R750bn transport plan pitched

2010-05-04 16:25

Johannesburg - A three-quarter trillion rand transport master plan, which includes linking Johannesburg to Durban and Polokwane via rapid train networks, was presented to parliament by the transport department on Tuesday.

The plan's project manager, Lanfranc Situma, told the portfolio committee for transport that the department needed urgent approval from MPs so that the cabinet-initiated National Transport Master Plan (Natmap) could "get moving".

Natmap transport planning consultant Paul Lombard recommended to the committee that studies be done on whether it was feasible to extend the Gautrain project to the Durban-Johannesburg and Pretoria-Polokwane lines.

"We must ask if can we afford it and how affordable will it be to passengers and the government," Lombard said.

He recommended the immediate institution of a rail infrastructure-owning entity, similar to the Airports Company of South Africa, that would "eventually absorb" the country's entire network and "allow existing freight and passenger agencies to operate on the network".

The plan, which includes expanding the port of Saldhana, doubling the Huguenot tunnel outside Paarl and expanding the port of Cape Town as other vital projects, would cost about R750bn should it be launched today, financial project manager Themba September told Sapa.

He said part of the plan was to form partnerships with the private sector to help fund the project and lower the burden to taxpayers.

"Overall, between now and 2050, the cost of the project will be around R750bn," he said.

"We would hope to fund a large part of the project through private-public partnerships. We would like to find the right ratio of ownership between the private and public sector."

September could not speculate on a start date for the project, but said it was important that South Africa "wasn't caught napping".

"Someone at some point has to make a hard, cold decision on this," he said.

Situma told the MPs that South Africa could qualify for foreign funding for the rail project as it had voluntarily agreed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 46%.

"If you build a railway or a train, you are going to be cutting down the emissions from the road because there will be less vehicles emitting carbon on the roads.

"Because of that, we will qualify for funding which other people are getting. That money is readily available."

The Natmap was initiated by cabinet in 2007 to develop and establish a multimodal transport system to meet South Africa's needs up to 2050.

It was drawn up through the transport department by consulting engineering company SSI Engineering and environmental consultants Africon and Ingerop South Africa. It cost R64m. - Sapa

  • badprop - 2010-05-04 16:43

    Mr September should stop his daydreaming and perform his job. R750B in 20 years time, is this a budgeted figure, more like R3000B in 20 years if you look at the current overruns ons gautrain and soccer stadiums. It's cheaper to fly to Durbs and would take to long by train. In 20 years time there would be now tax payers left to pay for this dream.

  • Juan - 2010-05-04 17:00

    ...and where is the money gonna come from? the taxpayer is still reeling fro the submarin and fifa and eskom scams

  • abrie - 2010-05-04 17:02

    Stop wasting time on silly meetings that cost money and go fix potholes. You want to chase the whites away. Who's going to pay tax? Get used to Donkey Cars....

  • Tumie - 2010-05-04 17:02

    i had an opportunity to participate in the process consisting of four phases, truly if this NATMAP Strategies the Parliament is going to Adopt, our Transport infrastructure will grow, ranging from the rural areas to the suburbs.

  • scud - 2010-05-04 17:03

    So we will have to pay for this far fetched nonsense. Why not throw in another R100b for comrades thefts? September in Wonderland or Cuckooland?

  • Up In Smoke - 2010-05-04 17:04

    People chill. If we do not look to the future and development we will move backwards and be overtaken by the world. This is a great opportunity for devleopment and shows forward thinking. Jobs, infrastructure and devlepment. I am pleasantly surprised and only hope it could be done quicker than 40 Years.

  • crazy - 2010-05-04 17:04

    Just drawing up the plans cost R64m - I wish I could waste money like that!

  • JEF_MUZ - 2010-05-04 17:06

    I think this is a bold move. Its a relief to know that there are people who are thinking long term. Alos iteresting to see that the suggested cities are in provincies that are main suppliers of migrant labours to Gauteng: KZN and Limpopo, then NW followed by EC. Positive developments. Thumbs up.

  • what decade? - 2010-05-04 17:11

    SA is a century old; the national road network is just over fifty years old; the railways have not been upgraded for decades. We don't know whether we are meant to be a modern state or something stuck in a 1950s timewarp. I agree that the entire infrastructure needs overhaul and rethinking, and new vision is welcome; but first I scheme, there are basic catch-ups to be done. housing; recovery of agriculture; water and sewerage; inner city renewal; squatter camps ....

  • Richard - 2010-05-04 17:12

    If one looks at the dismal unemployment figures released today and these projects have the capability to create employment then I say you have my vote.

  • Amazed - 2010-05-04 17:12

    I bet they want to push it through as fast as possible so some more corruption and theiving can take place just like the arms deal, just like the new power station scam and every other gvt tender. Just another coach on the Gravy train, sorry the masses dont realise they are being screwed by their own daily and fed loads of empty promises by certain failures in school woodwork class.

  • Hearties - 2010-05-04 17:15

    Ambitious. How about maintaining our existing road infrastructure first?

  • JoeJoe - 2010-05-04 17:18

    They call it riding the gravy train. Why Polokwane? Surely Rustenburg to Gauteng, via Lanseria is the more feasible? And why not just get the existing rail network functional. There is huge potential sitting within the current infrastructure and it is being mismanaged.

  • Bevolk - 2010-05-04 17:19

    It's sickening to read comments like Crazy's. U think this is alike a building plan? This is a strategic document with more than even a simple business plan. It will be pessimists like you who will be quick to blame government of the day if transport system collapse below national social and economic needs in 40 years down the line. I say it is a bold move. And who said the entire plan will be accepted as presented to Prliament?

  • Warren G - 2010-05-04 17:19

    I think its a great project this allows our people to find employment.

  • Babba - 2010-05-04 17:19

    Yeah right, with electricity that they get from where? Another motivation for Eskom to further increase the electricity prices?

  • Afrika - 2010-05-04 17:20

    I think the idea is good, but can we afford it? I dont think so, maybe we need to improve metro rail instead and other affordable modes of transport. As for a comment below, it is the same white people that did not have a long term plan because they never thought black men would own so many cars today. Stop making this a racial issue because the same SSI, Africon and other consultants involved here are white owned. Every fincancial/economic transaction in SA white men benefit. Look at BEE transactions, who are the beneficiaries? Wala, Banks, who own the banks??????

  • Anthony - 2010-05-04 17:21

    No more white elephants at the tax payer's expense please! They will approve a budget of R750bn, and when it eventually begins to be built the cost would have doubled or tripped just like our stadiums and BRT, then we suffer for years to come. Screw this idea. Rather uplift the poor. Build schools, soup kitchens, adult skills training systems and get the homeless into wanrm places of refuge. Durban from JHB is only 6 hours by car anyway. Privatize Spoornet and let the wealthy pay for it!

  • LB - 2010-05-04 17:22

    We had a working railway-system and instead of just upgrading the system now everything is in ruins and we have to design the wheel from scratch

  • Daydreamer - 2010-05-04 17:22

    This may sound a bit far fetched, but what about looking into constructing a train tunnel between Paarl and Wocester similar to the Huguenot tunnel, to reduce the time it takes freight to reach Cape Town, currently trains have to snake their way through Tulbach and Wellington before reaching the Paarl, just my opinion

  • Heres a plan - 2010-05-04 17:22

    How about privatising Spoornet and get it working like a proper railway service should be run - for profit. There is NOTHING wrong with our current rail network except its piss poor management, corruption, nepotism......

  • robert - 2010-05-04 17:24

    You are right Bevolk.... People in Prliament can't spell it either..... You must've been involved in the R64m cut, because of your passionate response.....

  • sally - 2010-05-04 17:25

    Just another way to create a GRAVY TRAIN for tenderpreneurs etc. Ultimately this will chase more tax payers away. 2025, in Malema's second term you will find no one left here to pay tax to your corrupt practises

  • Ow Shem!! - 2010-05-04 17:26

    Huh!! my brothers, how ''bout sorting out the problems in the now!! eish wena's, there you go again wasting our money on lunch and teas. BTW I see you have forgotten about the road to Beit Bridge. The route from Lindela in Krookasdorp to Beit Bridge for all the kerrigambas to go home on Fry day and returning Munday must be at least tarred.

  • Thivha - 2010-05-04 17:26

    First things first like housing, health, education sanitation etc before you introduce expensive mode of transport to the poorest who would not afford it.You are failing to mantain the existing infrustructure, more gravy for tender preneurs

  • Daniel - 2010-05-04 17:26

    And they should build the world's tallest sky scraper in Harare, and the Olympics should be held in Kinshasa, and Somalia should set up a agency similar to Nasa and be the first to send a pirate to Mars. What-the-fck-ever!! Asses the situation again in 10 years and we will all see how SA would have joined its African peers in mismanagement and dispair. Viva Malema clown Viva!!

  • Bevolk - 2010-05-04 17:29

    I only wish God can grant us the serenity to cope with ideas like Abrie's. Only if Orania or Ventersdorp could absorb similar minded minority. The transport infrastructure include maintenance of existing, upgrade, building new ones, etc. Finally the rural majority should benefit.

  • Gunnar - 2010-05-04 17:36

    This is not a day dream, it's nightmare. First of all remove the people who think this way & get on with getting the poverty out of the way, and by the way Malema.

  • @Anthony - 2010-05-04 17:42

    Its been proved all over the world corruption happens at the highest levels and giving to the poor never resolves anything in the long run. The only way to create schools, houses, soup kitchens , is when people work for themselves. even if the fat cats take R50bil then the economy still gets a big boost years and years of solid employment and an opportunity to get back in the game and be competitive. all those lorries hauling coal can not be economical efficient in the long run. you only need half a brain cell to realize that train transportation will be the ultimate mode of transportation within the next 50-100 years why stand back and wait for things to happen then. Plan today so we can be great tomorrow

  • Mike - 2010-05-04 17:43

    I think it's a good idea.... jobs, infrastructure development, modernization....We just need to look to India China and Brazil.... that's the way they did it!

  • tommy - 2010-05-04 17:47

    there will be no whites left here in 20 years where u fools are going to get the billions from? sort out your people dying of Aids first.

  • Hennie - 2010-05-04 17:49

    So when are we electrifying the existing main raillink between Beaufort West and De Aar? It is about 40 years overdue. Instead this railway was down-graded from double to single track. Doubling of N1 between vdBijl Park and Bloemfontein. Was projected in early 70s, still not build! De Beers Pass (van Reenen replacement) was planned for 1998... N17 between Randfontein and Springs... was planned in early 70's. The supposed new section of the N17 at Nasrec is not even constructed to freeway standard so cannot be part of that link. We are so far beyond but we want to build TGV style links. Crawl, walk then run.

  • Realistic - 2010-05-04 17:50

    Has these people been drinking? Will not work in SA, you need to be practical about the current economic situation Mr September. Meet me in October then we talk again.

  • Nathan - 2010-05-04 17:50

    lol tommy. Aids is not curable period. there are too many variables that play a big factor, lets forget about the difficulty of actually curing aids , people will be people and in the bedroom no gov regardless of propaganda can make someone wear a rubber. so lets leave aids out of this one

  • ff - 2010-05-04 17:53

    Stop taxi bosses from murdering BRT commuters, then maybe we will take this plan seriously.

  • ChrisB - 2010-05-04 17:53

    So in actual fact, it's going to cost around 500 Billion, with the rest added on for the Fatcats / ordering more 7 Series BMWs / International Travel etc.

  • Matt - 2010-05-04 17:54

    Well, maybe they should wait and see how everything will fall apart after the world cup is over. Those new stadiums are going to crumble since there is nothing to fill them after it's all gone. I'm sure you will find them being used for flea markets and squatter camps, and i wonder who is going to fill all the new hotels that were built.

  • nathan - 2010-05-04 17:57

    hennie , economies of scale. who cares about de aar. durban-jburg and jburg cape town should obviously take the lead on this. im not sure why the apartheid gov stooped investing in proper infrastructure , the current administration is making a balls up on relying on very old infrastructure to get us going.

  • Hux - 2010-05-04 18:01

    We cannot even pay for the staduims,eskom,potholes,etc.Where does the ANC think we will find the money? Is there a measure of stupidity besides the IQ tests? All in Gov. should be tested.

  • Billionaire - 2010-05-04 18:04

    What!!!!! Eskom had to borrow 37 billion from the IMF, so where are they going to get 750 billion? As important as transport is to this country, if we cannot sort out the current roads, sewer systems and electricty supply, how are we going to build and sustain these rail links? Too much ganga being abused in these meetings me thinks.

  • Shorts - 2010-05-04 18:05

    Who is smoking what ?? How many ANCYL and other ANC Government ( national, provincial, regional, municipal & local district cadres ) cadres are positioning themselves to make millions out of milking this process ?? How many homes / schools / clinics / hospitals could otherwise be built for the genuine poor in our country with this kind of money ?? The so-called PDI's [ Presently Dysfunctional Incumbents ] are totally unable to even properly fixing the roads in this Shitty of Potholes that we are forced to live in. Heaven help us all if this ridiculous proposal ever gets anywhere close to being approved. SA cannot even afford the SWC - another waste of funds that should have been put to far better use for the well-being of the population as a whole, let alone this ???

  • lr - 2010-05-04 18:05

    SSI Engineering, is that a JM owned company...sure sounds like it.

  • Wunderring - 2010-05-04 18:08

    and who are the consultants that have already been paid R64M for this ?

  • nathan - 2010-05-04 18:10

    @ billionaire obviously some political hurdles will have to be scaled. Eskom borrowed money because of miss management. a company that enjoy a complete monopoly like eskom should have above normal gains. if spoornet and electricity generation can be privatized then only will the money become available for these kinds of projects. municipalities and communities should be able to be more involved and get direct benefit from infrastructure. but the gov tightly control all the profitable sectors and these need to be privatised first

  • Johny - 2010-05-04 18:11

    I hope everyone enjoys trying to watch the soccer when they blackout everyone's electricity to power the stadiums. haha

  • bob - 2010-05-04 18:14

    Mmm, now where to find the money? Let's see...4 million taxpayers...4 million whites. Hold on. I have an idea!

  • nathan - 2010-05-04 18:14

    @shorts maby im to optimistic about what we as a nation can do but lets say that the lorries on the road pay for the damage they make. almost 99% of the potholes is related to big trucks. if you get them all on trains (at least their loads) then the roads wont need nearly as much upkeep.

  • Shorts - 2010-05-04 18:32

    @Nathan. I used to be a big optimist as to the future of this country, but some fifteen years later all I see is greed, lack of ethics, incompetence and total self interest taking over almost every aspect of our daily lives. Incidentally, have you driven around ( over the potholes ) most of the suburban streets of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan area recently ?? The problem really is, with all the rain, it's all the potholes that you cannot see because of the inadequate water drainage system that are the worst. Show me the heavy duty trucks on these roads !!!!!. There was one large section of road that our PDI colleagues spent three weeks 'fixing' that was washed away totally after the next heavy rain of some 40mm.

  • South African - 2010-05-04 18:42

    People who are posing negative comments in here are very ungrateful. Apartheid regime spoilt you and your fathers to rot. Its pity you cant comment on the article rather start to attack peoples personalities. One can tell your skin colour by just reading your comments, hope your god SATAN will prove you wrong. Apartheid is always going to be blamed, because those evils (ur fore fathers) never had a long term plan for in case f their regime dies whats gonna happen to the opressed. Thats why you see so many squater camps mushrooming all over our country, crime against the rich etc. Its time you grow up and face the realities, long term planning all the way, critens.................

  • nathan - 2010-05-04 18:45

    @shorts im not arguing with you there. sa have many and complicated problems. but we should try to move forward and be constructive. but the fact that bad roads is a result of bad water drainage makes one think clear. bad infrastructure = more problems. it is high time we upgrade a little

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