MEMBERS of the Executive Committee (EXCO) have on Thursday, 20-06-2013, undertaken a tour to inspect progress in the implementation of the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN).


EXCO members visited the Bridge City Railway Station in KwaMashu and also travelled along the route which has been earmarked for the IRPTN development while making various stops at Bester Market and Ntuzuma.


The IRPTN will see the establishment of nine transport corridors linked by various modes of transport across eThekwini by 2020. It is aimed at providing affordable and accessible public transport to eThekwini citizens and to connect different areas around the City.


The delegation was led by Mayor James Nxumalo who was accompanied by Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala, EXCO Members, City Manager Sibusiso Sithole and Municipal officials.

Mayor Nxumalo said they were pleased about the progress of the IRPTN. “Things are really looking good and we are very happy that this project is taking off. We are particularly pleased to see the excellent work that has been done at Bridge City Station; it’s really state of the art.”

EThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) Head, Thami Manyathi said the project was now at the implementation stage.

“We are now focusing on the construction side of the project and bringing it to life,” Manyathi explained.

The Municipality took the first step towards the implementation of the IRPTN with the launch of its public transport smartcard, the “Muvo” card which is now being used on Durban Transport and People Mover buses instead of the normal paper bus coupon. As the IRPTN is phased in, the smartcard will eventually be usable on all modes of public transport, including trains.

Richard Beck, Project Manager at Focus Project Management said the Bridge City Railway Station had a strategic rail route which incorporated other train routes in eThekwini. “We are trying to alleviate traffic on the road. The station has two levels with four platforms for different railway lines. There are also lifts and escalators for commuters to use,” he said.

VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE

EXCO unanimously agreed to support the voter registration drive by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) ahead of next year’s general elections. EXCO met at City Hall following their IRPTN tour on Thursday, 20/06/13.

Mayor Nxumalo said: “We already have ongoing programmes at our Sizakala Centres all over the City but we also acknowledge the need to intensify our efforts to encourage more people to register to vote. Reports indicating that over 700 000 identity documents have not been collected from the Department of Home Affairs in eThekwini only are disturbing. We also have people who will be voting for the first time and we need to encourage them to register to vote and actually take part in the elections.”

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole, said officials will create a programme of action to roll out the voter registration drive.

LIONS OF ZULULAND:

EXCO also approved the spending of R200 000 in support of a partnership with a local cultural group Lions Of Zululand who will be touring the United Kingdom, to promote culture and heritage of the Zulu nation and the people of eThekwini and KwaZulu-Natal to the world in London. The group will stage performances in 60 different schools and information about Durban and KwaZulu-Natal will be displayed at libraries and other platforms.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala, said “This tour provides a good platform for us to use the group to market Durban as a tourism destination of choice to the world, particularly the United Kingdom which is a one of our key tourism markets. This is our own talent and we should give them the necessary support and take advantage of their international exposure to market our City.”

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit. Contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or email:thabo1.mofokeng@durban.gov.za or Silindile Maluleka on 031 311 4811/073 332 639 or email: silindile.maluleka@durban.gov.za