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North West Business 2020-21 Edition

  • Text
  • Invest
  • Manufacturing
  • Parks
  • Zones
  • Business
  • Investment
  • Industrial
  • Africa
  • Africa
  • Province
  • Programme
  • Banking
  • Provincial
  • Platinum
  • Sector
  • Mining
  • Municipality
  • Tourism
  • Province
  • Rustenburg
The guide to business and investment in the North West Province, South Africa. The 2020/21 edition of North West Business marks the 10th publication of this highly successful journal that, since its launch in 2009, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the North West Province. North West Business includes news and analysis of the most important sectors, with a regional overview covering the strategic thinking behind plans to attract investment into the province. Best known for its platinum mines, grain and livestock farming and tourism, the province is making a concerted effort to bolster its manufacturing capacity. Corridor development, agri-parks and the creation of a Special Economic Zone are among the economic stimulus plans covered in this edition.

INTERVIEW Mpho Khunou,

INTERVIEW Mpho Khunou, Executive Mayor, Rustenburg Local Municipality An efficient transport system will help Rustenburg achieve its vision Rustenburg’s Executive Mayor Mpho Khunou explains how the Rustenburg Rapid Transport system will ease congestion, improve commuters’ experiences and revitalise the city’s central business district. How does the Rustenburg Rapid Transport scheme fit into the city’s broader planning? We are very pleased to have been chosen to participate in this national programme of 13 municipalities countrywide. It is a programme initiated by the National Department of Transport to tackle transport challenges in major cities. The plan fits in well with our long-term vision of becoming a world-class city. In order achieve this, the City must have an efficient transport system which is universally accessible, reliable and provides a linkage with other modes of transport. With this new transport network, we aim to facilitate a more efficient economy. Biography Executive Mayor Mpho Khunou grew up in Rustenburg where his father was a mineworker and attended school in Mahikeng. Active in ANC Youth League politics from the early 1990s, Mayor Khunou served as a Rustenburg city councillor between 1995 and 2000, during which time he was Chief Whip. After a period as an entrepreneur, he worked in various capacities within the municipality’s executive management. Elected to his current position in 2011, he was re-elected in 2016. How will the dedicated bus lanes help to improve the commuter experience? Feeder routes and walkways will link commuters with major trunk roads which have dedicated bus lanes to ensure a faster service and promote easier access to various parts of the City, which is currently a major challenge to residents. Furthermore, the trunk routes have stations which have incorporated green building principles such as natural light. Phase 1 to 4 of the integrated public transport network is envisaged to place up to 60% of the City’s residents within 500 metres of a service. Will conditions for pedestrians and cyclists improve? The City constructed infrastructure for non-motorised transport (NMT) which is already being used in some parts of the city. On the R510 and R104 roads there is dedicated infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians which a lot of people are using to cycle into the city, as well as on the feeder routes. We will focus on signage and safety once the system comes into operation and this will ensure that transport service will be attractive to private motor users. What are the key achievements you want the RRT to reach? The RRT is designed to reduce congestion by having fewer taxis on NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2020/21 14

INTERVIEW the road. The infrastructure built in the Central Business District (CBD) has already done a lot in improving access and the quality of mixed traffic lanes. The entire functionality of the CBD will be improved, and we envisage the CBD to be more liveable and friendlier for the business community and residents. The project fits in with the objective of the municipality to rejuvenate the CBD and will assist to create spatial integration and thus bring more opportunities. What is the budget of the RRT? The project is funded through a grant from the National Department of Transport. Since inception of the project in 2012, about R3.1-billion has been spent. There is about R200-million in the current budget to complete the stations, increase the bus fleet, start with the bus depot and deal with the issues concerning transition of the current informal taxi industry. The Municipality will be implementing the system in phases – the first phase will come into operation in January 2021. We estimate that the system will be fully operational in about five years. When it is fully operational, we expect to be able to transport about 60% of commuters. In October busses will be delivered, testing will take place and the training of drivers will start. Final touches for an interim depot will be done and the stages that follow will depend on allocations from national government. How many jobs has the RRT created? The project has created about 1 200 jobs and about 105 SMMEs have been involved. As we implement more infrastructure projects including the main depot, feeder roads and the completion of stations, there will be more jobs created and more opportunities for local SMMEs. Our projection is that there will be opportunities for 50 to 60 more SMMEs to be involved and overall, a total of 2 300 jobs will be created by RRT. How important is the integration of public transport? You can’t talk about an economic revival of an economy that functions optimally without an efficient public transport system. You have to be able to move people in and out of the CBD in an efficient manner. What is exciting about this project is that it will also go a long way towards promoting spatial transformation so that the CBD becomes lot more vibrant and liveable. How will Yarona’s operations be managed? In terms of the national Public Transport Act, this is an empowerment scheme for existing public transporter operators. We have to conclude an agreement with existing public transport operators who have formed an entity called the Taxi Negotiating Forum. They are envisaged to run the system through a bus operating company (BOC) for a maximum of 12 years. We have been in discussion since 2011. We are at a critical stage now in terms of our interaction with them and are discussing the participation agreement and how we subsidise them. Those involved are the existing public transport operators who are trading along the routes such as Swartruggens, the R510 and all of the feeder roads. In other words, only those affected by the new system, or those who will be incorporated. ■ 15 NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2020/21

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