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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

versión On-line ISSN 2413-3051
versión impresa ISSN 1021-447X

J. energy South. Afr. vol.19 no.3 Cape Town  2008


Potential transportation measures to reduce South Africa's dependency on crude oil



M Vanderschuren; R Jobanputra; T Lane

Centre for Transport Studies, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Cape Town




Transportation, including the movement of people and freight, accounts for over 60% of all oil consumed globally, and the world's transportation systems are over 90%o dependent on oil and oil byproducts. Oil represents the single largest item on South Africa's import account. Gasoline and diesel fuels, which are almost exclusively used for transportation services, form a significant proportion of these imports.
Globally, transport systems have been built on an over-reliance on cheap oil, allowing towns, cities and the movement of people and goods to be designed around the automobile. People in most South African cities require the use of motorised transport in order to travel efficiently, as public transport systems either do not exist, are too sparse or are difficult to use in many areas.
The predicted depletion of oil and thus rising prices will significantly affect the choice of transportation systems and their use, as well as increase South Africa's vulnerability to 'oil shocks'. Transport planning policies must, therefore, prepare for the likelihood of such shocks and ameliorate them via policy options. A precautionary approach needs to be adopted to reduce our dependency on oil.
This paper addresses the global shift towards the reduction of transport's dependency on, or reduction in, oil consumption and describes potential ways in which South Africa can reduce its oil dependency along with an indication of a timeframe for implementation.

Keywords: transport, energy impacts, alternative fuels, fuel efficiency



Full text available only in pdf format.




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Received 18 January 2008
Revised 28 July 2008