Union calls for South African rail investment plans to be 'sped up'
17 June 2011
Plans to upgrade South Africa's transport infrastructure have been welcomed by unions in the country, but concerns have been raised surrounding the length of time the refurbishments are expected to take.
The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) has called on the government to ensure that the rail upgrade is completed "speedily" and not according to the transport minister's 18-year forecast.
It explained that the present problems faced by the South African transport sector have severely limited the country's economic growth potential, the Sunday tribune reports.
"Depending on the province in question, Fedusa has put forward proposals that there should be speed trains linking major centres such as Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Durban and Cape Town with bordering towns within at least a 200km radius," said Krister Janse van Rensburg, deputy general secretary.
In addition, the union called for the expansion of passenger rail commuting services in and around metropolitan areas.
The comments follow news that R97 billion (£8.8 billion) worth of stock for Metrorail and long-distance railway services has been purchased.