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President Jacob Zuma urged the public to look after rail infrastructure when he unveiled the Bridge City Rail Link Project in Durban on Saturday.
“I urge all of you to utilise these services that are being unveiled today and to look after them,” Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery.
“We will continue as government to roll out these infrastructure projects, but we need your support to look after them, they are a national resource.
“We cannot and should not therefore burn trains just because we are angry that they have come late.”
The new rail link is 3.5 km long and cost R1.3 billion.
The new Bridge City station included a bus and taxi interchange and was the largest rail infrastructure development project in the Durban area.
“Being only 17 km from the Durban city centre, the Bridge City Centre brings together the communities of Phoenix and Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu and links them into the urban system,” Zuma said.
“It serves as the social and commercial centre to an area housing a population of over 800,000 people, who at present have generally poor access to facilities and social services.”
The new rail link would improve access to facilities and social services.
“Bridge City is thus a catalyst for economic growth and the empowerment of surrounding communities,” Zuma said.
“This is why we say this wonderful development is part of the celebration of freedom as it contributes to improving the quality of life of our people.”
Over the past five years government invested over R40 billion in passenger rail infrastructure and services, and a further R50
billion would be invested over the next few years.
“Today we have trains that cut across residential areas and cities making it easy for commuters to travel,” he said
“This is part of the developments that come with living in a free democratic society, a freedom that many fought for and sacrificed for.” - Sapa