The City of Tshwane on Thursday started engaging key stakeholders, in its sixth week of themed public consultations, to further develop a roadmap to an integrated transport system in the city and surrounds.
The transport strategy formed part of Tshwane 2055 – a four-decade "game-changing" strategy framework shaping the city’s future growth and development.
After tabling a discussion document in July, centred on the direction of the capital city over the next 40 years, the City of Tshwane embarked on a seven-week public consultation period with Tshwane residents, investors and businesses.
Each week focused on one key pillar of development, namely governance, smart cities, liveable communities, health, a sustainable environment and natural resources, economic development and transport.
Speaking at the transport strategy consultation forum, at the Wonderboom National Airport, City of Tshwane councillor and chairperson of the oversight committee for transport Jacob Masango said that an efficient, affordable, accessible and integrated transport network would be key in supporting the city’s ambitious targets for the development of an integrated, well-connected, well-governed, well-managed and modernised city.
The transport framework would aim to build a reliable mass transport network, which interlinked and supported all means of transport around the city. This included transport modes such as trains, minibus taxis, buses, pedestrian movements, cycling and other vehicles.
In July, the City of Tshwane started the construction of a R2.6-billion bus rapid transit (BRT) project, in Arcadia, Hatfield, as the base to the Tshwane’s transport system.
“Tshwane's BRT system will be integrated in partnership with existing public transport facilities, which will ferry passengers to and from BRT stations, improving efficiencies and impact for residents,” said executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa at the launch.
The Tshwane government planned to reduce the use of private vehicles, which accounted for 66% of all trips in morning peak hour, while addressing the growing city’s mobility needs, including linking the outer regions of Pretoria to each other and to the city.
The roadmap would also examine ways of eliminating illegal minibus taxi ranks and operations, as well as illegal sidewalk traders.
City of Tshwane executive director for strategic development and implementation Msizi Myeza also commented that the transport strategy would incorporate the United Nation’s road safety initiative in efforts to reduce the number of road-related fatalities, as well as create a competitive transport sector and support economic growth through the possible creation of, besides others, an international airport.
Wonderboom National Airport project leader Hendrik Kleynhans commented at the public consultation that the Pretoria-based airport, which currently held 189 companies, with about 2 000 employees, stood to play a key role in the development of Tshwane.
He said that plans should focus on development around the airport in a manner similar to Ekurhuleni’s aerotropolis strategy, which centred on the development of the region around the OR Tambo International Airport.
Kleynhans also pointed out that the airport could assist in developing tourism in the region, owing to its close proximity to Magaliesburg and Pretoria, as well as develop an efficient air-freight and passenger transport hub.
The completed Tshwane 2055 plan was expected to be officially launched in October.