Pretoria – Residents camping outside the Union Buildings have vowed not to leave until the government guarantees that the Moloto Road rail corridor project will start soon.
The group comes from the Mpumalanga municipalities of Thembisile Hani, Dr JS Moroka and Elias Motsoaledi. They arrived in Pretoria more than a week ago hoping to get the attention of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
They said they expected Ramaphosa to be aware of this project promised to them since 1994.
The group’s convener, Sam Masango, said: “We are not going to just go away without being recognised because we are here fighting to liberate our people from the hands of poverty brought to our communities by lack of investment as a result of the Moloto Road. According to them, the accident-ridden Moloto Road was scaring away investors.
“This project was long promised to our people. If the president does not have time to meet us, then he must delegate Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni to meet us. We just want the government to issue us the document letter to guarantee that this project will start.
“The painful truth is that taxpayers’ money was spent on government processes and consultation for this project but nothing has happened to this day.
“Government officials were sent to China to learn more about implementing such a project, but there is nothing to show for it. That cannot be right.”
Masango said the project stretched back to former president Jacob Zuma’s era, and several ministers of transport including S’bu Ndebele and Jeff Radebe, but the last time they had any hope was when Dipuo Peters was at the helm of the department.
Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenani said the project was still being discussed at the Department of Transport.
The entity previously said the project would include 13 new train stations, Koedoespoort Rapid Rail Alignment (117km of dual track), modal integration points and surface 240km of feeder routes.
It was envisaged this would connect with the Tshwane bus rapid transit system and include a new dual 67km carriageway from Siyabuswa to Moloto Road as well as the Mamelodi East and Greenview Pienaarspoort alignment.