Gautrain: The mega job-making machine

The Gautrain has created 11 700 direct jobs, Gauteng minister for local government Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu said on Tuesday.

She was briefing the media on the Gautrain’s effect on the province’s economy.

She said the project had also created 51 500 indirect and induced jobs.

“Gautrain has always maintained that it is more than just a transport project ... Gautrain has presented Gauteng with an opportunity to empower its citizens, and particularly to expand the economic activity of the province,” said Mahlangu.

This was a clear indication of the province’s commitment to grow Gauteng’s economy by 8% by 2014, she added.

Companies that had benefited from the Gautrain project included 260 black empowerment entities, 90 new black empowerment entities and 230 small, medium and micro enterprises.

With regards to training, 10 400 courses had been attended by unskilled or semi-skilled staff and 1 250 courses had been attended by management, Mahlangu said.

Jack van der Merwe, CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency, told the briefing that socio-economic development had been part of the tender requirement which was won by Bombela.

He added that the socio-economic development strategy was put in place even before the signing of the concession agreement with Bombela to ensure that all parties had an equal understanding of the socio-economic development requirements.

Van der Merwe said the Gautrain had to be seen as more than just a transport project.

“The project must stimulate economic growth, investment, new development and job creation. It is designed to restructure urban areas, reduce travel distances, time and cost and improve city sustainability.”

Van der Merwe said the Gautrain’s objectives were to promote public transport.

“It is necessary to make public transport a mode of choice,” he said.

Asked if the Gautrain would be a safe mode of transport, given the recent train accidents in the province, Van der Merwe said he could assure passengers a safe trip.

“Metrorail has old rolling stock and its signalling systems are old. We started afresh—we have the best technology in the world,” he said.

Regarding personal security, he said that security personnel and over 400 close circuit television monitors would be used for this purpose.—Sapa

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