Gautrain extension to complement, not compete with Prasa

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Johannesburg – The next multibillion-rand phase of the Gautrain project will complement rather than compete with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the province’s integrated transport system, according to Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe.

His comment came after Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi announced that a feasibility study found the project to be viable and that the provincial government would start preparing for the project.

Van der Merwe this week said that Prasa, which already operates its trains in the areas earmarked for the extension, and Gautrain would coexist.

“There’s an average of 547 people who move to Gauteng every day and we need to integrate our transport system,” he added.

The extension is set to include an additional 70km of railway line that will pass through 19 new stations spread out across the east and west of Johannesburg, including Soweto, Fourways, Lanseria, Boksburg and Randburg.

The Gautrain Management Agency had already applied to National Treasury as the funding for the project would be in partnership with the private sector, and would require funds from both provincial and national government coffers.

The first phase of the Gautrain system cost government R26 billion and the next phase will most likely be more expensive, but Van der Merwe said the availability of the funds would determine how long the project took to complete.

No deal has yet been signed as environmental assessments still have to be commissioned and Van der Merwe said it would take between five and eight years before the project really took off.

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