National Transport Month raises awareness on the important role of transportation in the economy and encourages participation from civil society and business, including the provision of a safe and more affordable, accessible and reliable transportation system. The month is also used to engage in extensive campaigns showcasing progress achieved in various transportation programmes and projects.
October was declared National Transport Month in 2005.
“Transport Month is important for the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) and the chemical industry as we deal with the transportation of hazardous materials. These materials pose specific risks that make it essential for hauliers and logistics service providers to have management systems in place to identify and control these risks.
“Failure to do so can cause harm to people, animals, property and the environment in the event of an accident,” says Deidré Penfold, Executive Director of CAIA.
In 1994 CAIA launched the Responsible Care® Initiative in South Africa, the global chemical industry’s unique initiative to improve health, safety and environmental performance and to communicate with stakeholders about products and processes.
All CAIA members voluntarily sign the CAIA Responsible Care® Declaration, pledging to conduct all operations, including the transportation of hazardous materials, in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner and to incorporate the Responsible Care® ethics and requirements into its business strategy, management system and daily operations.
South Africa is well served by an extensive road and rail network, but there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed, says Penfold.
“Our transport logistics sector grows rapidly, but the high cost of logistics services and a lack of skilled workers in the cargo logistics industry need attention to support our economy.
“Viewing these challenges as opportunities for growth and future prosperity will eventually help South Africa compete with the best in terms of transport on all levels,” says Penfold.