Commenting on the Department of Transport: Green Transport Strategy for South Africa (2018-2050). Minister of Transport Dr Blade Nzimande said; “South Africa is committed to providing a world class transport system that reduces both the cost of transport and the quantity of Greenhouse Gases (GHG), as well as other pollutants that are emitted by the sector.
“Emissions from the transport sector account for 10.8% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, with road transport being responsible for 91.2% of these GHG emissions (DEA, 2010). Should these trends continue in the absence of policies and measures, the transport sector is projected to emit a total of 136 Gg CO? eq by the year 2050 (DEA/GIZ: Mitigation Report, 2007).
“Our determination to improve the environment for benefits of present and future generations of humankind in accordance with Chapter 2 (S24) of the Constitution of South Africa is the foundation that the GTS is based on. The Department of Transport is therefore committed to making a significant impact in reducing GHG emissions and contributing to the reduction of South Africa’s total GHG emissions by committing to a 5% reduction of emission in the transport sector by 2050.
“This target is very ambitious and requires bold steps to be taken. These steps will include shifting passengers from private transport to public transport and freight from road to rail; switching to cleaner fuels and adopting new technologies such as alternative energy vehicles while making our cities and towns friendlier places for cyclists and pedestrians. The transformations that are required in the transport sector are challenging, but the benefits include a more efficient, less congested road network and improved air quality and public health.”
The overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion, as reflected in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is that climate change in the form of global warming is real and driven by emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activity. The single most important GHG is carbon dioxide (CO2) and the single most problematic GHG source is CO2 emissions, which are mostly emitted from the production and consumption of fossil fuels.
The report highlights a hurdle that South Africa needs to overcome with regards to the sale of electricity to Electric Vehicle owners by a third party: The Electricity Regulation Act, 2006 makes provision for the licensing of generation, transmission, distribution, export or import and trading activities with regard to electricity by the Energy Regulator. Electricity resale falls under trading activities, which need to be licenced (e.g. municipalities) or registered (e.g. high-density housing complexes, shopping malls or commercial property). Several requirements apply, including with regard to mark-up on cost (DTI, 2016).
Those of us singing from the Electric Vehicle Hymn Sheet will find comfort in the ever increasing taxes contemplated by the Department:
- Congestion tax: The department said that it will assist with ‘the development of regulatory and policy frameworks’ for levying a congestion charge on vehicles entering central business hubs. “Congestion zone taxing, however, will require supporting infrastructure – park and rides, integrated eco-mobility transport facilities, as well as bike and car share scheme development.”
- Environmental levy: The DoT plans to review the current levels of the environmental levy on new motor vehicle CO2 emissions and expand the tax to include commercial vehicles to more effectively influence energy efficiency and the environmental performance of the country’s vehicle fleet.
- Licensing system: The DoT plans to develop a ‘regulatory regime’ in consultation with National Treasury for the annual taxing of vehicles based on their emissions through the annual car licensing renewal system.”
- Fuel labels: The use of vehicle fuel economy norms and standards to label vehicles in terms of their fuel efficiency and emission standards will continue, the DoT said.
- Car life limits: The DoT plans to introduce car lifecycle limits on the road. Suggetsions include that a car with an engine with more than 400,000 km should be banned from the road, or scrapped – similar to the current taxi recap system.
- Freight: In consultation with cities, the DoT said it will assist with the development of regulations to ensure that freight vehicles may only enter urban hubs during off-peak hours.
Most proponents of EV’s will be disappointed to see that the ‘carrot’ incentives for owners are still not enough in comparison to other countries such as Norway who adopted a phased approach more than 20 years ago. (See Norway’s Strides HERE)
Download the full paper here: http://www.transport.gov.za/documents/11623/89294/Green_Transport_Strategy_2018_2050_onlineversion.pdf/