The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has signed a R488 million loan with Tshwane Rapid Transit (TRT) as part of a R800 million loan for the purchase of 171 buses.

The buses will be for the A Re Yeng Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) operations in Tshwane. TRT will be the bus operator for Phase 1 of the City of Tshwane’s Integrated Transport System.

The project is part of a national programme of 13 BRT projects in different cities and towns, meant to improve the public transport system across the country and to limit current challenges associated with road capacity, road safety and road congestion.

Speaking at the signing, TP Nchocho, Group Executive for DBSA South Africa Financing said: “This transaction is part of DBSA’s investment in the public transport sector to ensure the migration of South African cities into efficient, safe, and green transport systems.”

The project is aimed at redressing past inequities to create a better life for all by addressing the lack of an integrated transport system in the City including safety concerns about the existing transport system.

The system is also aimed at addressing the historical legacy of apartheid spatial planning where the poor were forced to live furthest from work, long travel times through serious congestion and difficult transfers, the inaccessibility of public transport for people with disabilities, the aged and the infirm and inadequate historical investment in public transport, which has meant that both existing infrastructure and fleet are in an unacceptable poor condition.

“The City of Tshwane is proud of the landmark partnership between DBSA and TRT. TRT will be owned by affected operators within Tshwane who come from the taxi and bus industries,” said Abnar Tsebe, Chairman of TRT.

“The taxi and bus industries in Tshwane are in full support of A Re Yeng and are working very closely with the City of Tshwane to ensure that Tshwane provides the best model of BRT in the country,” he added.