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Rail Safety Regulator

Creation of a safe railway environment.


To oversee and promote safe railway operations through appropriate support, monitoring and enforcement, guided by an enabling regulatory framework.


The core values of the RSR are:

  • Fairness,
  • Equity,
  • Transparency,
  • Integrity, and
  • Innovation


The Railway Safety Regulator (“the RSR”) is a public entity established in terms of Section
4 of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002 (Act No. 16 of 2002). The RSR is governed and controlled by a board of directors, appointed by the Minister of Transport, who hold office for a period of three (3) years. The mandate of the RSR can be summarised as follows:

  • To oversee safety of railway transport, while operators remain responsible for managing safety of their operations;
  • To promote improved safety performance in order to promote the use of rail;
  • To monitor and ensure compliance through the conducting of audits, inspections and occurrence investigations;
  • To develop regulations;
  • To conclude appropriate co-operative agreements or other arrangement with organs of state to ensure effective management and overseeing of safe railway operations and to minimise duplication;
  • To collect and disseminate information relating to safe railway operations;
  • To develop, adopt or accept standards for safe railway operations;
  • To collaborate with and conclude contracts, where appropriate, with any person, body or institution with the view to furthering the objects of the RSR, including scientific and technical information, and training;
  • To promote the harmonization of the railway safety regime of South Africa with SADC railway operations.

Legislative mandate

The legislative mandate of the RSR is derived from the National Railway Safety Regulator Act, 2002 (Act 16, 2002) (as amended), and is influenced by other legislation, including but not limited to the following:

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85, 1993);
  • Mines Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act No. 25, 1996) Legal Succession to the South African Transport Services Act,1989 (Act No. 9, 1989) (as amended);
  • Public Finance Management Act,1999 (Act No.1, 1999) (as amended);
  • National Nuclear Regulator Act, 1999 (Act 47,1999);
  • Explosives Act, 2003 (Act 15, 2003)
  • National Environmental Management Act, 1988 (Act 107, 1988)
  • National Disaster Management Act,2002 (Act 57, 2002)
  • Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act 2, 2000)
  • Various labour legislation, including the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act 66, 1995); Basic conditions of Employment Act, 1997 (Act 75)