Haram­bee buses will run in Ekurhu­leni soon

CityPress - - Gauteng State Of The Province - LLEWE­LYN PRINCE projects@city­press.co.za

The lat­est bus rapid tran­sit (BRT) ser­vice in Gaut­eng, the Haram­bee BRT in Ekurhu­leni, will be opened of­fi­cially in less than 62 days’ time. That’s ac­cord­ing to the count­down clock on Haram­bee’s of­fi­cial web­site.

The com­pany has 30 new, mod­ern buses ready to link all nine of the towns in its purview, with the eco­nomic nodes of Boks­burg, Kemp­ton Park and Ger­mis­ton es­pe­cially key, but in­clud­ing im­por­tant town­ships such as Tem­bisa and Vosloorus.

This is in line with Gaut­eng premier David Makhura’s pledge in his state of the prov­ince ad­dress last year, when he said that his ad­min­is­tra­tion had adopted a 25year in­te­grated mas­ter plan that would fo­cus on the de­vel­op­ment of an ef­fi­cient, Gaut­eng-wide trans­port net­work to achieve, among other things, spa­tial trans­for­ma­tion and in­clu­sive growth. He also had high praise for Haram­bee’s first phase. Ac­cord­ing to Makhura, the prov­ince will in­vest about R500 mil­lion in the Haram­bee bus sys­tem over the next five years.

Ekurhu­leni ex­ec­u­tive mayor Mondli Gun­gubele said at the of­fi­cial launch of the Haram­bee BRT sys­tem in Novem­ber last year that, as the heart of the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor and gate­way to the world’s trans­porta­tion sys­tem, Ekurhu­leni needed to be re­vamped to com­pete with other so-called air­port cities glob­ally.

Con­struc­tion of the first phase is reach­ing com­ple­tion. It is a 56km route that runs from Tem­bisa Hos­pi­tal to Vosloorus via Isando, Kemp­ton Park, OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Boks­burg.

A con­nec­tion node will be built be­tween Ivory Park and Tem­bisa to con­nect Haram­bee with the Rea Vaya BRT sys­tem. This de­vel­op­ment is in line with Gaut­eng roads and trans­port MEC Is­mail Vadi’s bud­get speech for the 2015/16 fi­nan­cial year, in which he said that the Gaut­eng govern­ment would man­age sev­eral mas­sive trans­port and in­fra­struc­ture projects over the next few years.

Th­ese in­cluded Haram­bee, as well as the fur­ther roll­out of Rea Vaya in Jo­han­nes­burg and the A Re Yeng bus ser­vice in Tsh­wane. Other projects in­clude:

The aerotropo­lis pro­ject around OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port;

The fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the Gau­train rail net­work;

The de­vel­op­ment of a new cargo and lo­gis­tics cen­tre, known as the Tambo-Springs in­land port; and

The re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of Metro­rail. Th­ese projects, ac­cord­ing to Vadi, are ex­pected to col­lec­tively cre­ate more than 500 000 jobs dur­ing their con­struc­tion phases and af­ter their com­ple­tion.

They will also pro­duce eco­nomic growth, es­pe­cially in Ekurhu­leni, and pave the way for the trans­for­ma­tion, mod­erni­sa­tion and rein­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of the Gaut­eng econ­omy.

Vadi said plans were also in place for the ex­ten­sion of the Gau­train to link Tsh­wane and Ekurhu­leni with Lanse­ria In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Along with this, Metro­rail’s op­er­a­tions in Gaut­eng would be ex­panded over the next decade, with the pur­chase of new trains to mod­ernise the rail ser­vice and in­te­grate it with the bus rapid tran­sit sys­tems and the Gau­train.

The prov­ince would also spend bil­lions to re­ha­bil­i­tate key ar­te­rial roads, such as the N12 and R14 high­ways, which would not be tolled, un­like many of the other up­graded Gaut­eng free­ways.

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