Pretoria – Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has congratulated the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) with China Communication Construction Company Limited (CCCC).
The MoU explores various infrastructure development initiatives, key amongst them being the Moloto Rail Corridor Development.
Minister Peters said the Moloto corridor, which links Mpumalanga to Gauteng, is a high priority initiative due to various passenger public transport challenges.
In October 2014, a feasibility study was completed and it identified rapid rail as the preferred transport solution.
The study entailed a long distance line-haul service being provided through the construction of a rail line, linking up with the existing rail network in Tshwane, with feeder and distribution services provided by buses.
Minister Peters said the core objectives of the Moloto Development Corridor Feasibility Study are aligned with the National Development Plan (NDP), in providing safe, reliable and affordable public transport.
“It acknowledges that public transport is one of the nine elements that are key to a decent standard of living,” the Minister said.
The area for the Moloto Development Corridor includes the eastern portion of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (Gauteng), the Thembisile and portions of the J S Moroka Local Municipalities of Nkangala District Municipality (Mpumalanga).
Portions of the Elias Motsoaledi and Ephraim Mogale Local Municipalities in the Sekhukhune District Municipality in Limpopo will also be included in the project.
The corridor will possibly link up with the Steelpoort Cluster of projects in Limpopo.
“The Moloto Rail Project, encompassing 125km of double track, 38 road-over-rail bridges, 23 rail-over-road bridges, pedestrian bridges, river crossings and 14 new stations, and vast associated works aims to develop the targeted area through Transit Oriented Development nodes around railway stations along the route to serve surrounding communities,” Minister Peters said.
She said Prasa and CCCC play a critical and strategic role in the national economies of the respective countries.
“The parties will specifically explore areas of possible cooperation on the planning and implementation of the Moloto Rail Corridor Initiative,” Minister Peters said.