Gauteng releases transport plan

GAUTENG - A 25-year Integrated Transport Master Plan (ITMP25) to ensure mobility for all Gauteng residents has been released.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi said the plan would determine a radical paradigm shift in spatial and transport planning.

“It’s a point of departure from apartheid spatial planning, land use and mobility patterns, and ushers in an innovative way of structuring our future societal development,” said Vadi.

He said the plan set out a “strategic framework” to better the lives of residents, stimulate economic growth and render the province as an attractive destination for investment and tourism.

According to Vadi, the plan provided an assessment of the current transport and land-use challenges. It also forecasted economic and population growth scenarios, which have been used to plan the future transport needs and solutions in the province.

He emphasised the shift in transport modes, from private to public transport, and from road to rail, due to the expansion of the provincial public transport system.

“Given the prospect of the population growing to 18.7 million and a sharp increase in the use of privately-owned cars, residents of Gauteng would live through the nightmarish scenario of unparalleled traffic gridlocks,” said Vadi.

The plan prioritises public transport with the rail system being the backbone of the network. This will enable a shift from private vehicles to public and non-motorised transport that will reduce congestion, enhance efficiency and promote sustainability.
Vadi pointed out that strengthening freight rail and the movement of long-haul freight from road to rail was a key departure point. Possible longer-term funding options and institutional arrangements to successfully deliver on the proposed plan were also developed. It proposed the establishment of a province-wide transport authority and a fourfold increase in funding for transport infrastructure over the period.

“Implementing the eight strategic interventions and other recommendations proposed by the ITMP25 would work towards achieving an integrated and efficient transport system that promotes sustainable economic growth, skills development and job creation; fosters quality of life; socially includes all communities, and preserves the environment,” said Vadi.

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