Msunduzi to fast-track city’s public transport system

2013-02-08 00:00

THE MSUNDUZI Municipality has added more senior muscle to ensure that a R3,2 billion project to revamp the city’s public transport system is fast-tracked.

The Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) is similar to the Rea Vaya in Johannesburg and My City in Cape Town and is being funded by the national Department of Transport.

The first phase of the plan to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce transport times and create jobs was unveiled by mayor Chris Ndlela a year ago.

The consultation phase began in February 2012.

The council’s executive committee (Exco) heard yesterday that although the project fell under the infrastructure unit, it was decided that more muscle was needed because the project was not getting the attention it deserved.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi told Exco that the challenge in fast-tracking the project was that it was handled by a junior official, who was at the bottom of the municipal chain.

This impacted on her decision making, especially in a project of this magnitude, he said.

A programme management unit, headed by the deputy municipal manager, had therefore been established to ensure that there were no delays in implementation and that well informed decisions were taken.

Detailed designs for the project would be finalised by June, Nkosi said.

The unit would be disbanded once the project was completed.

A taxi transactional adviser will be appointed today to liaise with taxi operators to ensure that they are informed about the new developments.

“It’s all systems go,” Nkosi said.

It is envisaged that the first phase will take five years to complete and another five years before the spin-offs are visible.

The Witness reported last year that the revamped transport system would cover about 2 500 km of the city’s roads and 1 250 km of pedestrian access ways and tracks.

More buses are to be used as part of the plan.

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