Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Gautrain nerve centre unveiled, no, the train system won't be ready for start of 2010 World Cup

(South African Catholic)

News brief note by Marc Aupiais

The city of Johannesburg has released the following article, as it is from the City of Johannesburg, about the City of Johannesburg, don't take it at face value. It does mention the construction of a train simulator, and the Operational Control Centre (OCC), a safety and co-ordination centre, for Gauteng's Gautrain high-speed train project. Notably, the Gautrain will reportedly not be ready for the start of the 2010 World Cup, it was supposedly being constructed for:

Gautrain nerve centre unveiled: "THE Gautrain has puffed passed another milestone with the unveiling of its high-tech Operational Control Centre in Midrand.


Over the years, the budget for Gautrain has crept up. Starting at R7-billion when originally proposed in 2002, it shot up to R26-billion several years later. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in his mid-term budget speech on 27 October that an amount of R144-million had been allocated to the Gautrain. This is to be matched by the provincial government, contributing a further allocation of about R300-million to the construction of the train.

Despite the additional funding, the Gautrain will not be available for commuters on 11 June 2010, when the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ kicks off. Instead, passengers will be able to step aboard two weeks later, on 27 June. This means that the construction of the airport link to Sandton [A high class area in Gauteng], via Marlboro, is on target, as per the agreement signed on 28 September 2006, confirms Jensen.

The Rhodesfield Station at OR Tambo International Airport [Johannesburg's main International Airport] is almost complete.

"The Gautrain will be a bonus if it is ready for 2010," [When everyone wanted it to be ready by, hence the high spending!] emphasised Monkonyane.


The security of the Gautrain will be guaranteed with 650 CCTV [Close Circuit Television] cameras, the SAPS [South African Police Service: national policing force] Railway Police and over 400 security offers at stations, car parks and inside trains [This is important, as average citizens often fear to use trains, due to high crime rates, whether it delivers safety is yet to be proven!].

Fencing will be constructed along the entire route, to prevent unauthorised access and vandalism of the Gautrain and its stations [As buses have been burnt to the ground in strike action before, this is not a bad idea!].

Mokonyane outlined the Gautrain's socio-economic development obligations record. Sub-contracting in the construction of the train had involved 490 BEE [owned by ethnic Africans / "blacks"] companies, to the value of R1,8-billion. A total of 90 new BEEs had been involved, to the value of R720-million. This meant that by the end of March 2009, 13 400 jobs would have been created, of which 92 percent were local and 70 percent were historically disadvantaged [Ethnic African / "non-white" / not Caucasian etc] individuals. More than 11 000 unskilled and semi-skilled people were trained, 1 400 of whom received training in management skills.

The first of nearly 50 train drivers have been trained on the simulator.

"Our Golden Train will become synonymous with people on the move, hungry to invest in new opportunities, seeking new investments and opening up new markets. Today we celebrate a giant step closer to that exciting reality," she concluded [Big promises for an over budget, slow finishing train, which Gauteng may or may not need, as compared Cape Town's Bus Rapid Transport focus!].

City of Johannesburg (Secular; Governmental; South African)
04 / 11 | November / 2009

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