Our History


In 1994 the Department's structure consisted of two Branches namely Land Transport and Civil Aviation and Shipping. The establishment consisted of 1383 posts. The Department had two DDG's with 7 Chief Directors and 15 Directors.

1996 - Rationalisation of Departmental Structures

During 1996 there was a call from Cabinet that posts had to be rationalised to cut on personnel expenditure. During this phase the Operational Licensing Boards were transferred to the Provinces, the transfer of this function left the Department with 1109 posts. However, the Department abolished vacant posts during December that year leaving an approved establishment of 1047 posts.

1998 - DoT structure focusing on policy and strategy formulation, regulation and safety and setting standards and guidelines

In terms of the White Paper on Transport Policy of 1996 (currently under review), the Department's primary role was reviewed and re-aligned to focus on policy and strategy formulation, regulation and safety as well as the setting of standards and guidelines. Through the establishment of four Agencies in 1998, the Department was enabled to reduce its direct involvement with the provision of infrastructure, services and operations.

The four agencies that were established were

  • South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL)
  • Cross-Border Road Transport Agency (CBRTA)
  • South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)
  • South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

The restructuring process of 1998 was geared at meeting the challenge of government to downsize employee numbers even further. This was achieved by leaving the Department with 250 posts and two Branches.

The Department's structure consisted of:

  • Administration headed by the Director General and supported by the Chief Director Corporate Support;
  • Branch: Policy, Strategy and Implementation headed by the Deputy Director General; and
  • Branch Regulation and Safety headed by the Deputy Director General.

1999- 2002 DoT structure dealing with Dangerous Goods and Rail Transport and Safety

The restructuring process during this period was not scientifically done and soon it became clear that the new structure could not make provision for any new key national service delivery challenges as identified by parliament. Over the period 1999 to 2002, various posts were created and added to the establishment. The Department became responsible for the transportation of Dangerous Goods and there was a Cabinet decision that the Department had to take responsibility for Rail Transport and Safety.

2003 - DoT structure taking care of transport infrastructure and the number of DDG posts increased to four (4)

The non-involvement of the Department in transport infrastructure forced the Department to review the structure and to make provision for those areas where there was a serious shortage of capacity. In 2003 the re-aligned structure was approved by the Minister of Transport, which expanded the structure to four Branches, as a decision was taken to provide a post of Deputy Director General for the Branch Administration, which was previously managed by the Director General. The establishment expanded to 462 posts.

The expansion was aimed at providing additional capacity in the following areas:

  • Aviation and maritime policy development;
  • Freight policy and planning
  • Rail policy and planning;
  • Ensure the promotion of integrated transport planning and integrated land transport infrastructure and operations; and
  • Overseeing and monitoring public entities/agencies reporting directly to the department.

The following branches were created on the structure:

  • Branch Administration;
  • Branch Transport Policy and Regulation;
  • Branch Land Transport Management; and
  • Branch Public Transport and Planning.

2004 – DoT structure dealing with freight logistics and transport planning and number of DDG posts increased to six (6)

The Department embarked on another round of re-structuring in 2004 and in August 2004 DoT's Structure expanded from 4 Branches to 6 Branches. This restructuring was aimed at strengthening Freight Logistics and creating a Branch dedicated to transport planning and infrastructure coordination. The post establishment was increased to 551 posts.

The Department consisted of the following Branches:

  • Branch Administration;
  • Branch Transport Policy and International and Regional Integration;
  • Branch Transport Regulation and Public Entity Oversight;
  • Branch Integrated Infrastructure Coordination;
  • Branch Freight Logistics and Corridor Development; and
  • Branch Public Transport.

The Railway Safety Regulator was established to oversee safety in the railway transport industry.

2005 - Establishment of the Road Traffic Management Corporation

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) was established in terms of Section 3 of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) Act, No. 20 of 1999, and commenced with the preparation of a Business Plan and Strategy for its operationalisation in April 2005.

2006 - Re-aligned Structure

The Minister of Transport approved a re-aligned structure on 16 May 2006 which was to be implemented in phases over three years. The re-aligned structure expanded the Department's establishment from 551 to 1021 posts in the various key areas. In Phase I, the establishment of the Department was expanded with 98 posts. Treasury approved partial funding for the new structure, which amounted to R20 million. An additional R9 million was appropriated through a re-prioritising exercise of the budget. Phase I was rolled out from June 2006. The objective of Phase I was to establish key management positions to initiate the focus areas as set out above. Phase II allowed the department to activate additional posts and the total number of posts in the Department stood on 671 activated posts. Some of the posts remained un-activated due to a lack of funds.

2007 - Ports Regulator

A new agency was added to the Department's stable in the form of the Ports Regulator of South Africa which was established under the provisions of the National Ports Act, 2005. Under this Act, the main functions of the Ports Regulator are to:

  • Exercise economic regulation of the ports system in line with government's strategic objectives;
  • Promote equity of access to ports and to facilities and services provided in ports;
  • Monitor the activities of the National Ports Authority to ensure that it performs its functions in accordance with this Act; and
  • Process complaints and appeals under the Ports Act.

2009-2011 New Service Delivery Model

Department restructured to a new service delivery model changing to the four modes of transport with the focus on Policy, Strategy and Regulation, Industry and Infrastructure Development and Safety, Security and Environment. The structure also includes Public Transport, Integrated Transport Planning for Coordination between the 4 modes of transport and the Transport Information Systems to provide effective ICT for the Department and supporting Agencies. The Agencies still the main deliverer of transport operations. The number of Transport Agencies has grown from the original 6 to 13.

They are as follows:

  • Airports Company of South Africa;
  • Air Traffic and Navigation Services;
  • South African National Roads Agency Limited;
  • South African Civil Aviation Agency;
  • South African Maritime Safety Agency;
  • Cross Border Road Transport Agency;
  • Rail Safety Regulator;
  • Road Traffic Management Corporation;
  • PRASA Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa;
  • Ports Regulator;
  • Road Traffic Infringement Agency; and
  • AARTO Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences.

The Department is also endeavouring to reduce the number of contractors as per Treasury instructions.

The Implementation of the new structure started in 2012 but due to a lack of sufficient funds certain areas are still being phased in and will continue until 2016.


Additional funds have been provided by National Treasury to improve staff compliments in critical areas e.g. Public Entity Oversight, Internal Audit and Supply Chain Management. The current number of approved posts on the structure stands on 852 posts. The National Public Transport Regulator's Board was approved by Cabinet and members of the Board will start to perform the functions relating to the Act. The functions include issuing operating licences for tourist transport and intern provincial transport.

Road Transport is developing capacity for infrastructure by introducing candidate engineering posts to manage the infrastructure planning and deal with the grants which are allocated to the provinces and the municipalities. The most effective way to monitor the grants is to allocate an engineer to each province to "follow the money" and to ensure effective project management of road re-habilitation projects.

Copyright © 2023 Department Of Transport. All rights reserved. Republic of South Africa. | Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use