Another Billion Spent On The Gautrain

Gautrain Management Agency

The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) together with the Gauteng Treasury and Department of Roads and Transport has paid out R980 million to Bombardier, the Gautrain operating company in an out of court settlement.

This information was recently revealed to the Gauteng Portfolio Committee on Roads and Transport by Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi.

The settlement is in respect of all outstanding matters relating to phase one of the Gautrain project.

MEC Vadi stated that he felt that any expansion of the Gautrain would be better managed because of lessons learned during Gautrain phase one.

It is obvious that contracts were not up to scratch from government’s side which favoured Bombardier in these negotiations.

This pushes the direct cost of phase one well over the R30 billion mark and does not include the ongoing annual ridership guarantees which run well in excess of R1.5 billion presently, and will not reduce significantly over time, if ever.

The expansion of the Gautrain route could be beneficial to the province but it is essential that tight monitoring of costs and water-tight contracts protecting government and citizens are in place.

Media Enquiries:

Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperon for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

[Image source]

Gautrain Expansion Plans Continue To Exclude Majority Of Gauteng’s Commuters

Gauteng Legislature Roads and Transport Committee

Disclosures in the Gauteng Legislature Roads and Transport committee regarding the expansion of the Gautrain should be fully investigated as a matter of urgency.

The current, yet to be released, feasibility study will conclude that expansion is feasible given sufficient funds.

In the 2015/16 financial year the Gautrain enjoyed a subsidy of R1.56 billion. This is set to rise to R1.8 billion this year and consumes a sizeable portion of the Department’s R6.4 billion budget.

Whilst it is important to plan for the future transport needs of South Africa’s most populated province, it must be done in the most cost effective way possible while catering for the greatest number of passengers.

Gautrain fares are priced at too high a premium over PRASA rates, and cater for the more affluent, not for the majority of the provinces commuters.

Gautrain Management Agency

Auditor General staff criticised the Gautrain’s ridership contract, highlighting that it was poorly negotiated and stating that “even if the Gautrain was running 24/7/365 at full capacity the ridership guarantee would be payable”. This is strong criticism of the Department and its legal advisors.

Additionally, the underground network has only one tunnel which severely limits the number of train sets. The short-sighted approach of the designers, probably dictated by a huge escalation in construction costs from the original figure of R6-7 billion to over R32 billion, deserve to be criticised.

The Gautrain Management Agency is now hinting that only they can do extensions to the rail network as PRASA is still reeling from controversial purchase of locomotives which were too high for the overhead power lines.

The much needed rail links to the north-west of Johannesburg and Mamelodi to Naledi must enjoy priority

However, this cannot be done with an ailing fiscus. It cannot be resolved with the proposed Gautrain expansion plan, as high fares will continue to isolate the majority of commuters.

The DA will continue to monitor this issue to ensure that affordable transport services are prioritised over empire building exercises.


Media enquiries:

Dr Neil Campbell MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Roads and Transport

082 387 2540

[Image source]