Gautrain tunnel ruling welcomed

2013-11-28 09:34
Gautrain (Picture: Sapa)

Gautrain (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The PAC welcomed a ruling on Wednesday that the Bombela Concession Company fix the ingress of water into parts of the Gautrain's tunnel in Johannesburg.

"This repels the myth of private sector is beyond reproach on quality of workmanship," said Tshwane regional chairperson Sibusis Xaba in a statement.

"Nevertheless, we remain extremely worried about secrecy surrounding the concession agreement."
Bombela designed and built the Gautrain rapid rail project.

Gautrain spokesperson Barbara Jensen said earlier on Wednesday the tunnel section between Johannesburg Park Station and E2 (Emergency Shaft Two), and between Rosebank station and the Marlboro portal, was not in accordance with the contract specifications.

Beyond the ruling, the PAC was extremely discouraged by the transport budget, which provided a subsidy of more than R600m while citizens were told Gautrain was highly utilised.

"This amount could remove the ill-conceived desire of e-tolls for people of the City of Tshwane who are commuting to work around their own city or to two neighbouring cities," said Xaba.

Jensen said Bombela was not allowed to appeal against the ruling and was expected to present the Gautrain management agency with plans to fix the problem.

Water was seeping into both sections of the tunnel, but the water level between Park station and E2, near Roedean School in Parktown, was far higher than in the rest of the tunnel.

Both problems would be fixed, but Park station would be first.

She said this had been a long dispute between the Gauteng provincial government and Bombela.

It started around the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 when the rail company decided not to open the Johannesburg Park Station section along with the rest of the system.

Jensen could not say whether operations would stop during the process of fixing the problem.

"Closure is not open for discussion yet, until Bombela presents [to us]."

She said the plans should have a minimal effect on commuters.

Efforts to fix the seeping water would start next year, she said.
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  gautrain

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