ON TRACK!

Posted on Nov 22, 2005 in Gautrain In The News

“The Gautrain project is unambiguously on track,” said MECs’ Paul Mashatile and Ignatius Jacobs.

Statement by MEC Paul Mashatile and MEC Ignatius Jacobs on the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link

In recent weeks there has been heightened public interest in the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project. I would like to indicate unambiguously that the project is on track. We are presently negotiating financial closure with the preferred bidder and will start construction early next year.

We are committed to meet the initial deadlines of a 54-month construction period.

I would like to start by restating the objectives of the Gautrain. As indicated since its inception in 2001 and still relevant today, the Gautrain intends to achieve three main pillars:

  • Economic growth, not only for Gauteng but for the country, sub-region and the continent. It is the biggest Public Private Partnership in Africa and is projected to contribute between 0.7 and 1% to Gauteng’s GGP, making a significant contribution to the 6% growth target set by national government.
  • Since its inception the Gautrain has been conceived as the backbone of an integrated transport system and a catalyst for the transformation of transport.
  • It will radically transform the land use patterns of Gauteng addressing apartheid’s spatial legacy and contributing significantly to our efforts of urban regeneration, especially in the CBD’s of Joburg and Tshwane.

Gautrain will play a significant role in contributing to the realization of our goal of halving unemployment and poverty by 2014.  The direct number of people to be employed during construction is estimated at 93 000.

Another 40 000 jobs will be created to construct the station precincts and other related developments.  The permanent operations will need close to 2 700 employees.

I have full confidence that the Gautrain project has been well researched and planned. There have been numerous feasibility studies, which have been regularly updated. From the outset, the project has been subjected to independent scrutiny by the National Treasury’s PPP unit and at each phase in the process, the necessary approvals have been obtained.  National Treasury’s support was once more reaffirmed by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement a few weeks back.

The process prescribed by the PFMA requires us to look at issues of affordability, value for money and risk transfer.  We acknowledge that these are important issues which were carefully considered at all stages of the project and relevant stakeholders including the national Department of Transport were kept informed. We continue to believe that the Gautrain is value for money in achieving the objectives set out above.

It is projects such as this which enable us to win such bids and makes cities great.  Gauteng has a vision to be a globally competitive city region and the Gautrain will make a major contribution in linking the three key metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni in our province and consolidating the economic linkages between them.

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