In response to a question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament on Tuesday, the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula finally confirmed that the Moloto Rail Corridor project was nothing but an election gimmick and a pipe dream.
In his response to the DA, the Minister said “the National Treasury declined a Public-Private Partnership TA1 application by PRASA on the 3rd of December 2015 on the basis that the project was mainly unaffordable, and the unlikelihood of the project yielding the social economic and developmental benefits as envisaged in the feasibility study”.
This essentially confirms a long held view of the DA that the project was nothing but a scheme to solicit votes for the past decade. For the past 12 years, the ANC has promised the Moloto Rail Corridor in what is clearly an attempt to dupe voters and play on the emotions of the people of Siyabuswa, KwaMhlanga, Moloto and surrounding areas in Mpumalanga.
The DA will continue to seek accountability for this project, given the fact that in the 2013/14 financial year the Department of Transport (DoT) had already spent more than R10 million on the project and a further R7.6 million in the 2014/15 financial year on undertaking a detailed feasibility study that was concluded in October 2014. This will constitute a R18 million in taxpayers money that has gone down the drain for this “pie in the sky” project.