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Mpumalanga invests in infrastructure

Mpumalanga has set aside R2.065-billion for its infrastructure development programme for 2015/16.”Our infrastructure development programme continues to prioritise socio-economic infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and schools,” Premier David Mabuza said in his the State of the Province Address on 27 February.He said the province was making progress in the rehabilitation and maintenance of the coal haulage network to mitigate the degradation of roads in its mining areas.”The construction of the 68km Majuba railway is progressing well and the completion of this project will alleviate pressure on our coal haulage network, as it will change the transportation mode of coal to a number of power stations, especially Majuba Power Station, from road to rail.”The first coal-loaded train is scheduled to begin operating on 31 May 2016. “Once completed, this corridor will have cost in the region of R5.2-billion.”

Transport

In the provincial capital, Mbombela, phase one of the implementation of the Integrated Public Transport Network had been completed. Construction of the infrastructure, which involves widening some parts of the central business district road network, was under way. The project was aimed at incorporating all modes of transport.Further, Mabuza said the Moloto rail corridor development programme had been approved. “The Moloto Development Corridor will be a catalyst for stimulating economic growth and job creation that will benefit the province, especially Thembisile Hani and Dr JS Moroka local municipalities.”It will attract private sector investment along the corridor, thereby increasing prospects for employment and local enterprise development,” he said.The national Department of Transport had signed and handed over the project to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa for implementation.

Employment

Mpumalanga was making a significant contribution to enterprise development and supporting businesses to create employment opportunities, he said. The province and the Department of Trade and Industry had prioritised the establishment of the special economic zone (SEZ) in Nkomazi to attract investment that would unlock growth and create employment.”It will attract investment in a variety of industries, including the production of agri- chemicals and agro-processing initiatives… To support the proposed infrastructure investment, Nkomazi municipality has made land available for the establishment of the SEZ.”Mabuza said the process for the acquisition and registration of land for the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market had been concluded. “All the necessary statutory compliance matters such as the environmental impact assessments have been finalised.”The fresh produce market was a major infrastructure initiative to support agricultural production and create a logistics platform for the export of fresh produce to international markets. This market would create the required infrastructure and logistics platform to assist vegetable, fruit, citrus and meat production farmers and remove the current barriers to market.Construction of the market would begin in the next financial year, Mabuza said.

Source: SouthAfrica.info


 

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Rea Vaya services suspended

The Rea Vaya bus service in Johannesburg has been suspended until the service has enough drivers to operate it, operating company Piotrans said on Monday.

“The situation currently is we are embarking on the recruitment process and, on the plan, to see when we are going to resume service,” said general manager of strategy and transformation Dumisani Mntambo.

“The number of the drivers we are left with are too few to operate the service. We will announce during the course of this week, once the plan is established, where and when the service may resume.”

On Sunday, Piotrans said around 160 drivers who abandoned their buses two weeks ago without explanation had been dismissed following a disciplinary hearing.

Sixty-five bus drivers remained in the employ of the company.

“All those workers found guilty of misconduct have been dismissed with immediate effect,” the company said in a statement.

“The dismissed workers have been notified of their rights to appeal against the sanction imposed against them as a result of the disciplinary inquiry.”

Piotrans said at the time the drivers had not communicated their grievances to management.

The company said it instituted disciplinary action against the drivers who “abandoned buses in the streets of Johannesburg and absconded from work since February 2″.

The majority of bus drivers failed to heed the call to appear before a disciplinary hearing, it said.

“The company had made reasonable efforts to ensure that the notice to attend the hearing had been delivered to the employees, and further made means to ensure that the relevant trade union is notified of the matter at hand.”

The drivers were found guilty of various offences, including failing and refusing to drive the route that was issued to them, failing and refusing to park the buses in the prescribed authorised area, and purposely attempting to sabotage the company’s services.

“They conspired among themselves to bring the company buses to a halt, leaving the buses unattended in an unauthorised area in contravention of the company’s policies, rules and procedures.”

Source: Engineering News


 

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MyCiTi lauded as transport leader

The MyCiTi bus network has been lauded as a leader in the field of African public transport systems.

That accolade came from the Siemens African Green City Index – an independent survey that rated as “above average” the City of Cape Town’s performances of its responsibilities in land use practices, waste management (including reducing, re-using and recycling waste), environmental governance, air quality and water.

“The City of Cape Town welcomes the findings of an independent survey which has recognised the city’s MyCiTi bus network as a leader in the field of African public transport systems,” said Mayco member for transport Brett Heron.

“As a result, Cape Town is among the top cities in the index for the length of superior forms of transport such as Metro or BRT lines. The continued expansion of this network is crucial to both the empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities and to ease the pressures brought by rapid urban development.”

The report says of the MyCiti system: “The city’s performance in this category is bolstered by policies aimed at encouraging commuters to take greener forms of transport and by the existence of dedicated mass transport lanes.”

The report lauds the city’s measures to contain urban sprawl and the balance that it is seeking between necessary urban development and sustainability best practice, said Herron.

“Over the years, the city has invested more than R250 million in 68 public spaces in an effort to create innovative and inclusive community-friendly areas. The city’s previously disadvantaged communities have been the recipients of the majority of this investment,” Herron said.

“More than R35 million has been earmarked for the public urban space programme in the next two years. This will include the commencement of projects such as the upgrades to the Pavilion Precinct in Strand, the Pampoenkraal heritage site in Durbanville and the Langa Station southern forecourt.”

Source: IOL


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