14 Years and billions more pumped into incomplete Rustenburg Rapid Transport project – symbolic of ANC’s empty promises

Issued by Cllr Martin Coetzee – DA Councillor: Rustenburg Local Municipality
14 Jul 2020 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find the attached soundbite in English and Afrikaans by Cllr Martin Coetzee, the DA Councillor in Rustenburg Local Municipality

For more than 14 years and at least R3 billion spent since the Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) planned in 2005, the Rustenburg Local Municipality has little to show for the time and money spent.

Only a glimpse of the RRT project has been seen when a bus ferrying the Mayor and municipal officials on 29 June 2020 as part of the technical tests of the project.

To date, Rustenburg Local Municipality (RLM) has only received one bus, which was delivered for a technical demonstration.

In 2019 a concrete roof on one of the RRT stations collapsed despite millions paid to the contractor which delivered shoddy work. Not a single official or contractor has been held accountable and neither has any money been recovered.

The Rustenburg Local Municipality is currently scrambling to complete two of the 18 bus stations along the CBD route to open phase one of the project.

Even though the RRT was planned in 2005, the people of Rustenburg are still without an integrated, affordable and reliable public transport system.

In reply to a written question by DA Member of Parliament, Sello Seitlholo, to the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, asking him if he intends to assess the progress made by the Rustenburg Local Municipality on the completion of the RRT project including the collapsed bus station, the Minister responded that his department was working closely with the municipality to implement operations on the Tlhabane corridor where the station roof collapsed. He also stated that operations were expected to start no later than January 2020.

At least R3 billion allocated to the RRT project and spent, what the Rustenburg Local municipality has to show for this project is a road surface with grass growing through it, one bus, two stations and collapsing stations due to shoddy workmanship.

The National Department of Transport has clearly failed to exercise its oversight role of monitoring and evaluating the progress towards the completion of the RRT project.

The DA has motivated for Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport to undertake an oversight to the RRT construction site and meet with Rustenburg Local Municipality officials to provide clarity on these issues.

The DA will continue to monitor the project and keep a close eye on the remaining construction work to ensure the completion of the project to the benefit of the people.

Public Transport is one of the most important reform essentials which can contribute to local economic development resulting in job creation. Taxpayers’ money cannot continue to be wasted on incomplete and shoddy transport systems which do not benefit the people of Rustenburg.