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Transnet pumps billions into rail repair

Aug 29 2012 14:41 Sapa

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Cape Town - Transnet spent R2.4bn on maintenance and repairs to its freight rail system in 2011/12, and is set to spend the same again in this financial year, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on Wednesday, he said eradicating the state freight logistics group's total maintenance and repair backlog was likely to take another decade.

"The current maintenance backlog has been accumulating over a period of 15 years, mainly due to a lack of funding owing to austerity measures of the time.

"The eradication of the maintenance backlog is a lengthy process and has been projected to take approximately 10 years to eliminate, dependent on the availability of funds."

Gigaba said the backlog was in the areas of rail and sleeper replacement, bridges, points machines, remote control systems and ballast screening, among others.

Some of the signalling systems in operation around the country "vary in age from the 1950s to date".

Over the past year, repair and maintenance work carried out by Transnet included replacing 760km of rail, refurbishing seven rail bridges, spending R350m on replacing signalling equipment, and replacing 365 000 sleepers.


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