Have your say! New Bill seeks to improve rail safety and service standards
The Western Cape Government has published, for public comment, the Draft Western Cape Rail Transport Bill (2019). The draft legislation is in response to the very serious and urgent need to address the issues plaguing rail transportation in this province. The Draft Bill seeks to improve rail safety and rail service standards in the Western Cape and makes proposals on how this can be achieved.
The Draft Bill is now open for public comment until 15 May 2019, and can be viewed here: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/assets/departments/premier/8071-cape-rail...
There is no questioning the important role that passenger rail plays in providing high-capacity, affordable, efficient, and rapid access to opportunities in any metropolitan area, including the City of Cape Town. Road-based public transport simply does not compare with the bulk carriage capabilities of an efficient passenger rail system.
Unfortunately, across the country (and specifically here in the Western Cape), the passenger rail service has been in a state of crisis characterised by declining performance capacity, punctuality, safety, and an increase in cancellations and overcrowding. In the Western Cape, these issues have been exacerbated by crippling arson attacks, theft, and vandalism.
The adverse consequence of this situation has been a mass passenger exodus from rail transport to road-based transport which has placed significant pressure on the road network and has increased congestion.
We are therefore proactively releasing this Bill for comment in response to the growing and urgent rail crisis.
Given that the rail system in Cape Town is operated by the national government, under the auspices of PRASA, this Bill will seek to increase the Western Cape Government’s ability to regulate, oversee and monitor the passenger rail service in the province.
This is possible under responsibilities granted to the Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works by the Constitution and National Land Transport Act (NLTA, Act 5 of 2009).
I am calling on all the citizens of the Western Cape to work with us in addressing this issue that continues to threaten the economic prospects of this region. You can assist by having your say and submitting comments to the Draft Western Cape Rail Transport Bill (2009) which seeks to:
Provide for cooperative rail management between relevant organs of state through the establishment of a rail committee and the inclusion of cooperation agreements;
Establish a rail unit with a rail inspectorate to perform monitoring and oversight of rail systems and safety;
Establish and maintain an information system;
- Regulate the preparation and content of the commuter rail component of municipalities’ integrated transport plans;
- Regulate the process of addressing non-compliance by rail operators with national operational and service delivery norms and standards and provincial norms and standards.
Any person or organisation wishing to comment on the Draft Bill is requested to lodge such comments in writing before or on 15 May 2019, by—
- posting the comments to: Doris Cassiem Department of Transport and Public Works Private Bag X9185 Cape Town 8000;
- e-mailing the comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- faxing the comments to: Fax number (021) 483 4243; or
- delivering the comments to: Doris Cassiem Department of Transport and Public Works Room 7-19 7th Floor 9 Dorp Street Cape Town 8001.
The name, telephone number, e-mail and/or fax number and address of the person submitting the comment should be clearly indicated.
For queries contact Doris Cassiem at (021) 483 5058.
Passenger rail remains the backbone of any land-based public transport network across the world. The Western Cape simply cannot afford to have a rail system that is not performing optimally.
We owe it to the citizens of this province to work effectively with all stakeholders towards the shared goal of improving our rail system and restoring commuter confidence in it.
We consider this draft legislation as yet another proactive step towards achieving a more efficient and effective passenger rail system that provides a quality service to its commuters.