The expansion of the Gautrain rail network has the full backing of the province’s road and transport department as it will have “significant socio-economic development benefits”.
MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi said the project is estimated to create 211,000 jobs in construction and will have a R19 billion procurement spend on black-owned entities.
Furthermore, it will increase black ownership of companies in the rail sector.
The department said the expansion project will have a strong focus on local content in the supply chain, as well as increase capacity in the rail sector through skills development.
The Gauteng Management Agency (GMA) has completed the feasibility study on the extension of the Gautrain rail network.
Results of the study supports the principle of an extension of the Gautrain rail network and outlines the preferred routes that should be developed.
“The Gauteng Provincial Government believes that that extension of the Gautrain rail network and the modernisation of the Prasa Metrorail system must be supported if rail-based public transport is to grow to the required levels to prevent urban sprawl and unsustainable road congestion in the province,” Vadi said.
“This project gives access to private sector funds locally and internationally as well as opportunities for innovation and world-best-practice during design, construction, operations and maintenance,” he added.
The feasibility study on the extension of the Gautrain rail network has been submitted to Provincial and National Treasuries and to major stakeholders that were consulted during the feasibility process.
Vadi said the feasibility study concludes that the extension of the Gautrain rail network will provide significant economic and transport related benefits to the province and the country at large.
It also suggested that the expansion will offer value for money and appropriate risk transfer if procured as a public-private partnership.
“Demand modelling was done to determine transport needs for Gauteng in 2025 and 2037,” Vadi said. “Through the modelling process it became clear that the ‘cost of doing nothing’ in the province will lead to major road congestion in 2037, at which stage cars will travel at an average of 15 kilometres an hour due to doubling of car growth,” Vadi said.
The feasibility study identified the following main links and stations of the Gautrain rail network extensions:
- The link between Jabulani via Cosmo City and Samrand to Mamelodi. Stations include Roodepoort, Little Falls, Fourways, Sunninghill, Olievenhoutsbosch, Irene, Tshwane East and Hazeldean.
- The link between Sandton and Cosmo City has a station at Randburg.
- The link between Rhodesfield and Boksburg. There will be a station at East Rand Mall and a possible link-up with the OR Tambo International Airport Midfield terminal development.
- A future link from Cosmo City to Lanseria Airport.
Due to the magnitude and complexity of the project, it will be split into five phases.