Residents of Gauteng have been let down by the public transport system, especially the railway system in the province.
Currently, there are 134 train sets that are not operational the province, while there are only 17 sets available.
However, due to vandalism, the 17 train sets that are available cannot be utilised optimally, leaving commuters to find an alternative, and often more expensive means of getting to and from work.
This information was revealed to the DA by the MEC for Transport Jacob Mamabolo from my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
The answers received from MEC Mamabolo is deeply worrying as this means that residents who cannot afford any other mode of transport, face greater difficulty in getting to work.
Travel by rail is by far the cheapest way to travel to and from work, however the inability of our provincial Transport department to ensure that this critical piece of infrastructure is safeguarded and properly maintained has led to this service now being underutilised. In addition, a better rail transport system that is maintained properly and has proper security on an ongoing basis will save the province millions in repairing critical transport infrastructure.
This has led to severe overcrowding in other transport services, non-adherence to Covid-19 protocols and loss of much-needed revenue.
While the department has plans to ensure that 20 train sets are recovered through maintenance by the end of this financial year, ideally al l134 train sets that are not in operation must be fixed and put back into operation as a matter of urgency.
This will ensure that pressure is eased on other modes of public transport and will also drastically reduce travel times to and from work.
The DA will continue to put pressure and demand that our railway system is fixed as a matter of urgency so that our residents can have the all three modes of public transport available to them at all times.