Authors: M Mashiri, B Mpondo, J Chakwizira, & D Mdunge

Keyword: access to transport, affordable transport, public transport, safe transport, South Africa

SDG: SDG11

Agenda 2063: A1, A2

This paper revolves around the data-driven development of an integrated rural transport plan (IRTP) for King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality (KSD) in the Province of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. The IRTP's departure point is that there is a high socio-economic price to pay if the travel and transport needs of the poor rural majority are not adequately provided for. This realization compelled KSD to seek to craft an inclusive intervention regime with a view to not only to improving access to socio-economic opportunities, but also stimulating sustainable economic development. The KSD IRTP was thus structured around four strategic pillars, as follows: ? Establishing and strengthening KSD?s spatial logic through spatial reorganization by way of coordinated development of an interlinked network of rural service nodes and transportation linkages ? nodal and linkage development ? Improving access to socio-economic opportunities through not only integrated planning but also development of a responsive, balanced and sustainable transportation system ? Widening economic choices by ensuring that the plan stimulates and oils not just the mainstream economy, but also facilitates and entrenches KSD?s ?second economy?, and ? Establishing and nurturing a community-based service delivery agenda, especially given KSD?s privileged position not only at the epicentre of a relatively impoverished rural region, but also at the coal face of development endeavours. The KSD IRTP provides both strategic direction and operational guidance to the development of transport for sustainable rural development in KSD. As indicated above, it does this through the medium of strategic intervention pillars undergirding it. These pillars find expression in and are supported by the KSD IRTP Action Agenda. The KSD IRTP Action Agenda is an amalgam of proposed policy positions, supported by intervention options, which are in turn, buttressed and made operational through detailed specific action items. Finally, a selection of projects (which seek to find a balance between focusing on investment for economic growth and investment in social redistributive measures to ensure development endeavours also reach poor households in KSD) are drawn complete with indicative costs ? providing a blueprint for plan implementation.