CAPE TOWN – In the first acknowledgement that Cape Town’s congestion will not be solved by increasing the road network, the City of Cape Town has announced plans to develop a new railway line to connect Khayelitsha and Kuils River.
The new railway line is part of the city council’s Built Environment Performance Plans for the next 12 months. The aim of the project is to transform Cape Town’s spatial reality through the creation of public transport and housing on land close to job opportunities.
From July 2017, the council will inject R6.8 billion into three integration zones – the new train line, a MyCiTi roll-out for the metro south-east area and road corridors for the Voortrekker line.
Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said: “By prioritising dense, transit-oriented growth and development in these integration zones, the city seeks to create more inclusive communities with access to improved services, job opportunities and affordable housing and public transport.
“We will, in line with our transit-oriented development strategic framework, identify housing opportunities closer to our MyCiTi stations and rail stations in these integration zones. Providing affordable housing closer to where people work or close to public transport is non-negotiable. In so doing, we will create a more integrated and inclusive city where residents have equal access to opportunities.”
Herron said the lead investor for the railway line was the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, which had committed to invest R5 billion and would design and develop the Khayelitsha-Kuils River railway line and its stations in Wimbledon, Blue Downs and Mfuleni.
Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenani said planning for this line dated back to the early 1990s. The next phase was to do an environmental impact assessment, including public participation. The project was expected to begin in the 2017/18 financial year, while it would take four to five years to complete the design and construction.
Herron said R2.4 billion would be spent on the MyCiTi roll-out project.
“The imminent roll-out of Phase 2A of the MyCiTi service to Wynberg and Claremont is central to the metro south-east.
“In terms of our transit-oriented development strategic framework, the city will either invest in the improvement of existing public transport infrastructure in the metro south-east, or in new public transport infrastructure such as in Philippi East to ignite urban renewal, economic growth, and job creation,” he said.
The third integration zone – Voortrekker Corridor – focuses on business districts such as Bellville, Maitland, Parow, Goodwood and Salt River. Herron said the city would be addressing public transport capacity constraints and freight movement along Voortrekker Road and the inefficient and unproductive use of public land.
“The city will use the available public land and existing public transport infrastructure as a catalyst for the regeneration of these business districts,” he said.
PHOTO: Khayelitsha-Kuils River railway line will have stations at Wimbledon, Blue Downs and Mfuleni. File photo: INLSA