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Cape Town calls for deadline on National Rail Devolution Strategy<p>'I call on President Ramaphosa to break his silence and inform the nation of a clear deadline for the delayed National Devolution Strategy, which would see capable metros take over passenger rail operations. The President's continued silence – including failing to even mention the delayed strategy in SONA – is not acceptable to Capetonians who urgently need a safe, affordable, and reliable passenger rail service. </p><p>'The City's ongoing rail feasibility study has found that efficient passenger rail will add R11 billion to the local economy each year, and save lower income families hundreds of millions in transport costs. Cape Town is ready for the job-creating economic growth that comes with working trains. Lower income families are ready for more affordable public transport. This is why we expect extreme urgency from the national government to devolve rail for the City to run.</p><p>'Cabinet's own National Rail Policy White Paper 2022 first promised the delivery of a Devolution Strategy by 2023. Then in Parliament on 5 September 2023, the President promised the strategy would be concluded and approved by 2024. Now with under two months until the end of his term, there is still no deadline for this strategy and the City has not even been consulted on a draft. Mr President, tell us: are you breaking your promise to devolve rail to metros?' said Mayor Hill-Lewis.</p><p>Hill-Lewis said the City has a standing offer to the President to form a joint working committee to fast-track rail devolution, but had not received a response from the President despite a public commitment to do so.</p><p>'National government's failure to devolve rail will ultimately necessitate an intergovernmental dispute. We would much rather have the President accept our offer for a working committee, and to set a clear deadline for handing over passenger rail in Cape Town. South Africans also have an opportunity in the May elections to install a national coalition with the political will to get devolution done ASAP,' said Hill-Lewis.</p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2024-04-03T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#762de267-90ad-4660-8493-5085a227187c;L0|#0762de267-90ad-4660-8493-5085a227187c|Transport;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GPP|#849c71d3-ed9d-4ce2-89f6-03e9c6f179ef;GPP|#ed82ebba-eb32-4b9a-99c9-da3e081869a6;GP0|#90b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534;L0|#090b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534|Mayor10

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