Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has announced the first steps in a bid to take over the management of the rail network in Cape Town.

He made the announcement during a speech during a full Council sitting this morning.

Hill Lewis says National Treasury has given the go ahead for a feasibility study to take place, to see how the Municipality can take over from PRASA to run the trains.

He says the National Government’s Rail service has reached crisis point in Cape Town, with just 33 operational train sets in 2020 compared to 95 trains sets in 1995.

What Hill Lewis announced:

  • City of Cape Town is now ready to proceed with a detailed feasibility study for the devolution of the metropolitan rail function to this metro.
  • The City has already issued the tender and the work will begin as soon as the new financial year begins on 1 July this year.
  • The Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility,  Rob Quintas and his team will ensure not a second is wasted during this process.
  • Hill Lewis says in recent days there has been a sea-change in policy statements from the national government – they are now seeing regular and substantive verbal commitments to privatization in South Africa, from the national government itself.
  • A letter received from the Minister of Finance this week not only gives the City the green light to conduct the passenger rail feasibility study, but fully endorses the intended policy direction in favour of devolution of this critical function.
  • In the letter, Minister Godongwana expresses the view on behalf of the National Treasury that a study of this kind is essential and should be carried out by the City.
  • Furthermore, that a municipality should be assigned a function by agreement, and as long as there is adequate capacity at the municipal level to perform the function.
  • The Minister further added that the policy intent in the White Paper on Transport Policy and the draft White Paper on Rail Policy, is for public transport to be devolved to the lowest level.

This is a big deal, because up until now, the national government had tried to block the feasibility study. There is a new wind blowing, we hope.

I want to thank Minister Godongwana for the national government’s encouraging and supportive letter.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says one of his biggest priorities for 2022 is to create as many jobs for Capetonians as possible.

Hill-Lewis spoke to Smile 90.4FM this week and says the recent lifting of the UK’s Covid-19 travel ban came at just the right time for local businesses.

He says that although his first term as mayor started with great challenges, his administration is focused on growing and further improving the Mother City.

Follow Hill-Lewis’ latest tweets here.

Related articles:

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has switched on the Adderley Street Festive Lights.

The switch-on is the traditional start of the Festive Season in Cape Town. Its usually accompanied by a concert to mark the occasion, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s concert was cancelled.

Despite the change of proceedings, Hill-Lewis still had the honour of switching on the lights and he addressed a small group of media who were at Adderley Street.

The mayor says switching on the Festive Lights brought back good memories: “I remember my mom bringing me to Adderley Street as a young boy to see the lights being switched on. I remember the feeling of wonder and excitement seeing the lights blink on for as far as the eye could see, or at least that’s what it felt like to a small child.”

Hill-Lewis also had a message for residents: “As we enjoy this December, let us recommit ourselves to demonstrating our caring and compassionate spirit for each other during these difficult times. I encourage every Capetonian to do something – just one thing – this December to bless and help someone less fortunate. By doing just one random act of kindness, we will help to build the more inclusive, more caring Cape Town that we are working towards.”

To spread the festive cheer the City of Cape Town has once again increased the reach of the festive lights display to the rest of the city. The City has installed festive lights displays in Muizenberg, Grassy Park, Macassar, Strand, Somerset West, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Ravensmead, Valhalla Park, Khayelitsha, Hanover Park, Mitchells Plain and Atlantis.

A further 90 Christmas trees in areas across the city will be draped in lights.

And, the City has assured residents that the Festive Lights have been installed with the environment top of mind. “The City has taken energy conservation into consideration during the installation process, where we have switched from the normal incandescent lamp (7Watt) to rope light (14 Watt per metre). By using these low consumption devices, we reduce the load on the network considerably,” they say in a statement.