First and foremost, the RRA is the voice of the industry. We aim to promote the common interests of our members.
South Africa has the 15th largest railway network in the world. Of the total 20 000km, only half is in regular use.
We therefore aim to ensure the growth and development of the rail industry in South Africa and in the rest of the continent. This by creating a transparent, fair and competitive environment within the rail industry, unlocking business opportunities for our members, and wherever possible, assisting members to expand their businesses.
Here are some of the general activities we pursue on behalf of our members:
- As an advocacy group, the RRA makes every effort to have the rail industry’s opinions heard and concerns heeded. To this end, our efforts include:
- Considering existing legislation and influencing proposed legislation related to transport, and taking such steps as may be necessary to advocate for the interests of the RRA members, e.g. lobbying for the reduction of permit fees to lower the cost of transport for domestic and import/export traffic
- Obtaining consistency in the application of rail policies, safety, education and training, information and communication, regulation and technical specifications in the industry, e.g. championing the development and application of local (instead of US or European) industry standards
- Generally influencing national and international issues affecting rail
- Enhancing the reputation of rail as a safe, competitive, environmentally friendly alternative to road transport – reduces truck numbers on the roads, lessening greenhouse gas emissions while preserving road surfaces
- Ensuring that the rail industry’s contribution to the economy and society in general is known and appreciated
- The government created Export Councils to improve communication and co-operation within different industrial sectors in terms of strategies for penetrating international markets. As an Export Council, the RRA is mandated to represent the South African railway industry with the objective of promoting the industry as a competitive exporter of products and services. We help our members position themselves to enter the export arena. We are an integral part of government’s plan to grow exports, diversify the South African product offering, broaden markets and enhance the exporter base through the mobilisation of black-, women- and youth-owned enterprises.
- The RRA seeks to provide a forum in which all our members actively cultivate contacts outside their sub-sector silos, understand their industry-wide common interests, and explore opportunities for co-operation and collaboration for mutual benefit.
- We were instrumental in getting a large foreign OEM to withdraw their application for exemption from localisation requirements, and in the process saved the country R5bn in foreign exchange and created more jobs locally.
- We hosted the first localisation workshop for the rail industry; its success led to the dti to avail funds to conduct local content verification
- We participated in the Intra-Africa trade fair, IATF 2018, accompanied Minister Rob Davies, unearthing business opportunities across the continent
- While exhibiting at the SARA Rail Conference and Exhibition in May 2018, we successfully negotiated discounted exhibition fees for our members
- In 2018 we opened business opportunities for our members in Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Djibouti and Ethiopia