Moloto Road residents intensify protest at Union Buildings over rail corridor
Pretoria - Residents along the notorious Moloto Road have intensified demonstrations outside the Union Buildings demanding progress on the proposed rail corridor.
They camped outside the Union Buildings and have vowed not to leave until President Cyril Ramaphosa has listened to them.
Yesterday marked their 41st day of protest action over the R34billion development project.
Sam Masango, who leads people from three Mpumalanga municipalities - Thembisile Hani, Dr JS Moroka and Elias Motsoaledi - said the entire Kwa-Ndebele kingdom had endorsed the action of the group called Moloto Concerned Residents.
“Ndebele people donned their traditional attire and travelled to Pretoria to join and support us on Monday because they wanted to show this government that we are united in our demand of this project,” said Masango.
“We have been waiting for decades and want answers even from the Presidency. We know that any project that’s worth billions must receive the attention and approval of the president of the country.
“Several presidents and ministers of transport later, the project is yet to see the light of day despite the promise that it would improve the lives of our people and save them from the killer Moloto Road.
“We are happy Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is now investigating this matter, but we will continue our action. We have not been acknowledged, but we will not be discouraged,” he said.
Mkhwebane’s office will also investigate allegations that some corrupt people have been delaying the project to benefit from contracts awarded to bus services that transport people from Mpumalanga to Pretoria on a daily basis.
Masango said this had also made Mpumalanga communities poorer because investors did not want to do business in a province with no proper road infrastructure and mode of transport.
He said the Moloto rail corridor would create jobs and development through the promised 13 new train stations between Mpumalanga and Tshwane, as previously announced by the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa.
He said the project would be better than placing hope on the upgrade of the Moloto Road, which hadn’t happened to a significant extent.
To make matters worse, he explained, since intentions were made to develop the killer road linking Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng, only eight traffic circles had been built to date.
Masango said the Gauteng government only recently announced intentions to hand over the development of the road to the South African National Road Agency.