The Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
Transport Minister Joe Maswangayi cuts the ribbon as he launched a long-distance passenger train service between Johannesburg and Musina on Friday (Pic Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA_
Transport Minister Joe Maswangayi cuts the ribbon as he launched a long-distance passenger train service between Johannesburg and Musina on Friday (Pic Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA_
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)
The interior of the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train launched at Johannesburg Park Station on Friday. The long-distance train will be commuting between Johannesburg and Musina (Pic: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - South African transport minister Joe Maswanganyi on Friday launched a new passenger train service between Johannesburg and Musina for long distance-travelers to commute directly between Gauteng and Limpopo. 

At the official launch at Johannesburg Park Station, Maswanganyi said that the intention of the department of transport was to provide cheap and affordable public transport.

"Many people spend most of their income on transport, so that is the reason we are launching this service because we believe it is more affordable and safe. We are not saying that other modes of transport are not affordable," he said.

The train will be operated by Shosholoza Meyl, a division of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Maswangayi said that there will be more launches and installations of Shosholoza Meyl across South Africa and across the borders, but that did not mean taxis and buses were not recommended as they work with the train service.

He said that the outline routes -- like Johannesburg to Mafikeng and Botswana, and Johannesburg to Nelspruit and Mozambique -- will be launched as well the new route from East London to Mthatha, and Durban to East London.

The Johannesburg to Musina train will also be used by Zimbabwean customers crossing the border after alighting in Musina.

"The train will have a dining car that provides meals, tea/coffee, refreshments, TV screens, Wi-Fi access, showers, a dining hall, and also charging facilities enabled to attract more youth," Maswanganyi said.

 - African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Siphelele Dludla