Mbalula: 22 corridors identified as top priority for train service recovery

Mbalula on Monday led a briefing following oversight inspection at the Mayfair, Kliptown and Germiston train stations.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at Mayfair station on 24 May 2021. The station is part of the national station improvement programme and part of the Gauteng corridors to be recovered in this year. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said a total of 22 corridors across the country had been identified as top priority for service recovery this financial year.

Mbalula on Monday led a briefing following oversight inspection at the Mayfair, Kliptown and Germiston train stations.

The three stations are among Prasa's infrastructure recently vandalised in and around Johannesburg.

In Gauteng, Mabopane to Pretoria, Naledi to Johannesburg and Pienaarspoort to Pretoria are just some of the routes that have made it onto the priority list for service recovery this financial year.

In the Western Cape, the troubled Cape Town to Khayelitsha and Kapteinsklip line and the Cape Town to Cape Flats route have been prioritised.

Mbalula said challenges at Prasa ranged from leadership instability, lack of critical skills, vandalism and theft of rail infrastructure to inadequate and outdated rolling stock and infrastructure and financial mismanagement.

He said in order to address some of these challenges, an estimated 27%, which amounts to R57 billion of the department's budget would be allocated to the Passenger Rail Agency in the medium term.

The minister said the investment in passenger rail was crucial towards positioning rail as the backbone of the country's public transport system.

He said the modernisation programme was meant to improve the reliability of services by reconstructing delipidated infrastructure, securing infrastructure and increasing the number of trains to avoid overcrowding.

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