The Gauteng Department of Transport has embarked on a campaign to create awareness on the importance of transport as a driver and an enabler for economic growth. 

The campaign, which is in line with the province’s October Transport Month campaign, supports the provincial government’s “Transformation, Modernization and Re-Industrialization” programme.

Launching the Transport Month activities, MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi said his department’s vision for economic development was heavily dependent on its investment in quality road and transport infrastructure, maintaining existing infrastructure as well as building new infrastructure.

Road maintenance and construction

Highlighting some of the department’s progress in road maintenance and construction Vadi noted that the department would officially open two road construction projects, namely the D1944 in north-east Gauteng and Phase 2 of the P249/1 which links Midrand to the North-West Province, which has been upgraded from gravel to a paved road.

“Later, we also will launch Phase 3 of the R82 project that will see the construction of a dual carriageway between Walkerville and de Deur in Sedibeng,” he explained.

“During this year, the Department’s routine road maintenance teams have bladed over 468 km of gravel roads, re-gravelled 60 km of gravel roads and repaired approximately 68 000 potholes. This also involved repairs to the road furniture and drainage structures, and replacing damaged guardrails and road signs.”

Rail infrastructure

Turning to rail infrastructure Vadi said his department’s priority is to improve the performance of the Metrorail system in Gauteng.

“The most significant development in this regard will be the official opening on 25 October of the Gibela Rail Manufacturing Plant in Nigel. This will see the rebuilding of our rail manufacturing and production capability,” he added.

“Massive investment by government in new, modern rolling stock for PRASA is set to introduce dramatic changes for citizens, particularly the working class.

The PRASA train manufacturing factory is envisioned to drive fundamental changes in the way passenger rail will serve millions of commuters in the province and country.

This investment will have a massive impact on the Gauteng economy. It will play a major role in the modernisation of public transport and will result in significant socio-economic benefits to the province and its people,” he concluded.