JOHANNESBURG – The Congress of South Africa Trade Union (Cosatu) in Gauteng said on Tuesday that it was dismayed by the news that the provincial department of transport would be subsidising Gautrain operating expenses with a whopping R1.6 billion this year.
News emerged on Monday that the Gautrain Management Agency 2017/18 annual report revealed that Gauteng provincial taxpayers were paying R100 million a month, or R1.6 billion a year, to subsidise the running of the Gautrain as the number of passengers has dropped over the past two years.
The provincial grant will help cover operating and maintenance expenses and the private sector portion of the capital costs until the number of passengers is sufficient for fares to meet the operating costs.
In a statement, Cosatu Gauteng secretary Dumisani Dakile said this confirmed their standing argument and view that government did not care about safer public transport for the working-class, but prioritised transport for the elites.
Dakile said the federation in Gauteng has also observed that a number of roads passing through working-class communities were not in good condition, saying that one such road was R511 or William Nicol that passes through Diepsloot informal settlement.