Pretoria – A R3.5 billion loan has been approved in principle by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to buy new Gautrain coaches, Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said.
MEC Vadi said in terms of the future plans of the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) and Bombela Concession Company (BCC) to increase capacity on the Gautrain system, a total of 48 new rail cars will be required to see the Gautrain system grow over the next decade.
He was outlining the business model for the additional Gautrain rolling stock during a media briefing in Johannesburg, on Tuesday.
The repayment of the loan would be based on a self-funding mechanism, which includes revenue from the increase in passenger capacity, MEC Vadi said.
The Gauteng provincial government will also use revenue from the Gautrain, which comes from existing sources of funding within the current concession agreement with BCC.
MEC Vadi said the Gautrain system has to date transported over 50 million rail passengers and currently carries 1.4 million passengers per month.
“Current passenger growth has been consistent in the peak periods and if the current patronage in the peak periods is not addressed, capacity will become more constrained.
“The need for additional Gautrain rail cars indicates that citizens have come to value the safety, reliability and affordability of public transport and are making a shift from private to public transport,” MEC Vadi said.
The Gautrain system created 122 000 direct and indirect job opportunities during construction as well as 600 direct and indirect jobs after the start of the operations.
“Gautrain has stimulated property development in areas around its stations and has thus contributed to the goals of transit-oriented development, better land use and redressing apartheid spatial planning.
“It is estimated that R46 billion total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) impact has been added to the provincial economy due to property development induced by Gautrain, contributing a further 245 000 jobs,” MEC Vadi said.