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
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