The ‘disruptive potential’ of ICTs in the transport sector in Cape Town

A joint seminar IFAS-Research | Stellenbosch University

IFAS-Research / FMSH 2018 post-doctoral grant laureate Solène Baffi will mobilize her research experience to discuss how Information and Communication Technologies can impact the future of Cape Town’s transport sector. 


Monday 20 August 2018

10.30 to 12.00 | Stellenbosch University

Chamber of Commerce Building, corner Merriman and Ryneveld streets, Stellenbosch University, Room 2004

The diffusion of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) is rapid in Africa: by 2020, the continent will gather more than 725 million mobile phone subscribers, making it the second biggest continental market in the world. Beyond these numbers, the transformative power of ICTs lies in the changes taking place in various sectors, in particular in the cities of the South. Indeed, ICTs play a crucial role to enhance the production and access to information, as they alter the matching conditions between supply and demand for urban services. More specifically, in the case of urban transport services, the diffusion of mobile apps and the digitalisation of networks open up new possibilities to integrate the paratransit sector. Hence, through these transformations the evolution of urban governance is at stake, as well as the modernisation of the transport sector and the conditions of accessibility for the urban dwellers. The ‘disruptive potential’ of these technologies lies then in the implementation of a leapfrog development process and the emergence of innovative development models from the South.



Solène Baffi is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Geography Department of Stellenbosch University and an associated member of the UMR Géographie-cités. Her research focuses mainly on urban public transport as a key to read the social and spatial evolutions of South African cities. After a Master 1 thesis on Public Transports in Cape Town: fragmentation or structuration? and a Master 2 thesis about The role of an historic axis in the metropolitan integration process, the case of Main Road in Cape Town, she dedicated her PhD thesis to the topic of Railways and city in territorialization processes in South Africa: from separation to integration?.