Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi on Friday announced that from early 2018, his department will invest R2.5 billion in the Etwatwa and Daveyton rail project, which will transport an average of 25 000 people daily.
“If you talk about radical socio-economic transformation, you talk about people on the ground, and you talk about empowering the youth. The majority of people to be employed in this project will be women and the youth,” Minister Maswanganyi said.
Almost 12 rail stations will be built to service Etwatwa and Daveyton in Ekurhuleni.
Minister Maswanganyi said the department will make sure that sub-contractors are sourced locally during the implementation of the project empower local communities. “We believe that if we take the project to Etwata, priority must be given to people from the community for jobs.”
The department has also invested in a train manufactory in Ekurhuleni, where 580 trains are being manufactured in Nigel.
“We are establishing a supplier park around the train manufacturing project, and the project will employ more than 8000 people,” Minister Maswanganyi said.
On Friday, Minister Maswanganyi launched October Transport Month at Sinaba Stadium in Ekurhuleni Johannesburg.
October 2017 marks Transport Month under the theme ‘Together we move South Africa Forward’, where citizens are called to work together to ensure the country’s transport infrastructure benefits all, and encourages road users to take responsibility and apply road safety as part of their daily lives.
During Transport Month, government, led by the Transport Department and its entities, highlights the economic benefits of the sector by showcasing transport infrastructure services in aviation, maritime, public transport, roads and rail.
Other big projects in the pipeline highlighted by Minister Maswangayi include, among others, a R4 billion Cargo Hub Project at OR Tambo International Airport and the Moloto Rail Project, which will start from Marble Hall to Tshwane.
Minister Maswanganyi said the department is currently sorting out the paperwork for the Moloto Rail Project, and as soon as this process is done, the project will be implemented. However, a R3.7 billion road project has started from Marble Hall, the Minister said.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the department is investing massively in Durban Port under Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy.
“We are investing massively in infrastructure because transport is the heartbeat of the economy,” the Minister said.
24/7 traffic monitoring
Minister Maswanganyi said traffic officers will now work 24 hours, seven days a week on the roads.
“I have signed a memorandum for all provincial MECs for Transport, including Premiers and Mayors, that we must effect 24-hour traffic officers on the roads,” he said.
Ekurhuleni Municipality Mayor Mzwandile Masina used the occasion to encourage people to obey the rules of the road. He urged people taking trips to make sure that the driver rests and the car is in proper working condition.
“Enough is enough. We can’t continue to allow so many deaths on our roads… We value the lives of our people,” Mayor Masina said.
Horizon 2030 Strategy
The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) unveiled the Horizon 2030 Strategy, which outlines the agency’s vision for road infrastructure and development.
Minister Maswanganyi, who also unveiled the strategy in Rosebank commended the SANRAL initiative, noting that it will go a long way in contributing to youth employment and fighting poverty and inequality.
SANRAL board member Daphne Mashile-Nkosi said the agency has learnt hard lessons in the past five years and has examined its core values, almost two decades into its establishment.
“We are unveiling this road map… It’s a new vision, a new mission and strategy that will guide the organisation over the next stage to grow. It sets out a defined target for participation of black contractors, with focus on youth and women,” said Mashile-Nkosi.