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R4 billion government bus project still not finished – more than a decade later

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the government has allocated nearly R4 billion to Rustenburg Rapid Transit (RRT) over the past 10 years – but more time and funding is needed before the project runs out. either “ finished ”.

First announced in 2005, the Rustenburg Rapid Transport project started in 2009 with full operations slated for 2015. More than a decade later, it remains unfinished.

Its initial aim was to place Rustenburg at the “forefront” of public transport. At launch, the project was to include 18 terminals and carry up to 75,000 commuters per day. However, development has been hampered by many delays – including a change in service provider, negotiations with the taxi industry, and the collapse of structures.

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Responding to a written parliamentary question, Mbalula said the initial budget for the project was estimated at R3 billion, but budget allocations over the past 10 years have reached R3.9 billion.

So far 3.16 billion rand of the allocation has been spent, with the minister saying it will take another 1.4 billion rand to complete the work, bringing the total to 4.5 billion rand.

Mbalula blamed the delays in the logistics around the construction and objections to the project.

“It is important to stress that it was impossible to build all the roads and other infrastructure at once and in a short period of time, as this would have caused a dead end,” he said.

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“The municipality therefore had to carry out construction work. There were other objections in the initial stages of construction, which halted construction of bus lanes in the CBD and resulted in construction delays. “

Mbalula said the local municipality of Rustenburg (RLM) received funds from the 2010/11 public transport network grant.

The table provided summarizes the allocation and expenditure by fiscal year.

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Speaking on the progress of the project, Mbalula said the majority of the construction works have been completed and the municipality now needs a deposit infrastructure.

“From now on, the city will use the operational component of the grant to pay compensation to incumbent taxi industry operators and manage the service, these are estimated at R 1.4 billion, including compensation for operators. concerned over the next 12 years, ”he said.

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In a statement posted to social media by the Rustenburg Rapid Transport group this week, the group said it is currently reviewing some of the traffic problems facing drivers in the city.

“It’s done in line with all of the launch strategies, which should happen sooner (sic),” he said.

“The Yarona bus is about to hit town and all systems need to be in place. The city is preparing relentlessly with the relevant stakeholders to ensure a rapid transition. A few more weeks and we are ready. “

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