The EThekwini Transport Authority is doing its best to ensure that citizens enjoy safe, affordable, reliable and accessible transportation.
Mayor Cllr James Nxumalo said the Municipality was doing its best to ensure that its citizens enjoy a safe and affordable transport system as well as working hard to achieve the objectives of the five year Integrated Transport Plan. At an event recently held by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), the City was praised for including the taxi industry in its transport plan. “What we see in eThekwini is the right approach, there is meaningful engagement and we are impressed,” said Santaco President Jabulani Mthembu. Nxumalo said the City had learnt a lot from Johannesburg and Cape Town when they implemented their transport systems.
“We are also happy with the engagements between the taxi operators and the City. The negotiations are going well,” and the sustainable economic growth of the City was also dependent on the transport system.” he said “There is a lot of work that has been put into the public transport system especially prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We saw the development of the People Mover Buses, the disabled were provided with the diala-ride programme and the traffic congestion decreased on Warwick Junction due to the upgrade and construction done in the area,” said Nxumalo. EThekwini was currently focusing on the five-year-integrated plan to ensure that residents of the City receive a world class transport system.
He urged drivers to be vigilant when driving on the roads and not to drink and drive. The introduction of a dedicated Dial-a-Ride service for disabled people also proved that eThekwini cares about all of its citizens. The 10 buses are operated by the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) for people who are unable to use other modes of public transport because of their special needs. Not only was the City focusing on buses and taxis but infrastructure and roads development was a major factor in public transport. The Municipality also had an ongoing programme to improve and develop roads in and around the Municipality. Completion of recent strategic road infrastructure included the Albert Luthuli M4 Freeway Public Transport Lanes, Warwick Triangle Inbound and Outbound Viaducts and Khangela Bridge.
Deputy Head of the Roads Provision Department of the Engineering Unit Roy Gooden said, “The main projects include Queen Nandi Drive Phase four and the M4/Umhlanga Rocks Drive Interchange upgrade.” The Queen Nandi Drive Phase four project involves the construction of three traffic lanes along Queen Nandi Drive between the N2 and Marseilles Crescent. The project is estimated to cost about R100 million. “The completed road will significantly reduce traffic congestion in the area and facilitate easier access to and from the Riverhorse Valley industrial complex.” He further explained that the upgrade of the M4/Umhlanga Rocks Drive Interchange, which is currently underway at a cost of R30 million was to decrease traffic congestion on the busy road. The Department was not only focusing on more urbanised areas but also planned to make the lives of people living in semi-rural areas a little easier.
Residents of semi rural areas in Folweni, KwaMakhutha, Tshelimnyama, Mpola, Molweni, Fredville, Camperdown, Ntshongweni and Inanda can expect construction projects in their areas. “The ongoing gravel to surface programme which this year focuses on the rural areas will see 22 gravel roads which are about 16km in total being upgraded to a black-top surface including appropriate storm water control,” said Gooden. He explained that besides the 259m long bridge in Phase four of the Queen Nandi Drive project and the Umhlanga Rocks Drive interchange bridge, widening of the Ellis Brown Viaduct to include a cycle lane is also in the pipeline. Gooden said that besides providing new road infrastructure, routine road maintenance such as pothole repairs is carried out by the Roads and Stormwater Department.
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