South Africa's railways to get £10bn makeover

1 November 2011

South Africa's government is to invest almost £10 billion in modernising its railway infrastructure over the next two decades.

Eyewitness News reports that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has told the parliament's portfolio committee that the money will be spent improving the Metrorail system to reduce delays, overcrowding and cancellations.

The programme involves acquiring 3,600 new coaches over the next ten years, according to Prasa's chief executive officer Lucky Montana.

Mr Montana also said the existing technology and infrastructure had reached the end of its design life and the country plans to have a modern railway system in place within the next three years.

South Africa recently announced its intention to spend £63 billion on improving the country's infrastructure by 2014, with the ultimate goal of the investment plan to narrow the gap between spending and revenue while strengthening the country's economy.

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan said the money would be spent on improvements to energy and transport infrastructure. 

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