The growth of Africa’s middle class is to improving investor confidence, financial inclusion and contribution toward the formal economy and is, therefore, of the utmost importance to economic development. The emergence of this middle class has led to rapid urbanisation, with most seeking a better future and job prospects in the developed cities.
Research shows that by 2030, more than 50% of Africa’s population will be living in cities. “This mass migration is already placing strain on the existing infrastructure. Available resources and the present modes of transportation are simply not equipped to accommodate the projected volumes. This is a challenge for most emerging countries including South Africa,” commented Lawrence Kandaswami, managing director, SAP South Africa.
Cities need to develop and evolve just as rapidly, to accommodate the needs of the new urbanites that trade in the city. Technology has an important role to play, particularly in terms of transporting these urbanites. If the countries in Africa achieve this goal, technological innovation has the potential to bring about sustainable economic advancement with equal opportunity and quality of life for passengers.
What are the driving forces behind the need to transform public transport?
• Rapid urbanisation and changing regulations shifting the risks to industry;
• Pressure on public cost and subsidies, driving the need for innovative approaches to future revenue streams;
• Increased emphasis on supporting and evolving existing platforms;
• Travellers’ need for efficiency and transparency in pricing, including one-stop booking of travel with consistent pricing across various channels;
• Clear understanding of the various options for multi-trip or single trips across various providers.
The use of innovative technology emerges as an ideal solution to help transform the transportation industry, by driving a world class service through real-time collaboration and monitoring and providing insights to improve service delivery and enable cost reductions.
Transformation of transport systems
Recent advances in technology and rapid adoption of smartphones have led to the connected traveler, who has constant access to information via social and other channels. As a result, transport organisations are now able to deliver a personalised engagement, tailored to the needs of the individual passenger.
Kandaswami added that “there is a sense of urgency for transportation authorities and cities to transform their business processes in order to accommodate the needs of citizens for a reliable and accessible transport system. Technology has an important role to play in this transformation process by providing the underlying platform that supports the industry with an integrated system connecting all modes transport around the cities.”
Pioneering technologies such as the integrated SAP industry software for travel and transportation, for instance, provide a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that allows transport organisations to plan, schedule, predict and react with real-time insights to passenger behavior, travel patterns and transportation network conditions.
The benefits of a digitally transformed and integrated public transport system:
• A transport provider network that is inclusive of all modes of transport;
• Transport is integrated therefore accessible, reliable, affordable and efficient;
• Development of new skills with the promise of further job creation;
• Provide the passenger with multi-touch points to create a seamless travel experience;
• A 360-degree view of the passenger to accommodate for varying traveler needs.
Technology is already helping the passenger travel industry across the world to deliver safety and a more integrated travel experience. SAP continues to invest in creating innovative solutions, which will enable sustainable economic growth for the continent’s people.
Cape Town – South African Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa has thanked South African citizens for “making tourism the successful sector that it is”.
“As 2015 draws to a close,” she says, “we as the Tourism family would like to extend our warmest wishes to the nation, the continent and our international visitors and to say thank you.”
Xasa encouraged South Africans to relax after a hard year’s work, but urged travellers to exercise caution and be safe during the festive period.
“Drive carefully and be safe on the roads. Look after our children this festive season. Practice responsible tourism and treasure our resources like water, guard against accidentally causing fires that can ravage our flora and fauna. Be mindful of your carbon footprint – so that we preserve our attractions for future generations,” Xasa pleads.
In the beginning of December this year, News24 published a report stating that 13 273 people died on South African roads in the 2015, with 58% of those in alcohol-related deaths.
This statistic placed South Africa among the leading countries with the worst alcohol-related fatalities in the world, according to the 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Since the start of the holiday season, at least 720 people more have been killed on the country’s roads, EWN reports.
This year, with the full moon and Spring Tide falling exactly on Christmas Day, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) too has urged the public to be extra careful.
The full moon Spring Tide will peak on Christmas Day and the high tide will gradually get higher each day and low tide will gradually get lower each day, building up to a peak on Christmas Day. These higher than normal high tides and the lower than normal low tides will last for at least the next ten days, the NSRI warned.
The Cape tourism sector has remained buoyant despite numerous challenges facing the industry.
Cape Town had experienced steady growth in tourism numbers since 2012, resulting in an increase in the direct tourism spend from R14.4 billion in 2012 to R15.6 billion in 2014, according to research conducted by Grant Thornton, on behalf of the city, over a three-year period.
Of the 1,745,300 foreign arrivals to the Western Cape, just over 94 percent (1,645,469) chose Cape Town as their holiday destination, mayoral committee member for tourism, events, and economic development Garreth Bloor said.
The domestic tourism market also remained buoyant, with 863,351 visitors making their way to the city, representing an increase of just over 191,000 domestic visitors.
“For the first time, the research has identified the spend by domestic travellers on day trips to Cape Town, which amounted to R3.2 billion in 2013. This underscores the importance of not underestimating day trips to the city. We need to take cognisance of the bigger picture – although day visitors do not spend on overnight accommodation, they spend on the city’s attractions, restaurants, local transport, and shopping, among others. At R3.2 billion per year, this is a significant contribution to the economy of Cape Town,” he said.
“This spending power of all visitors to our city helps to stimulate local job creation. We have seen an encouraging upward trend over the last few years, with the number of jobs increasing steadily. Currently there are 38,838 permanent jobs and 15,489 temporary jobs created in the local tourism sector. I am pleased to see this positive trend, especially during the tough economic climate that we are facing currently. Sustainable job creation is a huge challenge so every job created is most welcomed.”
A phenomenal 28,000,000 domestic trips were taken in South Africa in 2014 and there were 10,247,614 foreign arrivals to the country for the same period.
Key findings presented with regard to domestic tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape for 2013/14, included the total direct tourism spend by domestic travellers to Cape Town was R1.9 billion, and the number of domestic bed nights on trips to Cape Town increased by 4.2 percent to 5,467,956.
Domestic overnight spend in Cape Town had grown by 10.8 percent per annum between 2009 and 2014, compared with growth in total domestic spend of 3.7 percent. With an assumed inflation rate of around five percent, the growth in domestic overnight spend in Cape Town represented real growth of 5.8 percent per annum.
The main purpose of domestic trips taken to the Western Cape was generally to visit family or relatives (60 percent), followed by 23 percent travelling to take a holiday. There was a much higher incidence of trips to the Western Cape being taken for holiday purposes as compared with South Africa as a whole.
Key findings regarding foreign tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape for 2013/14, included the total direct tourism spend by foreign visitors to Cape Town topped R13.6 billion, and foreign direct tourism spend in Cape Town had increased by 3.9 percent per annum between 2009 and 2014.
The number of bed nights occupied by foreign arrivals in Cape Town increased to 15,514,877 from 13,392,566 in 2013 – an increase of 2.1 million bed nights. The Western Cape share of foreign bed nights was 22,409,196 for this period.
“It is also interesting to note the shift in the visitor profile of foreign visitors to our shores. We have noticed a trend over the last few years whereby our travellers are much younger today. One of the reasons is that South Africa is known as an adventure destination, attracting younger and more active foreign tourists searching for diverse experiences and holidays that are not offered elsewhere,” Bloor said.
In keeping with the trend of the past few years, more than 60 percent of foreign visitors to South Africa were between 24 and 44 years old, with the majority (32.1 percent) being between 35 and 44. This was closely followed by 31.8 percent in the 25 to 34 age group. Only 10.5 percent of foreign visitors were 24 or younger.
Just over 30 percent of foreign travellers indicated that their primary purpose for travelling was to visit friends. This was followed by 19.1 percent of foreign travellers to South Africa for holiday purposes and 14.2 percent travelling for personal shopping purposes, Bloor said.