Cape Town - DA mayoral candidate for the City of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis says his party was committed to making public transport work by fighting for control over the railways and funding to expand the MyCiti bus service.
“It is no secret that large parts of Cape Town’s rail network has collapsed, but new analysis done by the DA shows the true extent to which the national government, through Metrorail, has destroyed Cape Town’s train system,” he said.
He made the statement when he launched the party’s sixth pledge at the Woodstock train station.
Hill-Lewis said their analysis mapped all of the wards in the city through which either the northern, central or southern railway lines run.
“Today I can report that Metrorail has collapsed to such a staggering extent that 64% of Capetonians living in wards that previously had access to passenger rail services have now lost that access.
“Today, only 36% of residents still have access to a working train station in the ward where they live.”
He also said the collapse of Metrorail has hit some of the poorest communities in Cape Town the hardest.
“Decades of mismanagement by the national government, including during the past two years of lockdown, has all but destroyed Cape Town’s passenger rail system.”
Hill-Lewis also said that similarly to load shedding and policing, there was simply no way that the national government would ever restore Cape Town’s train service to full capacity.
“That is why the DA is today committing to intensifying our fight to take control over Cape Town’s train system. We believe that the boundaries of the Constitution have not yet been properly tested on this matter,” he said.
“With the support of voters on November 1, the DA will test and redefine these boundaries in our quest to take control over Cape Town’s train system,” Hill-Lewis said.
He also said his party was pledging to continue investing in other forms of public transport, including the MyCiti bus system.
“It is absolutely critical that we get the N2 Express line running again as soon as possible. I am advised that the City of Cape Town is making good progress in that regard, and the DA will not rest until we have that service up and running again.”
He added that they would redouble their work on Phase 2A of MyCiti, which will link Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain to Claremont and Wynberg.
“At the same time, we will also undertake a dedicated project to improve the safety and quality of roads throughout the city, invest in expanding options for non-motorised transport to make pedestrians and cyclists safer, and improve the safety of passengers using minibus taxis.”