach to co-ordinated transport included as an important component the development
of core groups of technical skills (Turco and Arcusin, 1998). Dimitriou (1990) noted the need to
enhance local government capabilities through specialist training in Indonesia in order for successful
project implementation, and in Lae City Puvanachandran (1996) saw the need for much more
attention towards staff training. In Nigeria also, the government has responded to management
problems in mass transit by introducing training and guidelines for operators (Bolade, 1998).
One current theme is a focus on the training of local staff, and the criticism of the use of consultants
or expatriates. Consultant’s planning and policy studies in Ghana were said to be too numerous, with
too obvious conclusions and unrealistic recommendations. Expatriate input was found to be
expensive and perhaps only temporarily effective, unless it was systematically transferred to local
staff (Kwakye and Fouracre, 1996). Overall, the SSATP has suggested that expatriate advisors should
act as ad-hoc facilitators and advisors only and that there needs to be ownership by local staff, and
targeted training if the use of expatriates is to be worthwhile (Bultynck, 1998). Puvanachandran,
discussing the case of Lae City in Papua New Guinea agrees that local staff should be the primary
agents for change, and that if consultancy services are used, then they should not conclude at a final
report or plan, but rather should cover short to medium term implementation (Puvanachandran, 1996).
In summary, we can conclude that :
 The development of local human capacity in urban transport institutions, through targeted
training, is vital.
3.5 Funding Resources
One of the most commonly raised reasons for failure in urban transport found in this review was the
lack of a sufficient, or reliable funding source. Many countries noted a funding base which was
highly constrained (Bandopadhyaya, 1996; Mouette et al, 1998; Dimitriou, 1990; Ratton Neto, 1998;
Bhatnagar, 1996; Dalvi and Patankar, 1998; Walters, 1998) and several called for either clearer
funding arrangements, or for a proper funding strategy (Brennan, 1996; Bolade, 1998; Krynauw and
Anderson, 2000). A common problem appears to be the disjuncture between the responsibilities of
local authorities and their ability to raise revenue, or their access to revenue. A strong central
government control over funding was noted in Indonesia (Dimitriou, 1990); Ghana (Kwakye and
Fouracre, 1996) and Santiago (Rivasplata, 1996) and an adequate funding base ‘involving three levels
of government’ was advocated in South Africa (Walters, 1998). The UNCHS have noted the funding
issue and call for a situation where government financing of public transport is given a stable basis
with explicit and secure revenue sources (Williams, 1998).
The crisis in funding of urban transport has grown in recent times, for many reasons. There has been
increased urbanisation, leading to increasing demand for urban transport services. The problem is
exacerbated by poorer communities who tend to locate on cheaper land at the very outskirts of cities,
and who thus have long commutes into work. Campinas, is one such example of this (Mouette et al,
1998). The increase in demand has not been generally well-served by the existing public transport
services, which have tended to be government-owned companies, often monopolies, and with many
inherent problems. One issue is the discrepancy between the government as service operator
committed to providing a low cost service to the local people versus the government as employer,
wishing to demonstrate fairness in wage policy (Singh Kharola and Gopalakrishna, 2000). In reality
the public transport companies are a drain on the public purse, despite, in some instances, providing
only a minority of the urban transport needs (Russell and Abbas Anjum, 1997). The reasons for the
ongoing loss-making in the public transport sector in Pakistan, which also often apply more generally,

UTRG Working Paper 3 9
include: low fare regimes imposed by government; increasing operating costs due to rising
congestion; increasing costs of spare parts and vehicles (due to developing country currency
weakness); insufficient, or lack of, government subsidy; high wages to staff; low productivity and
costly capital finance (Russell and Anjum, 1997 and Kulkarni, 1998). In Lahore, Russell and Abbas
Anjum (1997) also note the specific problems of over-staffing; an old fleet requiring high
maintenance; an ‘unhealthy’ relationship between trade unions and management and pilferage as
being problems. The response to the demise of government-owned public transport services has been
two-fold. On the part of government, since the 1980s there has been a move towards
commercialisation or privatisation. However, pre-dating this has been the rise of informal transport in
developing countries – a response to poorer service provided by the formal sector.
Informal transport is found in many guises throughout the developing world, but does have some
common traits. Informal transport services are privately owned, demand responsive public transport
systems with owners who are individuals, families or groups. Whilst many operators have only one
vehicle, examples also exist of operators with small fleets. The choice of vehicle depends on
availability and affordability considerations mainly, and may, in fact, be quite unsatisfactory, in the
longer term, for public transport use. Informal transport is characteristically demand responsive in
terms of routes, scheduling and fare structure. It can be highly profitable, although the profits may in
fact be illusory and only short-term, as operators often ignore vehicle depreciation (Mouette et al,
1998; Fouracre et al, 1994). Given this description certain advantages and disadvantages of the
informal sector over the formal sector emerge. Firstly the sector is an important employer, especially
at the semi-skilled level; secondly it increases (in some cases dramatically) the public transport
capacity of cities; and thirdly it effectively reduces the subsidy burden on governments. Nevertheless,
there is a general perception that informal services are chaotic and unsafe. The profit motives of
operators are generally not consistent with policy objectives of government, and for users the service
can be unpredictable and unreliable (Kunaka, 1996).
In terms of funding considerations, it is important to note the nature of informal operators, that is
emergent entrepreneurs outside the formal business framework. This means that, for example in
Ghana, private investment in the sector is seen as risky, and little institutional money is available
(Fouracre et al, 1994). This lack of money impacts particularly on the vehicle fleet, which is costly to
replace. In response to this, some governments have used the lure of vehicle replacement
(recapitalisation) as a means of trying to bring the informal operators under a formal policy
framework. In Ghana a Transport Financing Corporation has been instigated to assist in
recapitalisation of private fleets (Fouracre et al, 1994; Kwakye, 1995) and in Nigeria the state
provided lenient terms for the purchase of a fleet of over 2000 buses in an attempt to modernise the
vehicle stock. It also introduced concessions on spare parts (Bolade, 1998). In Pakistan financial
incentives are in place to encourage operators to replace vehicles with newer stock (Abbas Anjum and
Russell, 1997) and in Curitiba also there are strong incentives to invest in new vehicles (Rabinovitch
and Hoehn, 1995). Attempts at recapitalisation are currently underway in South Africa. Elsewhere,
in Brasil, there have been attempts to integrate the informal operators into a more formal environment
through automated ticket collection. The reluctance of operators to participate in this is attributed
partly to existing tax evasion on the part of the informal sector (Mouette et al, 1998). The challenge is
for developing countries to utilise the highly responsive private sector, whilst instilling public sector
values which meet the needs of users.
Regardless of what successes there may be in integrating the informal sector into a public service (and
so far few success stories are evident), the fact remains that government will still need to play a
regulatory role in the public transport sector and to make some financial contribution. Dhingra and
Savant argue that, as long as accessibility is a state responsibility in India, then government will need
to take some financial responsibility for providing it (1998). The subsidy system, however, can lead
to poor productivity (Bultynck, 1998) and large subsidies are less and less feasible in an environment
of constrained public sector finances (Vasconcellos, 1996). The answer, therefore, seems to be a
mixture of regulation of the private sector, with well controlled targeted subsidies for some services.

UTRG Working Paper 3 10
Linked to the issue of funding and finance is that of a policy for public transport fares. This is
especially pertinent given the apparent impact of de-regulation in some countries, which was to
escalate fares (Bolade, 1998; Darbera, 1993). Some authors advocate that there should be a system of
‘fair fares’, that is, fares which take into account income levels and so are affordable to the poor
(Enriquez, 2000; Williams, 1998; Kulkarni, 1998). For other authors, however, the issue is not the
level of fare, per se, but rather the role that fare policy can play in the overall integration of an urban
transport system. Fare integration has been called for in Buenos Aires (Brennan, 1996); Campinas
(Mouette et al, 1998) and in Rio de Janeiro (Ratton Neto, 1998).
Generally speaking urban transport funding systems are funded by a combination of fare-box revenue
(which does not cover operating costs in most cases) and subsidies from either state or local
government (Amsler, 1998). Common ways in which transport systems contribute to government
income is through fuel taxes, vehicle transfer taxes, vehicle licensing taxes, transport parking charges
and levies on public transport interchanges (Dimitriou, 1990), but generally speaking, in developing
countries, these income sources are not then automatically earmarked for use by the transport sector.
Amsler identifies the lack of dedicated “off-budget” resources to urban transport as a ‘major
difference’ between developed and developing countries and notes that these “off-budget” resources
are often a major contributor to urban transport development (Amsler, 1998). The need for dedicated
funding was noted in Dakar, where the Sub Saharan Africa project aims to develop an Urban
Transport Development Fund (Bultynck, 1998). Given government apparent reluctance to dedicate
sufficient funding to urban transport, alternative funding sources have been sought, or called for
(Brennan, 1996; Kwakye and Fouracre, 1998; Victor, 1996; de Saint Laurent, 1998). Three
alternative sources are briefly discussed below: international donors, public-private sector
partnerships and innovative approaches. Given the complexity of the financing field, these
discussions are kept necessarily brief, concentrating mainly on issues of commonality between case
studies examined.
International donors have been active in selected countries across the world. The International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development has provided loans to help the Buenos Aires transport sector
(Turco and Arcusin, 1998); Calcutta and Bombay have benefited from World Bank assistance (Datta,
1998), as have Ghana (Kwakye et al, 1997) and Cairo (Mitric, 1994); Delhi has recently benefited
from a new corporation formed as a partnership between Delhi State and a Japanese organisation.
However, Gaabucayan et al (2000) note that, at least in Asia, there has been a reduction in the role of
Overseas Development Agencies, and an increased necessity to examine public-private sector
partnerships for the funding of urban transport.
The private sector has been increasingly encouraged into the funding of urban transport projects for
two key reasons: firstly the potential of it bringing in additional funding and so relieve the burden on
governments, and secondly to introduce private sector efficiencies into urban transport delivery
(Gaabucayan et al, 2000). Improvements in operational efficiencies have also been a key reason for

the encouragement of the private sector into public transport operations, through the privatisation/ de-
regulation processes. Public-private sector partnerships come in a number of guises: Build-Operate-
Transfer (BOT); Build-Operate-Own (BOO); Design-Build-Finance-Operate (DBFO) and others. The

details of these will not be considered here, but the partnerships have in common the sharing of risk
by the government and private sectors in return for a share in profits from the scheme. Such
partnerships have been used for rail project development in, amongst other places, Bangkok, Kualar
Lumpar and Metro Manila (Gaabucayan et al, 2000) and have been seriously considered for urban
transport projects in, amongst other places, Mumbai (Dalvi and Patankar, 1998); Ghana (Kwakye and
Fouracre, 1998) and Papua New Guinea (Puvanachandran, 1996). Public-private sector partnerships
can seem like a panacea to funding problems. Unfortunately, in reality, Amsler (1998) notes that
public authorities contribute to the financing of transport projects, even when BOT-type arrangements
are used, and that almost everywhere in the world the cost of public transport operation is not fully
covered by fare revenue. In order to attract private finance into Asian schemes Gaabuyacan et al
(2000) found that governments were required to offer the private sector import tariff exemptions, tax

UTRG Working Paper 3 11
holidays for a period, guarantees against fluctuations in foreign exchange, guarantees against
fluctuations in interest rates and assistance in land acquisition.
A number of authors have identified innovative funding mechanisms which can be used with or
without private sector involvement. ‘Value capture’ funding mechanisms are considered where there
is to be a large rail-type investment and describe the recovery of taxes from those who benefit from a
major scheme. Such taxes could include surcharge on tickets from other (complementary) modes; an
employment tax for employers in the rail corridor; a location benefit tax from other residents or
businesses and a general tax on goods and services from the benefiting city. It is anticipated that such
taxes would contribute to the equity required from the government sector as their contribution to a
partnership (Dalvi and Patankar, 1998). Other possibilities for raising revenue include revenue from
property development along routes or at terminals, income from office and retail space letting (Datta,
1998); and advertising revenue (Dalvi and Patankar, 1998). In Nigeria financial incentives have been
given for the local manufacture of spares for vehicles, which, it is anticipated, will assist in vehicle
upgrades as a major problem locally is the relative expense of imported spare parts (Bolade, 1998).
The same author also calls for government to guarantee loans needed for new rolling stock, as a way
of assisting the financing problem.
In summary, we can conclude that:
 the funding dilemma has been identified by many authors, and appears as a key problem
throughout the developing world.
 there are a range of options available for raising finance in the sector, but to date governments
have been reluctant to earmark funding for improvements.
 in light of this there has been a search for alternative funding. Overseas donors are one possible
source, as are the private sector, but private finance initiatives should not be seen as a panacea, as
they require some support from government.
 if public transport improvement is being sought, then the government support will be required
beyond construction and into the operation phase.
Although there appears from the literature to be quite an emphasis placed on obtaining additional
funding for urban transport infrastructure and development, others are more circumspect. Amsler
(1998) reminds readers that almost everywhere in the world the cost of public transport is not fully
covered by fare revenue, and even when projects are built using BOT type funding, then the public
authorities are still required to contribute to financing. Additionally, all major urban public transport
systems receive both capital and operating subsidies, at least for some services. In particular, there
are strong arguments which warn developing countries away from large infrastructure investment in
metro systems, as they are hugely costly and risky. Furthermore, the use of BOT-type arrangements is
not the panacea some may claim, and there is no evidence that BOT produces either financially viable
projects, or widespread public benefits (Allport, 1998). Allport suggests that low-cost alternatives
should preferably be examined.
Others have also called for an increased emphasis on ‘low-cost’ measures such as traffic management
or infrastructure for non-motorised modes. Indeed, Dimitriou, writing about his alternative approach
to transport planning identifies the adoption of low-cost measures as one of six key principles
(Dimitriou, 1990). De Saint-Laurent (1998), in a review of South African urban transport sees the
lack of low-cost well prepared field tests as one key concern, and the need for a renewed focus on
low-cost measures is also raised in India (Bandop, 1996; Datta, 1998). Given the crisis in funding in
developing countries, and the relatively large benefits possible from low-cost measures, it is then
pertinent to ask why the use of low-cost measures has failed to become more widespread. Mitric
provides some useful evidence on this matter in his review of experience in Cairo (1994). In the early
1980s the World Bank initiated an unusual urban transport programme (for that time) in Cairo, mainly
consisting of low-cost measures. A review of experience since then indicates that Cairo went in the
opposite direction, towards metro and road construction. It is suggested by Mitric that there were

UTRG Working Paper 3 12
several reasons for the inconsistency between the technical advice given and the actual action taken.
One reason was the small amount of institutional capacity available to undertake lower-cost
improvements. The paradox is that low-cost measures seem easier to apply in rich countries, whereas
poorer countries are almost forced towards large-scale investment due to insufficient capacity. One
reason is that traffic management methods are staff intensive, and there are simply no trained
technicians to do the job. A further hypothesis is that low-cost improvements are not prestigious
enough for political support. Clearly, Mitric argues, the political and organisational issues need more
consideration.
In summary, we can conclude that:
 the issue of funding deserves more attention by urban transport planners.
 low-cost measures are also worthy of more attention.
3.6 Management Structure
A number of authors have noted the need to take note of differences in and the influence of power,
both in the developing world (Ahlstrand, 1998; Goetz and Sczyliowicz, 1997; Gomez-Ibanez, 1996;
Johnston et al, 1988; Kain, 1990; Meyer and Miller, 1984 and Wachs, 1995) and in the developing
world (Kwakye, 1995; Puvanachandran, 1996 and Vasconcellos, 1996). The consensus in this work
is that transportation planning is an inherently political exercise, and that ignoring the political
dimension is perilous and unlikely to lead to success in the long run. Vasconcellos notes that the
political aspects are perhaps even more important to consider in developing countries than elsewhere,
due to the ‘fragile’ nature of democratic processes in those countries. In the developing world, he
argues, political representation mechanisms are not strong, and decision-making processes are
dominated by an essentially middle-class elite, who make decisions favouring themselves. Given the
apparent importance of politics in transport, the literature used in this study was examined for
examples where policy and political aspects have contributed to notable success and failure, and these
are described below.
A policy vacuum or ill-conceived policy was evident in Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Figueroa and Pizarro,
1998) and in Santiago (Rivasplata, 1996), and was particularly bemoaned by Indian authors regarding
privatisation of bus services in New Delhi (Khare, 1998 re: Mumbai; Dhingra and Savant, 1998).
Several writers noted the need for a concrete, clearly articulated and well communicated set of policy
goals for developing countries (Bolade, 1998; Bultynck, 1992 and 1998; Dimitriou; 1990 and
Krynauw and Anderson, 2000) and in places where policies are well-defined, some success has been
noted. A widely quoted example is Curitiba (Rabinovitch and Hoehn, 1995). It is interesting to note
that in addition to a clearly articulated policy framework, policy development in Curitiba follows an
unusual pattern which is in contrast to the traditional approaches of transport planning. Problem
solving is seen in Curitiba to be a continuous process, rather than a one-off plan or policy framework.
It is accepted that small incremental changes can, over the longer term, bring about large changes, and
so the process of policy making and project adoption is one of ‘trial-and-error’. Proposals are made,
the ideas are tested at a conceptual level and then applied in the field. Feedback and monitoring from
the application is then used to assess the success of the intervention.
Generally however, even where policies were in place, there was often a lack of political will for their
implementation, or else the policy changed too frequently for it to be effectively implementable. This
again is well documented by those writing of the Indian context (Bhatnagar, 1996; Datta, 1998;
Kulkarni, 1998). Lack of political will to implement policy was also evident in Caracas (Boccalandro
et al, 1996) and is discussed by Mitric in the case of Cairo (1994). He suggests that one of the reasons
for the rejection of low cost measures advocated by the World Bank in the 1980s was their apparent
lack of (political) prestige, especially when compared with large public transport investments such as
metros or rail systems. (This phenomenon of politicians promoting metro or light rail systems, for

UTRG Working Paper 3 13
which the rational arguments may be questionable is also noted in Europe, by Mackett and Edwards,
1998). It is clear from these examples that political issues were given insufficient attention in the
development of policy and projects.
Political will to implement policy is noted as a key success factor in the Curitiba case described above
and in the ‘Arrive Alive’ case. This safety initiative was established as an independent project and
one of the reasons for its apparent success has been attributed to strong support by political structures
(Chinnappen and Hugo, 2000). In Faislabad, Pakistan, a prime-ministerial visit and a strong local
leader helped to overcome a system which had previously stalled in attempts to improve public
transport. This political intervention lead to the formation of a Non-Governmental Organisation
which was charged with changing the public transport system. To date the system has demonstrated
some notable improvements (Anjum and Russell, 1997 and Russell and Anjum, 1998).
Elsewhere, delays or problems with the political process have lead to creative solutions by those
frustrated at the turn of events. In Buenos Aires, when plans for a new Transport Authority were
defeated due to political constraints, officials developed an externally funded project, in an attempt to
overcome delays in the political process and still alleviate transport problems in the city. It remains to
be seen whether this attempt to bypass the conventional structures will be a success. Other case

studies suggest that unless all key role players are involved with the transport planning decision-
making process then there are likely to be problems. De Saint Laurent (1998) warns that decision-
makers need to be more firmly involved if the ‘remarkable’ Moving South Africa policy initiative is

not to be shelved. This is re-iterated by Krynauw and Anderson, again in the South African context.
Kunaka (1996) notes that for developing countries generally, both users, non-users, operators and
government need involvement. Inclusivity in the decision-making process is also called for in Ghana,
where policy development without the involvement of the transport trade unions is considered futile,
due to the power they have over the public transport terminal buildings and organisation (Fouracre et
al, 1994).
Although political issues were often noted in the literature as important, methods for dealing with
politicians or key role players, were very limited. One interesting approach was demonstrated by
Villegas Lopez (2000) in Mexico City. In evaluating a status quo and policy alternative, the writer
compares economic costs and benefits; financial feasibility and then political feasibility, that is the
likelihood of interested parties (such as federal government, motorists, motor industry, opposition
parties, environmental activists and others) to agree or disagree with the proposed policy alternatives.
The conclusion to Villegas Lopez’s work is that, despite the apparent attractiveness of the policy
alternative, the status quo scenario is the most politically acceptable, and so it stands. Some other
cases where practical suggestions were made for considering political elements specifically related to
citizen participation are given below.
Despite the lack of stable democracies in many developing countries; the concomitant lack of political
representation for poorer people in government; corruption; and the need for public transport systems
to address user needs, there is a surprising absence of discussion of citizenry involvement in the
planning process in the urban transport planning literature examined for this review. The one clear
exception to this trend is in South Africa, where citizen involvement is seen as a key part of policy
development. Schnackenberg et al (1998) suggest that proposals which they developed for travel
demand management required broad and intensive consultation and participation, and the project team
employed an experienced facilitator to guide this process. Walters (1998), talking about institutional
structures for public transport authorities describes public participation and consultation as ‘vital’ if
public transport plans are to reflect the public’s needs and preferences. Chinnappen and Hugo (2000),
describing the key principles for a road traffic management plan include community ownership (thus
implying the need to involve the community in the process), and Krynauw and Anderson (2000)
concluded that development proposals in Pretoria should only take place after consultation.
The reasons for the apparent importance of public participation and consultation in South Africa are
complex. One reason could be the strong civic structures which developed during the resistance

UTRG Working Paper 3 14
period of South African politics, and the traditional lack of representivity for communities at a
political level, which lead to a deep distrust of those government structures. During the transition
period, when there was a move towards democracy, but incomplete representivity, it became
important for planners to consult widely in order to ensure acceptance of proposals. Thus there is a
history of public participation, but insistence on the need for it persists today, despite an apparent
democratic political structure.
Elsewhere, broader participation in the decision-making processes has been noted in Ghana, Metro
Manila and, to an extent, Faislabad. It has also been called for in Santiago (Koprich, 1994;
Rivasplata, 1996), and in India (Datta, 1998). The Urban Transport Project in Ghana (Kwakye et al,
1997) has used a sociologist and a non-motorised expert in engaging the local communities in the
design of non-motorised paths and local road networks, and this process is said to have lead to some
design adaptations. The Sub Saharan Africa Transport Project (SSATP) has concluded that in the
long run, reaching consensus by involving main stakeholders in the improvement process offers the
best chance of reaching solutions (Bultynck, 1998). Outside of Africa, Metro Manila adopted a
systematic participation process in order to assess the transport problem, identify solutions and, it was
hoped, achieve a new level of responsibility and understanding about urban transport with the
participants who were all, in some way involved in decision-making for urban transport (Ernst, 1998)
Hence it can be seen that, despite the acknowledged importance of political matters in transport
planning; the need for greater ‘ownership’ of urban transport problems and participation by main
stakeholders in projects, methods for involving key decision-makers, and the public, in the transport
planning process are poorly defined and only sporadically implemented.
In summary, we can conclude that:
 urban transport planning is an inherently political exercise, and this needs to be accounted for in
the planning process.
 lack of political will can be a problem, and so consensus building and participation strategies
form a key part of the planning process.
 policy goals need to be concrete, clear, well communicated, and adapted through an on-going
monitoring process.
 there are few existing guidelines to help transport planners in achieving the above.
3.7 Planning philosophy, procedures and techniques
Generally speaking transport planning approaches have been imported from the developed world, and
have been implemented with some refinement for local conditions. However, a number of authors
have questioned the validity of using this approach. Dimitriou (1990) is a particularly vocal
opponent, and says that conventional approaches to transport planning are inappropriate to Third

World countries, and part of the reason for this is the lack of institutional resources for planning, co-
ordination and management. Vasconcellos criticises conventional approaches for being unreasonable

in a Third World context (1996), and that a lack of reliable data can lead to ‘absurd’ results. He notes
that the approaches were invented and adjusted mainly for European and North American conditions,
which are dominated by considerations of accommodating the car, in an environment of high car
ownership. Others have similarly criticised the application of conventional planning techniques to the
developing world context (Thomson, 1983 cited in Atkins, 1986; Kane, 1998; Khisty, 1993).
In summary, we can conclude that:
 Conventional planning processes are inappropriate to developing world conditions and need to be
re-evaluated.

UTRG Working Paper 3 15

3.8 Discussion of the review method
One of the conclusions of the review which informed this working paper is that there are very few
urban transport success stories noted in the literature. By contrast, the number of case studies which
report problems are very large but many of them describe technological aspects and relatively few
describe the institutional, financial and political aspects which were the interest of this particular
piece of work. There are a number of reasons why so few success stories are reported in the
literature. The most obvious one is that there has actually been very little success in the developing
world in the urban transport sector. However, there are perhaps other reasons for the lack of reported
success in the developing world. One reason could be the difficulty which developing world
researchers find in undertaking relevant case study research and then publishing the outcomes. Lack
of institutional organisational and human capacity at the city level has been widely reported in this
review and this issue would also contribute to a lack of published papers. In addition to lack of
human capacity, there may also be problems in obtaining the necessary research resources which
enable papers to be written.
Secondly, there is the issue of language. Since large parts of Africa have their main published
language as French, and of course large parts of Latin America would be published largely in Spanish
or Portuguese, this would preclude much information related to this piece of work. It is interesting to
note, for example, that the Curitiba success story which is so widely quoted has, as one of its source
documents, a publication which originated in the United States, not Brazil. Similarly, Ghana, which
has received a relatively large amount of attention in the literature, has done so through partnership
with a British organisation, the Transport Research Laboratory via a World Bank funded project. If
this literature review was extended to include languages other than English, and if role-players were
directly contacted, then some more useful case studies could perhaps be found.

UTRG Working Paper 3 16

4. COMPARING REVIEWS OF INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
4.1 Introduction
Five authors were found during the review who had also attempted to summarise traits for
institutional success. These authors were Barat (1990); Bultynck (1992); and Diaz Padilla and
Autheurs (2000); and Vasconcellos (2001). Their work is considered in turn..
4.2 Barat’s (1990) Work
Barat examined case studies of urban transport across the developing world and reached seven
conclusions regarding deficiencies in the urban transport institutional planning frameworks in Third
World cities. He said that in general there was:
1. An undue influence of the highway planners over the more complex arena of urban transport,
leading to highway design methods and ideas dominating urban transport planning. Specifically
this has lead to urban transport being dominated by capital intensive projects.
2. Centralised control of urban transport projects, with central authorities imposing their decisions
and local bodies resisting the imposition and lacking commitment to implement.
3. Adoption of structures which mimic developed world situations, but without the pre-requisite
levels of administrative and professional skill to ensure such structures can be successful.
4. Shortage of municipal administrative and professional staff exacerbating the problem.

5. Insufficient clarity about roles and responsibilities between agencies, and subsequent poor co-
ordination.

6. A tendency to pass the responsibilities of under-performing planning agencies to poorly resourced
new agencies, or to older, more established bodies, with attendant problems of poor
accountability for urban transport.
7. A domination of the sector by projects rather than plans, a tendency reiterated by politicians and
outside donors.
4.3 Bultynck’s (1992) Work

Bultynck presented the outcome of a study which studied the public transport systems in 12 Sub-
Saharan African cities during the decade 1980-1990. On the basis of this work he suggested a ‘5C’

framework for the sustained development of public transport in Sub-Saharan Africa:
1. Complementarity between the informal and formal sectors, that is, accepting the roles each have
to play, but requiring the local authority to clearly demarcate those roles.
2. Co-ordination of the public transport sector.
3. Coherent objectives, that is, Government needs to balance its role as regulator with an historical
tendency to control public transport, which can be detrimental.
4. Control over the execution of Government measures by management training, improved
information and continuity of fewer policies and regulations.
5. Credibility of operations. This can be achieved by allowing operators to manage their own affairs
whilst developing productivity via human capital development; regular maintenance and
commercially-minded management of the system.
4.4 Diaz Padilla and Autheurs’ (2000) Work

UTRG Working Paper 3 17
These authors examined critical success factors for public transport by examining three diverse case
studies in Eindhoven, London and Curitiba, and attempted to apply them to a public transport system
in Mexico. They devised eight ‘critical success factors’ which are both institutional and ‘technical’,
that is, they are implementable in a physical sense. All eight are listed below:
1. Political decisions as the first step of public transport developments. A political decision was
found to have been the starting point for public transport development in the case studies.
2. Central Planning Authority (CPA) as an essential element for integrated public transport. The
authors identified that this CPA must be truly centralised and comprise a multi-disciplinary team,
which has power to implement decisions and the support of political parties, to allow continuity
required for the development of long term projects.
3. Dynamic relationship between land-use and transport. It is speculated that a better understanding
of this relationship will lead to better long term planning.
4. Quantitative Analysis “a necessary but limited tool”. Traditional quantitative analysis was seen
as a necessary tool but one which should be complemented with more qualitative and dynamic
analytical work.
5. Parallel strategy of “push and pull” incentives. By this the authors are referring to the need to
raise the price of private vehicle travel in order to ‘push’ users onto the system whilst also
‘pulling’ them with public transport improvements.
6. Qualitative analysis: representation of end-users. There is a need to re-focus the analysis on the
end-user, the customer, and to move away from considerations based purely on achievement of
measurable efficiencies.
7. The end-user as an active participant in the planning process. The end-users are also neglected in
the planning process, are often not given an opportunity to participate in the process, and
generally are not influential in system design. If public transport systems are to be more attractive
then this must change.
8. Dynamic monitoring system. This involves the monitoring of data on revenues and usage and
then to use this data to reconsider plans of to replan accordingly.
4.5 Vasconcellos’s (2001) Work
The major institutional challenge in the view of Vasconcellos is unco-ordinated policy. In making
proposals for institutional change Vasconcellos (2001:258) proposes that cities of small, medium and
large size need to be considered separately. In small to medium cities he proposes the definition of
one single public agency to deal with all urban issues, including transport. In large areas he proposes
separate arrangements for each area, whilst taking care not to subjugate comprehensive action. With
metropolitan areas he acknowledges an even greater challenge which perhaps can be addressed
through open-ended decision-making processes and broad forms of social involvement, to avoid
powerful parties taking over. He guards against the type of transport authorities found in Europe,
arguing that they are not suited to the political culture of conflict found in developing counties.
4.6 Common Arguments
The observers discussed in this section, and the conclusions from the earlier sections, advocate the
following regarding urban transport institutions:
1. More attention needs to be given to political issues in urban transport, including the apparent
lack of political will to implement projects or programmes in this sector.
2. More clarity is required on the roles and responsibilities of agencies in transport, and in the
definition and communication of policy goals. Those working in urban transport need
assistance in order that they can assist with this process.
3. At present there is an absence of experience in public participation in urban transport planning,
which may be one reason for problems in implementation. Again, those in urban transport need

UTRG Working Paper 3 18
to become more skilled in consensus building, and the development of relationships with
systems operators and users.
4. The need for institutional change is a strong theme, and institutional fragmentation and lack of
co-ordination or integration is criticised. More attention is required in this area. Case-studies
from the developing world of the implementation of strong co-ordination could be valuable.
5. There needs to be greater emphasis placed on the development of local staff to undertake urban
transport work through well-targeted local training and the very careful use of consultants and
expatriate staff.
6. Successful models of effective public transport regulation, and enforcement of that regulation,
are not common and where they exist need to be publicised.
7. In particular, methods for integrating the informal sector into the formal sector are required, as
this is a particularly problematic area.
8. Feasible ways of addressing the funding crisis need to be found and it would be valuable to
publicise case studies from developing countries where earmarking of funding has led to
substantial improvements, in order to convince decision-makers of its necessity. Public-private
sector partnerships appear to be a growing tool for assisting with funding, and more information
is needed on this area.
9. Generally, the methods used for planning in the developing world are inappropriate and new
approaches need to be defined. In particular, transport planning methods in which funding and
resource considerations are considered in the early stages, and which include on-going feedback
and monitoring, should be explored.
10. Low-cost measures for urban transport appear to be one positive method for improving urban
transport in developing countries. They deserve a much higher profile and increased
investigation.

UTRG Working Paper 3 19

5. A REVIEW OF INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA

5.1 Introduction
In the fluid South African urban transport environment new institutions are being created in the wake
of the legislation and policy described in Working Paper 2 of this series. In this section key
documents related to institutional arrangements are presented: critical Aide Memoires written by the
World Bank in the early 1990s; the National White Paper on Transport (1996); the Moving South
Africa strategy document (1999); and the National Land Transport Transition Act (2000).
5.2 Critical Review of Institutional Arrangements in South Africa in the early 1990s
In 1991 the World Bank sent to South Africa the first of three Missions to comment on the transport

sector and so form an important contribution to the development of new transport policy in post-
apartheid South Africa. The first mission, which visited South Africa in April/May and

November/December 1991 was an urban sector reconnaissance and as such focused on the urban
problems. The Aide Memoire which reported on the mission was broad ranging, and identified,
amongst many other issues, a fragmented institutional framework both between and within
government. Whilst private bus and train services for black workers lay with central government,
traffic management and municipal transport services lay with local authorities whilst land-use and
transport planning lay with regional government. The Aide Memoire identified this arrangement as a
severe handicap to comprehensive transport and land-use planning and management. At that time the
Mission stated that:
“Urban transport policy can only be implemented when responsibilities for all public transport
services, parking, traffic restraint, traffic management etc. are vested in the same body. This body

should also control pricing policy and fares and have close liaison with the body responsible for land-
use utilization”.

With respect to institutional matters the mission of 1991 identified a need for devolution of power for
management and planning; training to develop local level skill gaps; and the addressing of funding
problems. In 1993 another Mission visited South Africa, to continue the urban sector work of 1991.
The work focused on analysing the policy framework currently guiding the urban economy with a
particular emphasis on spatial structure and local government finance. This mission re-iterated
devolution of planning powers and believed that transport planning would be done most effectively at
a local authority level. With respect to funding, progressive taxation was promoted, such as fuel
levies, new vehicle levies and increased parking charges.
By 1995 a newly elected government was in place and the scope of the third mission was more
specific, and its recommendations broader ranging. The objectives of this mission were to:
 develop a framework of policies for urban passenger transport in South Africa;
 identify short-term transition issues that might impede the implementation of policies; and
 suggest demonstration projects that would assist in managing transition.

Again fragmentation of responsibilities was highlighted as a problem and the mission noted “no co-
ordination between commuter rail, municipal bus, private bus and combi-taxi services”. The transport

inefficiencies were seen to be exacerbated by “uncoordinated and inefficient responses to user
demands”. The mission reiterated earlier concerns about fragmentation of responsibilities between
the various tiers of government and went on to criticize the complex administration boundaries
making co-ordinated planning and administration “virtually impossible”.

UTRG Working Paper 3 20
The Mission described a number of principles which, if adopted, would contribute to the efficacy,
integrity and viability of a subsidy policy. They called for clarity in policy; transparency in allocation
of money and political accountability. They also called for the separation of public transport
operators and a regulatory body for them. Devolution, mentioned earlier was discussed in relation to
financial needs, that is, if responsibilities are devolved there is a concomitant requirement on national
government to financially support lower levels until responsibility and fiscal capability is clarified.
5.3 White Paper on National Transport Policy (1996)
The White Paper was detailed, and much of the work was subsequently superseded by the Moving
South Africa project and the National Land Transport Transition Act, however it is noteworthy that
the White paper identified the past role of government was one of “regulator of bureaucratic detail, a
provider of infrastructure, and a transport operator, but … weak in policy formulation and in strategic
planning”. The thrust of the White paper is therefore towards a focus for national government on
policy and substantive regulations, with a fresh emphasis on strategic planning. This required (and
subsequently lead to) a restructuring of transport departments throughout government, and the
promotion of the Moving South Africa project. To promote co-ordination across provincial
boundaries and with national authorities a ‘Ministerial Conference of Ministers of Transport
(MINCOM) was established, and still remains.
5.4 Moving South Africa
The Moving South Africa Project was an attempt to develop a strategic framework to move forward
the vision set out in the White Paper. It was written up in two documents: a draft “Towards a
Transport Strategy for 2020”, which was released for public comment in September 1998 and
“Moving South Africa: The Action Agenda. A 20 year strategic framework for transport in South
Africa”. (MSA) This section focuses on the latter report, published in May 1999, which was adopted
by the national Department of Transport as their Action Agenda.
The issue of institutional arrangements is mentioned throughout the MSA document, but is discussed
in some detail in the chapters “Foundations of the Moving South Africa Strategy” and “Integrating the
Strategic Framework”. Within the context of a reorientation of transport towards customer needs, the
need for an integrated vision and strategy are repeatedly described. Government’s role in is seen to
require five steps:
1. The establishment of a clear vision.
2. The establishment of strong institutions
3. The setting of clear rules for reinforcing the vision
4. The development of human capacity
5. The measuring and monitoring of performance.

(Page 21, Moving South Africa The Action Agenda, 1999)

The ‘foundation’ for the visions is seen to rest on four ‘pillars.:
 Customer demand conditions
 Input factor conditions
 Industry structure
 Institutional and regulatory structure
It is argued that certain system-wide issues also need to be addressed: physical infrastructure; human
capacity development; externalities (such as safety and the environment); and a funding framework
for transport. The institutional aspects of these topics are dealt with in turn below.

UTRG Working Paper 3 21
5.4.1 Customer demand conditions
MSA considers customers of the SA transport system to be disempowered and weakly organized. The
upgrading of customer power is seen to be a precondition for improvement to the transport system.
Means of achieving this are seen to be via the consolidation of users into high volume systems, and
the promotion of innovative competition. There must also be transparent decision-making, with
transparent funding and pricing systems. Transport authorities need to provide information regarding
performance and cost of the system to the customers.
5.4.2 Input factor condition
‘Input factors’ relate, in the case of transport, to human resource capacity and infrastructure. These
are considered separately, in turn, below. Firstly, within the new roles assigned to National
government as a result of the White Paper, critical human capacity gaps have emerged. This requires
a skills development strategy able to anticipate and respond to changes in skills requirements. The
NDoT’s role in this is seen to be that of the facilitation of a common programme, throughout its
agencies. Carefully selected demonstration projects are seen as one vehicle for learning. Secondly,
there has been long-term under-investment in road infrastructure as a result of:
 Institutional considerations – fragmentation of authority, inefficient co-ordination and unclear
interpretation of policy;
 Insufficient human capacity at provincial and local levels to plan;
 Insufficient balance between road user costs and externalities; and
 Lack of adequate funding.
MSA recommends more co-ordination of prioritisation, while devolving specific responsibilities to
local government. Thirdly, MSA identifies that institutional reform is necessary in order to relocate
local rail responsibility with respective local authorities. Finally, the urban passenger strategy
advocates that decision-making about, and responsibilities for, planning, services and infrastructure be
located within a single institution at a local level – the transport authority.
5.4.3 Industry Structure
MSA calls for a competitive, customer orientated transport sector which is regulated only where
customer choices are not clearly in evidence.
5.4.4 Institutional and Regulatory Structure
The role for National government defined by Moving South Africa is that of a strategic player,
defining a vision, integrating functions, investing in development, defining rules, creating
transparency and enforcing regulations; promoting customer power and human resource development.
Implicit in this is the need for other institutions to address institutional reform. The constitution is
explicit on the requirement for co-operative governance, and MSA calls for co-operation between
transport and other line functions and within transport.
5.4.5 Externalities – safety and the environment
MSA suggests that the addressing of externality problems required the internalisation of costs and
‘institutional alignment’.
5.4.6 Funding Framework
Despite identifying funding as a core problem in under-investment in road infrastructure, MSA does
not propose a specific funding strategy, rather the document claims to ‘lay the foundations for such a
debate to occur’. They identify a number of challenges requiring additional funding, and the

UTRG Working Paper 3 22
possibility of moving towards ring-fenced funds, using user-charging as a means of raising revenue,
but the process of finalizing a funding strategy is left unresolved in the MSA document.
5.5 Current Institutional Arrangements: Legal Requirements
A brief synopsis of the institutional requirements of the National Land Transport Transition Act
(NLTTA) (22 of 2000) is given below. The stated purpose of NLTTA is to provide the measures
necessary to transform and restructure South Africa’s land transport system. Naturally a large
component of such a task requires institutional restructuring, and the principles of the Act include a
principle of the promotion of coordinated institutional functions in land transport; and an integration
of land transport functions with related functions such as land-use and economic planning and
development. Although the Act has been passed by the National Parliament, only parts of the Act are
enacted by the State President which means that at present the Urban Transport Act of 1977 is still in
effect. This Act requires the establishment of a ‘core city’ within a Metropolitan Transport Area,
which is mandated with some tasks of co-ordination of planning within the Area.
Part 5 of the Act allows that Transport Authorities (TA) may be established following a written
agreement between the MEC and local municipality/s. Such a transport authority is ‘juristic’ separate
from participating municipalities, and is governed by a body consisting solely of councillors from the
constituent municipalities. The agency performing the work of the TA can be either one or more
municipal administrations of the constituent municipalities or a separate transport executive. A
transport authority has certain duties including he development of transport plans and the supervision
of tender contracts for public transport. TAs may receive funding from the Minister, MECs and
municipalities, but there is no legal requirement for the funding of TAs, except where there work
relates to Ministerial of Provincial functions. (Part 6 (15)).
Although the establishment of TAs is not a requirement, the Act requires the establishment of
Provincial Operating Licensing Boards to oversee applications for licenses to operate inter and intra
provincial transport. This function can be delegated to a board under the auspices of the TA. (Part 8
(30)). Under the Act transport authorities may not operate any public transport service. (Part 10 (49))
Registrars must be appointed at Provincial and national level to process applications for registration
by members of the minibus-taxi industry. There also exist in the act a number of requirements for
mini-bus taxi associations.

UTRG Working Paper 3 23

6. CURRENT INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS: PRACTICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN
A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT

6.1 Introduction
The very recent introduction of legislation dictating institutional change in South Africa, and the slow
progress in enacting that legislation, means that concrete changes are few and, where they are exist,
not well established. To the author’s knowledge there has been no widespread review of the
implementation of the NLTTA. Some interesting examples of initiatives in the institutional arena
have been noted at the local Transport Conference and summaries are presented here. These are
intended to be indicative of local change only.
6.2 The Durban Unicity Transport Authority Process3
Under the auspices of the Land Transport Co-ordinating Committee, a study was undertaken of the
possible advantages and disadvantages of establishing a TA in a metropolitan area. Specific areas of
concern were:
 The lack of clarity in the NLTTA regarding funding (particularly given the importance
attached to sustainable funding by both the World Bank missions and the Transport White
Paper).
 Possible institutional fragmentation of land-use and transport planning
 Possible unco-ordinated outputs from different functional agencies.
 The fit between functions and resources, important given the lack of technical expertise in
most areas.
During the study these issues were considered with the institutional options available and the
legislative prerogatives and a recommendation was made that the best ‘model’ would be for a
Transport Authority consisting of councillors in a separate committee, served by a transport executive
working as an internal agency within the Unicity administration. This falls short of the draconian full
separation of authority and executive from the Unicity.
It is suggested that rail should remain as is for the time being, with the eventual intention to channel
all payments to the South Africa Rail Commuter Corporation via the transport authority. Given the
lack of clarity on funding the study recommends that there should be a Transitional Transport
Authority established, which would only become fully operational once funding was finalized.
6.3 The Johannesburg Roads Agency4
The Igoli 2002 plan presented programmes to address the financial and institutional problems faced in
that city. One programme provided for the establishment of ‘municipal agencies’ which could operate
along business lines in the provision of a service to a group of users. Senior employees receive
performance related contracts and the ‘business’ is customer focused. The agency budget is from the
local authority budget, whilst expenditure is monitored by a unit within the council.

3
See Peters, AM (2001) The Durban Metropolitan Unicity Municipality’s Transport Authority Process. South Africa
Transport Conference.
4
See Dlamini, MAV, Froneman, ZJ and Clarke, WSD (2001) Transformation of the Roads Delivery Process and System –
The Johannesburg Initiative. South African Transport Conference.

UTRG Working Paper 3 24
One such agency. The Johannesburg Roads Agency (Pty) Ltd was registered in November 2000. The
JRA employ 2230 employees, previously employed in the Roads and Stormwater/ Technical Services
departments of six previous local authorities. No major restructuring can take place for the first three
years of the JRA, due to protected contracts for staff.
The function of the JRA is “the management of municipal roads and traffic management systems”.
The planning function takes place within a planning division of the Unicity. Hence there is a
subdivision of responsibilities where the JRA ensures the efficiency of the transportation system
whilst the Unicity ensures the effectiveness of the system as presented in the Interim Transportation
Plans. Generally the Unicity’s functions are strategic, whilst the JRA is operationally focused. A
number of documents relating development management, road reserve management, traffic
engineering, pavement management and stormwater management detail the responsibilities of the
JRA and the Unicity.
6.4 Denneboom, Tshwane Public Transport Interchange Transport Management5
As a case-study in local area institutional issues, this section traces the progress of the development of
intermodal facilities at Denneboom (Mamelodi), which was subsequently adopted by the Greater
Pretoria Metropolitan Council as a model for the development and management of public passenger
transport facilities. In 1996 approval was given for the development of improved facilities at
Denneboom and this was followed in early 1997 by the formation of Denneboom Forum, to facilitate
stakeholder participation in the process. The Forum actively participated in the concept and detailed
planning of the project. Public were welcome to attend the project and in the early stages more than
150 people attended, although this later stabilized to around 50.
From the outset the project was viewed as an institutional project with the following deliverables:
 Establishment of a management structure
 Establishment of rules and procedures for taxis. Buses, hawkers and passengers;
 Preliminary operational phase aimed at support and monitoring.
The Forum resolved that the following principles should guide the operations and management of the
Interchange:
 Involvement of local stakeholders;
 Private sector funding for local commercial development opportunities;
 Effective participation of local entrepreneurs in the operation and maintenance of the facility;
 Municipal authority control over policy decision-making;
 Separation of policy-making, regulation and service delivery functions; and
 Retention of ownership by the municipal authority.
To support the work the Forum decided to adopt an institutional framework of two bodies: a Rank
Management Board to co-ordinate and regulate the facility; and a Property Development and
Management Company to take on responsibilities for commercial development and service delivery.
A diagram illustrating the arrangement is given below.

5
See Baloyi, D and Buiten, E (2001) Developing, Managing and Funding Public Passenger Transport Facilities: The
Tshwane Experience. South African Transport Conference

UTRG Working Paper 3 25

UTRG Working Paper 3 26

6.5 Centurion Road Network Development Forum6
The Centurion Road Network Development Forum (CRNDF) is part of the Urban development
branch of Centurion Town Council and comprises six groups: road access management committee;
traffic calming, safety and speed; road network operational working group; traffic signals and traffic
control working group; traffic signs and road markings working group; public passenger
transportation forum. This although its working title implies a road orientation, it includes public
transport issues in its remit.
The professed philosophy behind the Centurion planning approach is ‘delivery based integrated pro
active’. Integration comes from the efforts to involve and co-operate with ‘a wide spectrum of
stakeholders’ including the authorities with some influence in the area, other departments in council,
developers, politicians and operators of public transport. According to the authors the Road
Network Development Forum (RNDF) has developed a formal structure for the resolution of issues
affecting the Pretoria-Witwatersrand road network which has ‘proven to be a most successful
mechanism for conflict resolution and problem solving’. The authors make some suggestions to guide
other organisations: the development of an ‘ultra-long term vision’; an adaptable planning process, to
facilitate monitoring and review; a balance between local, regional and national needs; planning

within resource constraints; integrated environmental management; use of new technology; and land-
use and transportation integration. This paper does not detail how these things are achieved.

6
See Joubert, H S, Fourie, L, Coetzee, H and Roux, J N (2001). A Vision for Transportation System Planning for Centurion
in the New Millennium. South African Transport Conference

UTRG Working Paper 3 27

7. CONCLUDING REMARKS
The institutional aspects of the transportation problem are multi-faceted and often difficult to analyse
in a satisfactory way. This can be attributed to their nature, since most issues related to institutions
are embedded in human behaviour and as such are frequently changing and open to different
interpretations. Certainly for the typical transport planner, trained in quantitative skills and used to
solving technical problems, the illusive nature of management problems can be frustrating.
Nevertheless, as several authors have pointed out, institutional issues can be at the nub of real change
and so this is one area which required addressing, regardless of the difficulties.
In particular the funding of transport, which has been identified by a number of authors as crucial in

establishing sustainable systems of transport management, remains fragmented and poorly co-
ordinated. Bus and rail subsidies remain the responsibility of national government, and are not at all

linked to housing policy and practice. This on-going control of transport subsidy funds by national
government mean that local authorities have no lever over public transport in their areas, and no
power to use in the development of co-ordinated systems. The fuel price is effectively managed by
the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs, and so user pricing using a fuel levy is difficult. In
these circumstances the local authority has few tools to implement demand management through
pricing.
The international literature points to areas which require concerted effort (see pages 17-18) and the
comments of the World Bank missions to South Africa in the early 1990s, not surprisingly, endorse
these general conclusions. The Moving South Africa policy takes on board some of these points, but
the legislation makes only general moves in the direction of the required change. In particular the
matters of co-ordination between rail and road public transport; the funding strategy; and the
devolution of power to some co-ordinated structure remain unresolved.
Local authorities have made some independent moves towards new institutional arrangements, as
detailed in section 6. It is difficult to review these given the early stage of their development and the
indicative nature of the material available. Nevertheless, there appears to remain much scope for
improvement in the South African institutional systems, and the next 5 years will be important in this
regard. More work is needed in reviewing local examples of promising change in institutional
systems.

UTRG Working Paper 3 28

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