South African Public Invited to Comment on the Department of Transport's White Paper on Bullet Trains

South African Public Invited to Comment on the Department of Transport's White Paper on Bullet Trains

  • The success of the Gautrain in Johannesburg has given rise to the Department of Transport's ambitions to introduce high-speed trains in more parts of the country
  • The department wants to introduce these bullet trains in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North West
  • South Africans are not enthused about the idea and think SA should focus on electricity, others believe this will give rise to more looting

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JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Transport says it is pleased with the success of the Gautrain and wants to bring speed trains to other provinces.

In the Western Cape, the department wants to launch a speed train between Cape Town and the Wetlands and in KwaZulu-Natal, a train connection to Durban metro and surrounding areas has been proposed.

high-speed trains, South African, Gautrain, Cape Town, Gauteng, bullet trains
The Department of Transport wants to introduce bullet trains in many parts of the country. Image: Jeffrey Greenberg
Source: Getty Images

According to TimesLIVE, the Department of Transport is also looking into speed trains that connect provinces. The department has proposed routes between Polokwane, in Limpopo and Gauteng as well as a route between Rustenburg, North West and Gauteng.

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The proposal for new railway operations in South Africa has been tabled in a White paper that is now open for public comment.

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The White paper looks into the success of the Gautrain and says the performance of the fastest train in South Africa demonstrates the importance of a regional rapid transit system that covers longer routes at faster speeds.

The department proposes an inter-region passenger rail service with trains travelling at speeds ranging from 160 km/h to 200 km/h over a few hundred kilometres.

According to BusinessTech, the Chinese government expressed interest in investing in a high-speed rail project between Durban and Johannesburg, which means financing the department's ambitions will not be much of a problem.

South Africans are not excited about high-speed trains

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On social media, some South Africans say there are more important things the Government should be focusing on instead of high-speed trains. Others have stated that the idea of bullet trains has to do with tenders.

Here are some comments:

@PetroTaljaard said:

"Big looting and fraud possibilities coming up. Mark my words."

@Patriot98351706 said:

"There goes another looting spree. Tenderpreneurs lining up to do some money grab. Followed by spending sprees with slay queens in that famous destination in the UAE."

@Hulk_ZA said:

"Another way to promote tenderpreneurship."

@demoress said:

"There's no success, it cost the provincial government almost R600m in subsidy to make it operate smoothly."

@syandah20 said:

"We need electricity first before we can run those speed trains."

@Bonezito1 said:

"The Gautrain is no success story."

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said plans are in motion to introduce high speed trains in South Africa

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Briefly News previously reported that Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said a high-speed rail system could be introduced to the country. The minister was speaking during a media briefing on Monday 9 May and said the high-speed trains will form part of South Africa’s national rail policy.

The new rail corridors are intended to be implemented throughout the country. Mbalula said the framework will establish the aim for high-speed rail in the country and determine the criteria for its corridors.

The minister said studies on the high-speed rails will be conducted, Business Tech reported. Johannesburg Transport Mayoral Committee Member Funzela Ngobeni said while he is glad that the minister is planning to implement the high-speed rail, he questioned if it is feasible and if it can be funded.

Source: Briefly News

Lebogang Mashego avatar

Lebogang Mashego (Current Affairs HOD) Lebogang Mashego runs the Current Affairs desk. She joined the Briefly News team in 2021. She has 6 years of experience in the journalism field. Her journalism career started while studying at Rhodes University, where she worked for the Oppidan Press for 3 years. She worked as a lifestyle writer and editor at W24 and Opera News. She graduated with a BA degree majoring in Journalism and Media Studies in 2017. She's a recipient of the INMA Elevate Scholarship. Email: