National and provincial government must work together to solve Metrorail issues
The Western Cape Government is pleased that national Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula is taking the concerns of Western Cape residents seriously, and investigating the commuter rail service, but is disappointed that he did not seek to engage provincial leadership during his visit to the city this morning.
This morning, Minister Fikile Mbalula experienced the daily frustrations of Western Cape commuters, as his train was seriously delayed and he had to abandon the train and take a PRASA bus in order to complete his full planned trip.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said: "The train system in the Western Cape is entirely dysfunctional and I think it's important that Minister Fikile Mbalula experienced first-hand what people go through every day. Minister Mbalula however, will go back to being driven in his Ministerial vehicle, while this afternoon, and tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future, commuters will likely experience similar delays again. We need Minister Mbalula to apply his trademark energy to fixing this problem with urgency."
"We welcome Minister Mbalula's comments that he will be looking to stablise PRASA and will be looking at ways to make trains safer. However, the provincial government is disappointed that Minister Mbalula did not wish to engage with us. Building partnerships across all spheres of government is essential to ensuring effective service delivery, and as Minister Mbalula correctly points out, the problems with our train system impact our province's poorest and most vulnerable."
Transport and Public Works Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela said: “In my 10 years as the Minister of Human Settlements, I went out of my way to have a functioning relationship with my national counterparts. This is important because our challenges require all spheres of government to work together in order to resolve them.”
Minister Madikizela added: “I reached out to Minister Mbalula as soon as he was announced as Minister and indicated that I will be working closely with him. I made numerous requests to meet Minister Mbalula to deal with pressing issues like rail transport, receiving only acknowledgement of receipt responses. Minister Mbalula eventually scheduled a meeting for last Wednesday, which he canceled at the eleventh hour.”
“I was very surprised to see on twitter that Minister Mbalula was coming to the Western Cape without even a courtesy call to alert me. After seeing his tweets, I sent him a message expressing my concern about this and his response was very disappointing. This flies in the face of intergovernmental relations and the cooperative governance framework which compels different spheres of government to work together for the benefit of our citizens.”
Premier Winde said: “I hope that going forward, we will be able to meet with the Minister to ensure we are all working towards the same goal to improve public transport, so that people are able to get to work and school, safely and on time every day. We will continue to push for these engagements.”
Spokesperson for Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela
Cell: 082 953 0026
Spokesperson for Premier Alan Winde
Cell: 072 372 7044