Transport Month celebrates the ‘heartbeat’ of South Africa’s economy

“A resilient and fast-growing economy is at the heart of our radical economic transformation agenda and our National Development Plan,” Transport Minister Dipuo Peters at the launch of Transport Month at Mmorogong village in North West on Saturday.

Transport is the heart of the country’s development, the heartbeat of the economy, she said.

The theme of the month-long campaign is “Together we move South Africa forward”.

“Our programme this year will showcase transport infrastructure projects, promote the use of public transport and advance the country’s road safety initiatives,” Peters said.
The minister praised the transport industry’s accomplishments and explained its ongoing works.

Roads and airports

Peters commended the work of the Road Accident Fund, describing it as “the country’s social security safety net that covers and consoles those tragically maimed on South African roads”.

Peters said the fund continues to deliver services despite a tough economic climate.

She applauded work done by the Airports Company South Africa, saying airports across the country are becoming important catalysts for economic growth.

“They are being transformed into multi-faceted, world-class, global gateways for travel, trade and commerce. As a result, business opportunities abound, particularly in property, retail and advertising.”

Turning to maritime transport, Peters said under Operation Phakisa there were already a group of local and international investors collaborating to operate South Africa-flagged ships.

Ongoing projects

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa will be acquiring new stock over the next decade because the current rolling stock was over 50 years old, Peters said. “The acquisition of the new rolling stock will also include the upgrade of the current rail infrastructure, including stations in our main cities and towns.”

She said progress was being made in the Moloto Road Development Corridor, in which investment in passenger rail will give commuters a safer, faster and more accessible connection between Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

Peters said the refurbishment of the infamous Moloto Road will take five years to complete at a cost of R4.5-billion.

“Moloto Road is notoriously known as the road of death. We are going to transform it into a road of hope,” she said.

She described the national road network as arteries carrying life-giving oxygen in the South African economy’s lifeblood.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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