MEC Vadi frustrated with slow pace of BRT, aerotropolis developments

Gauteng Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi has expressed his concern with the slow pace of development of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in Gauteng, as well as the delay in rolling out the Aerotropolis project, in Ekurhuleni.

Speaking at an Intelligent Transport Systems South Africa (ITSSA) forum in Centurion, he noted that Gauteng, which faced a massive influx of people, had “to work much harder to build public transport systems”.

“I was hoping at least, by now, that the first phases of Harambee [Ekurhuleni metro’s BRT system] and Tshwane would have been in place, and phase three of Johannesburg, but what we hear is that there will be at least another year delay.We have to find a way to get these infrastructure projects up and running much more quickly.”

Vadi added that the aerotropolis project held the potential to be “a game changer” for the Ekurhuleni metro.

The project focuses on the development of industries which have customers around OR Tambo International Airport, or which have customers one flight away from the Gauteng-based  airport.

“Again we are extremely concerned, as the provincial government, at the slow pace with which the approval process is moving within the municipality,” noted Vadi.

“The [aerotropolis] masterplan was ready more than a year ago, but till today the council has not formally approved the development.

Vadi warned that the private sector was moving much faster than government. Armed with knowledge of the aerotropolis masterplan, the private sector has already rolled out several property developments along the R21 freeway.

“The problem is government is moving too slowly. It is not matching the pace of economic development. We are not agile and fast enough to get the process going.”