New project for cities launched

11th May 2012 By: Sapa

A new infrastructure programme to transform the country's cities was officially launched on Friday.

Officiating at the event in Kempton Park, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi said the objective was to turn major cities into sustainable human settlements.

Another aim was to integrate public transport with urban planning.

"The implementation of this programme over the next 20 years will not only change this country's landscape, it will [also] create much-needed jobs," he told reporters.

The programme is officially known as the Strategic Integrated Infrastructure Project 7 (SIP7).

The project is one of 17 programmes approved by Cabinet earlier this year, each with a different focus area of infrastructure

Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin, who also attended the launch, said SIP7 aimed to overcome the spatial legacy of apartheid.

"Infrastructure was not used as a connector, but as a separator [in the past]," he said.

Railway lines separated black from coloured communities in Cape Town, and freeways were used to seal-off townships, Cronin said.

The new programme brought together several initiatives in various cities, including rail service improvements.

Some of these, such as Johannesburg's bus rapid transport system, were already under way, Cronin said.