Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula Said Plans Are in Motion to Introduce High Speed Trains in South Africa

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula Said Plans Are in Motion to Introduce High Speed Trains in South Africa

  • Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said there are plans to introduce a high-speed rail system to South Africa
  • The high-speed trains will form part of South Africa’s national rail policy and corridors will be implemented throughout the country
  • Johannesburg Transport MMC Funzela Ngobeni questioned if the proposed rails are feasible and if they can be funded

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GAUTENG - 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.

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Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, high speed trains for SA, Johannesburg
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula plans to introduce high-speed trains to South Africa. Image: Brenton Geach & Andrew Benton/Getty
Source: Getty Images

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.

“We need to call on investors to come in and see how we can work together with them. As government we must treat the private sector as a partner and not as an enemy. What is important is that it is a safe affordable public transport. Our people are currently spending 20 to 30% of their salaries on public transport. That is something we cannot continue,” said Ngobeni.

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The transport MMC added during an interview with eNCA, that he will work with the minister and the Gauteng province and made a proposal as the city of Johannesburg.

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South Africans not impressed

Social media users dragged the government over the proposed high-speed rails:

@Chelsea20185 said:

“Are you daydreaming, you can't even fix up the current mess, how are you are going to do this, the underprivileged are paying more now to commute as there are zero suburban trains in Johannesburg.”

@hootingowl wrote:

“Won't we need a rail network to operate these?”

@thulane_DaPro posted:

“Where will these trains be? in their smart cities.”

@Irmgarde5 comment:

“PLEASE - Just first fix our potholes!”

Prasa starts working on improvement plans, trains military vets to guard train stations, fixes CT central line

In a related story, Briefly News also reported the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (Prasa) has started acting on its plans to improve its railways and address issues at train stations, such as vandalism. One of the new measures Prasa has taken is to train SANDF veterans to guard train stations. When they are trained, they will work to prevent different types of crime from occurring at Prasa stations.

Irene Mpolweni, the director-general of the programme, said that most of the veterans enrolled for training left the army during apartheid to display their opposition to the regime. As a result, many of them have struggled to find employment and will benefit from this initiative, News24 reports.

Source: Briefly News

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