16 July 2019

A new study on the socioeconomic impact of the
Gautrain indicates that the rapid-rail system adds R6.64-billion to the Gauteng
economy’s gross domestic product (GDP) – or 0.56% ­– during a typical year of

The newest study – the second – was conducted by
consulting engineering firm Hatch.

The study, released on Monday, also shows that for
every rand spent on Gautrain’s original construction, around R2.60 of economic
benefit has been delivered to Gauteng over a ten-year period.

The Hatch study also highlights the fact that more
than 98-million trips have been made on the Gautrain since 2010, with more than
10 900 direct operational jobs created.

Around 70% of the trips on the Gautrain cross a
city boundary.

Shifting from using a car to the Gautrain saves a
significant amount of time travelling between cities, such as an average of 43
minutes between Pretoria and Sandton at the peak hour of seven in the morning.

The study also shows that commercial floor space
has increased by more than 1.6-million square metres around the ten Gautrain
stations since 2010.

Median sales values per square metre for office
space have increased by 45% around stations since 2010, higher than the change
across Gauteng, which was 22%.

Median sales values per square metre for retail
space have increased by 32% around stations since 2010, higher than the change
across Gauteng, which was minus 10%.

Median sales values per square metre for
residential space have increased by 52% around stations since 2010, higher than
the 34% growth achieved across Gauteng over the same period.

Looking ahead, a capital expenditure wish-list to
the value of R24.4-billion on the current 80-km system, as well as a proposed expansion
project of the Gautrain by 149 km with 19 new stations (which Hatch values at
around R110-billion at current prices), should expand the socioeconomic impact
of the system ever further.

The R24.4-billion list – with funding not yet
secured for all the projects – aims to improve the efficiency of the current
system. It hopes to add new stations at Waterfall, Samrand and Modderfontein;
to increasingly commercialise the Centurion and Marlboro stations; to add new
rolling stock, as well as a new depot to the system to alleviate congestion; to
add buses to the system; to create a Y-link to connect the northern part of the
system directly to the OR Tambo International Airport, and to enhance parking
at the Rosebank, Pretoria and Hatfield stations.

An expanded Gautrain system should add R5-billion
to Gauteng’s GDP during a typical year of construction, and R12.44-billion to
GDP during a typical year of operations.

The Hatch study shows that 175 000 new direct construction
jobs will be created through the expansion of the Gautrain, as well as
68 000 new direct operational jobs over twenty years.

Speaking at the Hatch report launch in Midrand,
Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Jacob
Mamabolo said his number one priority was to have a balanced
transport system in Gauteng, based on the migration from road to rail.

GMA CEO Jack van der Merwe noted that the proposed 149 km expansion of the Gautrain had been registered with government as a public-private partnership, and that it was currently awaiting the funding go-ahead from National Treasury.

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