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Rail investment to benefit youth, women

Government is boosting efforts to develop and transform transport in the country.

The youth and women of Ekurhuleni are set to benefit from a multimillion Rand rail project, which is expected to start next year in Gauteng.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi recently announced that starting early in 2018 his department will invest R2.5 billion in the Etwatwa and Daveyton rail project, which will transport an average of 25 000 people daily.

“If you talk about radical socio-economic transformation, you talk about people on the ground, and you talk about empowering the youth. The majority of people to be employed in this project will be women and the youth,” Minister Maswanganyi said.

Almost 12 rail stations will be built to service Etwatwa and Daveyton in Ekurhuleni.

Minister Maswanganyi said the department will make sure that sub-contractors are sourced locally during the implementation of the project to empower local communities.

“We believe that if we take the project to Etwata, priority must be given to people from the community for jobs," said the Minister.

The department has also invested in a train factory in Nigel in Ekurhuleni, where 580 trains are being manufactured.

“We are establishing a supplier park around the train manufacturing project, and the project will employ more than 8 000 people,” Minister Maswanganyi said.

Other big projects in the pipeline that the Minister highlighted include a R4 billion Cargo Hub Project at OR Tambo International Airport and the Moloto Rail Project.

Minister Maswanganyi said the department is finalising the paperwork for the Moloto Rail Project. As soon as this is done, the project will be implemented. However, a R3.7 billion road project starting in Marble Hall is already underway, the Minister said.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the department is investing massively in Durban Port as part of Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy.

“We are investing massively in infrastructure because transport is the heartbeat of the economy,” the Minister said.