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Go!Durban Construction Moving Ahead
Construction of various aspects of the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN), known as GO!Durban, was moving in full steam said eThekwini Transport Authority Head Thami Manyathi.
Manyathi was presenting a progress report on the IRPTN, which aims to improve public transport in the City, to the Executive Committee.

He said the improved transport system formed the foundation for development in the City.
“The City’s IRPTN provides the structuring element for the Integration Zone and supports the spatial development framework and Urban Network Strategy. It is designed to link major residential and underserved areas to places of economic and social activity including the CBD and urban hubs.”

He said the focus of implementation is on phase one which includes corridors 1, 2, 3 and 9.
 C3, which is the route between Pinetown and Bridge City in KwaMashu, is the first corridor planned to go live.

“Progress on C3 includes 23km of 27km completed. The sections at Dinkelman Road and Crossroads are delayed but this will not affect the start of operations. The pilot station of Regent Street, New Germany is expected to be completed in June 2017. The platforms for 14 stations are completed with the top structure to be completed in November 2017.”

Manyathi said an interim depot is being constructed in Pinetown, pending the completion of the main depot in Bridge City. Construction of Stage 1 of the Bridge City Terminal is underway.

He said planned future activities to ensure operation readiness include putting together an operational plan for C3, refinement of service plans and cost estimates to include a hybrid model which incorporates part of the existing fleet as feeders and preparation of contract packages for negotiations with operators.

Regarding the Skills Development Strategy, he said it was completed and in place with the training of drivers and other Vehicle Operating Company requirements to commence as soon as agreements are reached with operators.

“Negotiations deal with regards to not only how operators will participate in Go!Durban, but also address other empowerment programmes such as Public Transport Operations Grant Contracts, Public Transport Service Improvement Incentives and Enterprise Development,” Manyathi said.

Providing an update on progress made on C2, he said planned improvements include Infrastructure and signal system upgrades, new rolling stock and depot, station modernisation and an upgrade of station precincts in accordance with international best practice and principles of universal accessibility and transit orientated development. Business plan for C2, developed jointly by the City and PRASA to be tabled at budget discussion in November 2017.”

Progress on C9 includes construction of right of way starting, C9 interchange linking Cornubia and Umhlanga Gateway to be completed by August 2017 and to commence construction on Cornubia Boulevard and the C9/M49 interchange in first quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year. Manyathi said there was prime investment on C3, C9 and C2.

“The public sector investment is R 14 billion while the private sector investment is R35 billion and includes both residential and commercial. The Right of Way is 77km with 22 transfer stations. Also 80 000 units will be built by human settlements with the private sector building 3 000.”

Another positive was the investment in communities.

“In construction there will be 448 000 full time employment opportunities with 44 200 permanent jobs created. There will also be skills development through entrepreneurship, professional drivers, construction, manufacturing and cycling.”

He said the Empowerment Charter supported the City’s Radical Economic Transformation Framework, through contracts to empower and uplift small businesses. 

The target value for local wards was R 123 969 545, with the total spend to date being R170 609 045.
In greater eThekwini, the target value was R 247 939 090 but the total spend to date was 
R332 362 444.

“We have exceeded the targets set for ourselves. Everything is moving along well,” Manyathi added.
Manyathi said formal negations with operators, including both the taxi and bus sectors, had commenced. He said all engagements were chaired by an independent facilitator. 

EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede praised the work done so far and urged the Unit to keep up the good work to improve the public transport system.

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