By Justus de Goede, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation:
Last week a road safety awareness initiative was launched by the Gauteng Legislature’s Roads and Transport Portfolio Committee regarding the R573 Moloto Road.
50 kilometres of the Moloto Road, which carries over 60 000 commuters daily, runs through Gauteng, and Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, must put his weight behind fast-tracking the Moloto Rail Corridor project.
National government a number of years ago committed to a road upgrade and in 2008 mooted the addition of a rail link to the corridor – talk of which only ever comes up close to election time.
While cost implications are considerable – the rail link carries a price tag of R35 billion, this would be offset by the thousands of new jobs created as a result of industries established to support the programme – and add value to the lives of people living in and around the project.
The advantages of a rail link are persuasive; it is a cheaper alternative to road transport, a significant percentage of passengers would use rail and the aging PUTCO fleet could be scaled down, hopefully with newer vehicles in service.
While government stalls, local commuter organisations point out that deaths recorded monthly on the road are inexcusable and continue to rise.
Driver behaviour, as in the rest of the country, is shocking and a rail alternative makes road safety sense.