City of CT step closer to taking over rail network

The city hopes to take control of the rail network which has become synonymous with poor service and growing commuter distrust.

FILE: A Metrorail passenger train arrives at Mutual Station in Cape Town. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town has been given the go-ahead by the council to try to take over the management of Metrorail.

Thursday’s approval of an initial business plan means the city can now approach the national government for approval and funding.

The city hopes to take control of the rail network which has become synonymous with poor service and growing commuter distrust.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) were the only parties against the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led city’s plan to take over the rail network.

The ACDP’s Demetrius Dudley is concerned about the cost of the business plan presented on Thursday.

“Apparently international consultants have already been employed at a substantial cost to the city, when, according to the DTI, we should be promoting local content.”

Transport Mayco member Brett Herron says the plan was necessary to show council the feasibility of the undertaking.

“We haven’t appointed any consultants yet, international or local, because we don’t have the authority to do this work.”

Even though council has on Thursday approved an initial plan, it could still take up to three years to complete a comprehensive business plan to take over from Metrorail.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)