Science

Cape Town welcomes Rail White Paper, supports ‘radical structural reforms’

The City of Cape Town welcomes the release of the White Paper on National Rail Policy earlier today, which confirms that the City is on the right track with its feasibility study on taking over the management of passenger rail from National Government.

The White Paper represents a welcome sea change in transport policy, and all but fully endorses the move to devolve the rail function to local government.

‘This is a very exciting development. It is the closest we’ve come to an official national blessing of our effort to devolve the rail function in Cape Town to the metro government. On 29 April 2022, I announced to Capetonians that the City has begun a feasibility study on taking over the management of passenger rail from the National Government.

‘The study will assist us to comprehend what this entails in detail. I want to say to Capetonians that we will undertake this study with urgency as we need a fully functioning and efficient passenger rail system to grow our economy,’ said the City’s Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The City agrees with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula that radical structural reforms are needed to restore passenger rail as the backbone of public transport in South Africa.

‘There is finally a realisation that the private sector should get involved with independent companies competing in competitive bidding processes for contracts to operate rail services. Healthy competition is needed to improve service delivery that has been dire in this sector for nearly two decades now,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.

‘This is in line with the City’s intentions with passenger rail. We have been saying for years now that Capetonians need an alternative to the limping service. The feasibility study the City is undertaking from 1 July this year will inform us of the associated financial costs and risks, and which functions of the passenger rail system we should take over, and how to phase this takeover. We are clearly on the right path,’ said Councillor Quintas.

Source: City Of Cape Town