Justus de Goede
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation
The DA calls on National Transport Minister Dipuo Peters to explain whether the proposed Moloto Rail Corridor will be an affordable alternative for commuters and whether rolling stock will be compatible with the existing national railway network.
In a written reply to DA questions in the National Assembly, Minister Peters said that the proposed rail link between Gauteng and Mpumalanga is finally being accelerated, which the DA has been urging for years.
However, the minister claims that the link will be a “rapid rail system”, which may imply a system different from the national standard Cape gauge, such as the Gautrain.
A deviation from the national standard will have severe implications, such as pushing up the total cost of the project, incompatible rolling stock, an increase in ticket costs for commuters, and a burden on public funds due to subsidies.
The economic spin-offs from the rail link will be immense, as it would give Gauteng industry a new expansion artery, and stimulate local economic growth and job creation in the deeply impoverished KwaMhlanga region of Mpumalanga.
However, to achieve this would require a standardised, affordable and accessible railway line to both passenger and goods trains.
To this end the DA will submit further written questions to the minister, asking her to clarify the question surrounding the railway line, its compatibility with the national rail network, and the initial and long term cost implications.
The DA looks forward to seeing economic growth, job creation and prosperity reach the people of Gauteng and Mpumalanga.