The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Communication Construction Company Limited (CCCC) of China to explore various infrastructure development initiatives, key among them being the Moloto Corridor development.
“Prasa and CCCC play critical and strategic roles in the national economies of our respective countries and we recognise the necessity to develop principles to promote cooperation. The Parties will specifically explore areas of possible cooperation on the planning and implementation of the Moloto Rail Corridor Initiative,” said Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters.
Moloto Rail Corridor Development
Peters added that the Moloto Rail Corridor Development is a high priority initiative due to various passenger public transport challenges. This intervention is intended to alleviate these challenges by exploring various solutions in addressing, among others, limited economic development in the area, limited access to work opportunities, excessive commuting distances from home to work and poor levels of service on substandard local roads.
A feasibility study was completed in October 2014, which identified rapid rail as the preferred transport solution. This entailed a long distance line-haul service being provided through the construction of a rail line, linking up with the existing rail network in Tshwane, with feeder and distribution services provided by busses.
Peters said that the core objectives of the Moloto Development Corridor Feasibility Study are aligned with that of the National Development Plan in providing safe, reliable and affordable public transport. It acknowledges that public transport is one of the nine elements which are key to a decent standard of living.
The Moloto Development Corridor falls under Strategic Integrated Projects 1: Unlocking the Northern Mineral Belt, with Waterberg as the catalyst that reports to the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee.
The project area includes the eastern portion of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, the Thembisile and portions of the J S Moroka Local Municipalities of Nkangala District Municipality and portions of the Elias Motsoaledi and Ephraim Mogale Local Municipalities in the Sekhukhune District Municipality. The Corridor will possibly link up with the Steelpoort Cluster of projects.
“The Moloto Rail Project, encompassing 125 km of double track, 38 road-over rail bridges, 23 rail-over road bridges, pedestrian bridges, river crossings and 14 new stations, and vast associated works aims to develop the targeted area through Transit Oriented Development nodes around railway stations along the route to serve surrounding communities,” confirmed Peters.
As part of the development of the Moloto corridor, on the 6 June 2016, Peters officially sod-turned for the construction of the Moloto road which was allocated about R3.7 billion to rehabilitate the road. The road will run through Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo and the project is already underway.