The City of Cape Town (COCT) may need to put some brakes on its plans regarding the feasibility study to take over the metro rail function to the metro. This comes after a late-night statement was released by the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbulula on his Twitter page, stating that only he can ‘assign a public transport function to another sphere of government’.
COCT, Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis had made the announcement regarding the feasibility study on 28 April after pointing out PRASA had reached breaking point, with just over 30 working trains compared to the 95 trains the City had in 1995.
Mbalula noted that the endorsement by the Minister of Finance for the City to conduct an assessment of the practicality of the proposed plan was not enough, as per the National Land Transport Act of 2009 (NLTA).
Any suggestions that the Minister of Finance has given a green light for commuter rail takeover by the City of Cape Town is inaccurate. Only the Minister of Transport can assign a public transport function to another sphere of government. pic.twitter.com/HTHZ8EaKwP
— FIKILE MBALULA | MR FIX (@MbalulaFikile) April 28, 2022
“Any suggestion that the minister of finance has given a green light for commuter rail takeover by the City of Cape Town is inaccurate. Only the minister of transport can assign a public transport function to another sphere of government,” Mbalula’s statement said.
However, this has not dampened the Mayor’s spirit and all hope is not lost judging by Hill-Lewis’ tweet in response to Mbalula’s statement, which suggested the mayor was ‘even more excited’ as the Minister’s statement did not reject the feasibility study.
90% of this is exactly what I announced today, written in such a way so as to seem that it isn’t.
In a way, this makes me even more excited! We can do this.
Let’s make the trains work. https://t.co/L3oAirHJvV
— Geordin Hill-Lewis (@geordinhl) April 28, 2022
Picture: CapeTown ETC gallery