Transport sector’s contribution to GDP up

The country’s transport sector looks set to be one of the major contributors to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after mining, agriculture and tourism if latest figures released by Statistics Botswana (SB) are anything to go by.

According to the 2017 Transport and Infrastructure Statistics report released Tuesday the country’s transport sector is on the rise due to involvement of many in the bus and taxi business.

“In 2017, the transport sector contributed 3.5 percent to the GDP at current prices, a 0.1 percentage point increase from the 3.4 percent contributed in 2016,” reads part of the report signed by Statistician General, Dr. Burton Mguni.

According to the report, the contribution of transport sector to the GDP has been going up and down since 2008. In 2008, the contribution of the transport sector to GDP was 2.9 percent, then it rose until 2010, only to go down in 2011.

“In 2012, it went up again to 3.7 percent and went down in 2013 and 2014. Contribution of transport sector to GDP went up in 2015, only to go down in 2016. The transport sector that contributed much to GDP was the air sector at 1.5 percent, this was followed by the road sector with 1.2 percent,” reads the report.

Furthermore, the report explained that the much contribution of air and road transport to the GDP maybe to the fact that these two sectors have heavy expenditure on their infrastructure by their nature.

In 2017, total privately owned vehicles went up from 487 523 in 2016, to 515 370 in 2017, which was an increase of 5.7 percent; it is stated in the report. “This increase can be attributed to the growth in trucks (62.4 percent) and passenger cars which went up by 8.3 percent.”

It is also indicated in the report that passenger cars and vans made up 63.2 and 20.0 percent of the total of privately owned vehicles. All the three categories of vehicles experienced a decrease; the most notable decline was in buses which went down by 79.2 percent, report stated.

“Buses were followed by motor cycles which went down by 22.8 percent while vans declined by 0.9 percent,” reads the report.

A Francistown based economist, Tebogo Ndlovu said the transport sector has the potential of becoming a major contributor to the GDP.

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