Transport Economist, Strategic transport Planning Department, Ethekwini Transport Authority
Paul Sessions is based in Durban, South Africa and since October 2011 Paul has worked at the eThekwini Transport Authority, as a Transport Economist in the Strategic Transport Planning Unit. Paul is involved in the Freight and Logistics sector in eThekwini Municipal Area, conducting planning, strategy and policy. His main project being the eThekwini Municipalities ‘Integrated Freight and Logistics Strategic Framework and Action Plan’. This plan aims at sustainably planning and integrating all modes of freight transport and the logistics chain in the eThekwini Municipal Area.
Beyond the planning, strategy and policy work at the eThekwini Transport Authority; Paul represent the Transport Authority and Municipality on, the South African Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinations Committees, Strategic Integrated Project 2 (SIP2) work streams, which is responsible for the development of the Freight and Logistics Infrastructure along the Durban – Free State – Gauteng industrial corridor for the Country. Paul also participates and represents the Municipality and Transport Authority on the Durban Port Committee, the KZN Freight Task Group and the Transnet eThekwini Municipality Planning and Infrastructure forum.
Prior to working at the eThekwini Transport Authority, Paul worked for 3 years (2008-2011) at Graham Muller Associates an economic consultancy based in Durban and was directly involved in wide variety economic projects, plans, feasibilities and assessments for all levels of the South African government including Transnet and the private sector. Majority of these were freight and transport related projects.
Paul also worked a couple of years as a community development co-ordinator (2006-2008) for an NGO in the Durban area and spent a year (2004) contracted to Oxfam Australia as a researcher in the Northern KwaZulu-Province in Jozini.
Paul attended university (2000-2005) at the University of Natal Durban (and later University of KwaZulu-Natal) completing an honours degree in economics, while achieving higher grade matriculation at Glenwood High School (1996-2000).
eThekwini Municipality and Port of Durban have been intrinsically linked since their origin and increasingly impacted on each other in recent decades. The Port of Durban is one of Africa's premier ports (2.5 million TEU and 110 million metric tons annually), while eThekwini Municipality has a population of 3.45 million and governs a 2292 km2 area. Port-city areas surrounding the port are heavily developed with competing land uses and some of the most prized real estate in the country.
While, transportation infrastructure accessing the port and in surrounding areas is congested. Recognising the potential growth of the Port, proposed port expansions, and the vision of eThekwini to by 2030, eThekwini will enjoy the reputation of being Africa's most caring & liveable City, where all citizens live in harmony. The eThekwini Municipality initiated the Integrated Freight & Logistics Strategic Framework & Action Plan. The project has: undertaken a comprehensive analysis of logistics chain, forecasting freight projections and potential flows, and determined the infrastructure requirements; and developed a 20 year freight and logistics strategic framework and interventions to address freight growth. The interventions are designed to maximise competitive advantage of eThekwini, optimise employment creation, decrease logistics costs, improve efficiency, and place eThekwini as leading port city globally.
There are four key strategies targeted by the plan: 1) minimise road based freight; 2) efficient freight transportation system; 3) freight land use plan; and 4) strategic management. With 23 proposed interventions over a 20 year period to assist in port-city planning, integration and management.