The long delayed Gauteng Transport Authority will launch next year, says Gauteng Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi.
“If a city does not want to participate, it does so at its own peril.”
Speaking at the Transport Forum, held in Johannesburg on Thursday, he said that no city in Gauteng had the luxury to plan on its own.
“They need to work with provincial government. ANC, DA - we have no choice but to collaborate.
“These little turf wars I see, I appeal to you, I may not be in office in 2019, but if we don’t work together you will fail and province will fail.”
He praised and criticised DA and ANC councils alike. Pretoria and Johannesburg are run by the DA and Ekurhuleni by the ANC.
A very candid Vadi said the provincial government was overwhelmed, with cities “even more overwhelmed”.
He said Gauteng faced a number of challenges that required the province and its three large metros to work together.
These challenges included large-scale in-migration from other provinces; low economic growth; high levels of unemployment; the must-do densification of the province; the establishment of a transport authority and improved intergovernmental working relations.
“If we don’t address these challenges in the next three years, all the gains made through bus rapid transit (BRT) systems and the Gautrain will be lost.
“We are still planning for yesterday with our BRT systems.”
Vadi highlighted that the largest daily movement of people in the province was from Ekurhuleni to Johannesburg, at around 120 000 to 150 000 people a day.
“You can build the best BRT, but it means nothing if you don’t talk to each other.”
Vadi said Gauteng would have another one-million residents within the next five years.
He questioned where these people would stay and how they would commute to work.
“It’s a plea from my heart. If we don’t work together, we’ll never solve the challenges that face us.”