SABOA Conference hosts experts in public road transport


The Southern African Bus Operators Association (SABOA) is hosting its annual conference from 31 July to 1 August 2019 at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria. This annual event is one of the highlights of the industry and attendees will include bus operators, bus manufacturers, support service/product suppliers, industry academics, government departments and agencies. The conference has proven itself over the years as the ultimate networking event for current stakeholders, those seeking to break into the industry and the general public.
The keynote speaker of the conference is Mr Ibou Diouf (Head of African Transport Policy Programme: World Bank). He will speak on “The Role of Public Transport in Sustainable Urban Development in Africa”. This is an issue that requires considerable attention because currently, 50% of the world population lives in urban area and this amount will increase to 6 billion and Africa will be affected proportionally. The anticipated infrastructural needs will also fall on the public transport sector, meaning that forward planning is critical. Congestions and pollution are only some of the challenges. Conference attendees will get first- hand information on how best to prepare respectively.  

Three government entities are also confirmed for the plenary sessions. The Department of Transport will be represented by Mr Themba Tenza (Acting Deputy DG: Integrated Transport Planning) to give some insight into whether the Draft Revised White Paper on National Transport Policy can adequately address the basic accessibility needs of the South African people for the next 20 years.

Public transport funding is critical to the effective functioning of the sector and the National Treasury will shed some light on what stakeholders can expect going forward. The Competition Commission’s Evidence Leader, Mr Itumeleng Lesofe, will also provide an update on the Public Transport Market Inquiry launched to investigate a combination of features in the land-based public passenger transport sector that may prevent, distort or restrict competition within the sector; and how it aims to achieve the purposes of the Act. 

Vehicles operating on South African roads are required to conform to the compulsory specifications and standards, which affects the safety critical characteristics of vehicle and its components. The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, is the inspectorate responsible for ensuring compliance of vehicles and will address homologation requirements and challenges thereof in the industry. 

Passenger road safety is an ongoing concern as reckless driving habits are responsible for accidents on a daily basis. To try and curb these unnecessary accidents, the Road Traffic Management Corporation has drafted an Administrative Adjudication of the Road Traffic Offences Amendment. Mr Thabo Tsholetsane (Chief Operations Officer: Road Traffic Infringement Agency) will provide an update at the conference, on the progress towards the implementation of a demerit point system.

A case study on a pilot project to implement CNG conversions that will see the Johannesburg Metropolitan (Metrobus) fleet going green, is currently underway. This involves the conversion of some of the current diesel run buses to Dual Diesel Fuel, a technology that allows for the substitution of fossil fuel diesel with natural gas, which emits less carbon into the atmosphere. Mr Vusi Sithole (Acting Information Officer: Joburg Metrobus) will share details of the project undertaken in partnership with the University of Johannesburg.

The packed programme will also include presentations on “Enterprise Development as a B-BBEE Empowerment Tool” from Empowerdex: and “Update on Road Traffic and Transport Legislation “by Ms Alta Swanepoel, Alta Swanepoel & Associates; and “Benchmarking South African BRT’s Against International Systems” by Mr Christo Venter, University of Pretoria.

A highly anticipated panel discussion on the “Industry Perspective on Government’s Requirement for a 30% Set-Aside for SMME’s In Bus Commuter Contracts” will be facilitated by Mr Jack van der Merwe and include panellists: Nazeem Dollie, Overland Tours; Norah Fakude-Nkuna, Buscor (Pty) Ltd; Imogene Mncwango, Gauteng Women in Transport; Sidwell Nche, City Road Trans Service; and Andrew Sefala, Putco Ltd.

The gala dinner on the 31 July will be the perfect networking opportunity for attendees. During the night of a three-course dinner and entertainment, guests will mingle and get a chance to exchange valuable wisdom on strategy, tactics and operations in the industry. 

In conjunction to the informative conferencing, SABOA also presents the largest trade exhibition related to the bus industry in SA.  Confirmed exhibitors at this year’s event include:

•    AON South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Shaw Almex Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Bridgestone South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Busmark 2000 (Pty) Ltd
•    Ebus Supplies (Pty) Ltd
•    Iveco South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Garage Bequipment Service (Ges) (Pty) Ltd
•    K3 Brokers (Pty) Ltd
•    Kentkart South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Man Automotive South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Marcopolo South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    MCV South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Mercedes Benz South Africa Limited
•    Mobility Insurance Underwriting Managers (Pty) Ltd
•    Scania South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Standard Bank Of South Africa Limited
•    Tata Automobile Corporation (Sa) (Pty) Ltd
•    Tick Tech Profit Maximiser
•    Vix Technology South Africa (Pty) Ltd
•    Vne Commercial (Pty) Ltd
•    Voith Turbo (Pty) Ltd
•    Yutong South Africa – Bus Africa Importation (Pty) Ltd
•    ZF Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd


The Southern African Bus Operators Association (SABOA) was formed in 1980 to represent the interests of the public transport industry at government level as well as among its stakeholders. SABOA represents about 920 bus operators who collectively operate approximately between 13 000 and 14 000 buses.

SABOA is the credible voice of an inclusive, efficient, sustainable and transforming bus and coach industry. It plays a pivotal role in an integrated transport system through safe, reliable and affordable bus and coach services that add value, and are attractive to stakeholders

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