If you laid out the length of railway tracks destroyed by the ANC, they would stretch from Cape Town to Kilimanjaro

Issued by Dr Leon Schreiber MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Service and Administration
10 Jan 2024 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Dr Leon Schreiber MP

Over the past three decades, the ANC has presided over the destruction of at least 3 636 kilometres of South Africa’s railway tracks. If one laid out the full length of railway lines destroyed by the ANC, it would stretch all the way from Cape Town to Kilimanjaro.

This shocking information was revealed yesterday by the Minister of Public Enterprises in response to a parliamentary question submitted by the DA. In response to the DA’s question about the length of Transnet Freight Rail tracks lost under the ANC, Minister Pravin Gordhan admitted that “A total of 3 636 kilometres of railway track have fallen into disuse since April 1994 to the end of November 2023.” This is enough railway track to cover a roundtrip on the previously-popular freight corridor from Johannesburg to Durban – three times over. It also means that the ANC has presided over the destruction of 10 kilometres of railway lines per month, every single month, for the past 30 years. Even this figure is likely an undercount, as it does not include the additional kilometres of passenger railway lines similarly destroyed.

This information exposes the dishonesty of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s delusional claims that the ANC supposedly plans to build “bullet trains.” Over the past 30 years, all the ANC has achieved is to put a bullet into the heart of South Africa’s train system.

But the collapse of freight rail is only one part of the full extent of transport infrastructure collapse presided over by the ANC government. Through its policy of cadre deployment and endemic corruption, the ANC has systematically destroyed key elements of the infrastructure our country and economy depends on to survive.

In addition to the collapse of railways, Gordhan also admitted that, between 2019 and 2023, copper cable measuring 4 633 kilometres was stolen from Transnet. If one laid out the full length of copper cable lost just by Transnet in only four years, it would stretch across the breadth of the United States. This figure is also a vast undercount, as it does not include the copper cable lost by other government entities.

Our country’s roadways have similarly not been spared from ANC-engineered destruction. In response to another DA question posed to the Minister of Transport, it was revealed that out of the 22 197 kilometres of national roads managed by SANRAL, only 449 kilometres, 688 kilometres and 1 308 kilometres were resurfaced in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. This means that, each year, the ANC maintains only about 2% of national roadways.

While the ANC eats cake and sips champagne at its annual celebration this week, South Africa is crumbling under their watch. The party’s bash in Mpumalanga is nothing less than a vulgar celebration of the destruction and suffering that the ANC has unleashed on the people of this country.

The information exposed by the DA reveals that South Africa’s infrastructure is rapidly collapsing, and ANC corruption and mismanagement is the root cause of the crisis. The only way to rescue our crumbling country from this downward spiral, is by voting to replace the ANC with a new national government anchored by the DA. In sharp contrast to the ANC, where the DA governs, including in the Western Cape, infrastructure is maintained and expanded. Roads are in world-class condition and public infrastructure is respected as valuable shared assets.

The ANC has derailed South Africa. The DA encourages every voter who wants to get our country back on track, to immediately visit check.da.org.za to register and vote DA.