The Automobile Association (AA) says the proposed expansion route for the Gautrain must be rejected and has urged the national government to halt any discussions regarding the funding of such expansions.
The AA says the determination of the expansion route for the Gautrain by Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Mr Jacob Mamabolo, disregards factual evidence opposing such a move, and underscores the poor financial decision to allocate funds to a failing system.
AA WEIGHS IN ON GAUTRAIN EXPANSION ROUTE
In May 2022, MEC Mamabolo determined the route for Phase 1 of the proposed Gauteng Rapid Rail Integrated Network (GRRIN) project which will ensure that more people can access the Gautrain.
The Association said in August 2021 it made a detailed submission outlining its concerns about the expansion of Gautrain.
“We noted then, as we do again now, that any expansion of Gautrain perpetuates a system which caters for a minority of citizens, all the while costing Gauteng taxpayers billions of Rands to prop up through the so-called Patronage Guarantee which compensates the system for low ridership levels,” the AA said.
Furthermore, the Association said when considering the serious economic challenges in South Africa, the fact that taxpayer money is effectively being used to compensate a private entity for non-performance is outrageous and deeply disturbing.
“Since 2013, Gauteng taxpayers have funded the shortfall of riders on the Gautrain by close to R13 billion.
“And, because of the built-in insurance for poor performance through the Patronage Guarantee, less money is available in Gauteng for transport projects which can cater for the majority of citizens who do not have access to the Gautrain.”AA
TRAIN SERVICE ‘CATERS FOR A FEW ELITE’
In previous occasions, the train service has been accused of catering for a few elite only based on its fares and where the stations are situated. The AA also weighed in on this.
“The fact remains that the Gautrain serves people who already have transport options – the large parking infrastructure at Gautrain stations attests to this.
“Sadly, we have received no feedback on our concerns, and it appears the MEC has disregarded the input of civil society on a matter which has huge financial implications for all citizens of the province.”AA
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