Bullet trains are coming to South Africa’s long-distance routes

| Refilwe Moloto interviews Ngwako Makaepea, deputy director-general responsible for rail transport.

On Monday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula gazetted the “National Rail Policy White Paper”, a major step towards rehabilitating South Africa’s ailing railing network and services.

The policy aims to position rail as the backbone of land transport in the country, according to Mbalula.

Central to the reform of the network is the introduction of highspeed rail corridors.

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The Transport Department will create a framework for working with the private sector but wholesale privatisation of South African Railways is, for now, not part of the plan.

The White Paper requires the development of a policy to hand over the commuter rail function to municipalities.

Key to the policy, said Mbalula, is the enabling of investment in rail.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Ngwako Makaepea, Deputy Director-General responsible for rail transport (scroll up to listen).

Makaepea spoke about what the policy means for the future of rail in South Africa.



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It’s a new chapter for the rail industry… a very clear roadmap…

Ngwako Makaepea, Deputy Director-General - Rail transport

Devolution doesn’t mean taking away Metrorail services… You can have the private sector coming in addition to Prasa, running the rail services on government networks…

Ngwako Makaepea, Deputy Director-General - Rail transport

Long-distance rail, Highspeed Rail is part of that mix… The key corridor… is between Durban and Johannesburg… It’s a very lucrative route… able to compete with low-cost airlines…

Ngwako Makaepea, Deputy Director-General - Rail transport

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Bullet trains are coming to South Africa’s long-distance routes

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