MEC Vadi Frustrated with Slow Pace of BRT, Aerotropolis Developments
May 25, 2017 Comments Off on MEC Vadi Frustrated with Slow Pace of BRT, Aerotropolis Developments
Publication: Engineering News
Gauteng Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi has expressed his concern with the slow pace of development of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in Gauteng, as well as the delay in rolling out the Aerotropolis project, in Ekurhuleni.
Speaking at an Intelligent Transport Systems South Africa (ITSSA) forum in Centurion, he noted that Gauteng, which faced a massive influx of people, had “to work much harder to build public transport systems”.
“An area of concern to me is the slow pace at which the BRT networks are being rolled out.
“We know the phases, we know what needs to be done, we have enough practical experience, but it is just taking too long.
“I was hoping at least, by now, that the first phases of Harambee and Tshwane would have been in place already, and phase three of Johannesburg, but what we hear is that there will be at least another year delay.
Vadi added that the aerotropolis project held the potential to be “a game changer” for the Ekurhuleni metro.
The project focuses on the development of industries which have customers around OR Tambo International Airport, or which have customers one flight away from the Gauteng-based airport. These include fast-cycle logistics, aviation-related industries, advanced manufacturing, tourism, sports and recreation, agribusiness and professional services.
“Again we are extremely concerned, as the provincial government, at the slow pace with which the approval process is moving within the municipality,” noted Vadi.
“The masterplan was ready more than a year ago, but till today the council has not formally approved the development.
“It shouldn’t take so long. There is widespread agreement on the broad parameters and thrust of the project. It shouldn’t take a municipality a year to get the approval process going.”
Vadi warned that the private sector was moving much faster than government. Armed with knowledge of the aerotropolis masterplan, the private sector has already rolled out several property developments along the R21 freeway.
“Once the private sector knows this plan is there and there is certainty, they will move. The problem is government is moving too slowly. It is not matching the pace of economic development. We are not agile and fast enough to get the process going.”
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