The future of development projects proposed by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to Buffalo City Metro remains unclear, after the government enterprise allegedly failed to commit on their implementation.
This was revealed in a report tabled before council last month and compiled by former acting city manager Nceba Ncunyana.
The report stated that “Prasa has been sent numerous invitations and phone call reminders to further discuss their development proposals but to no avail”.
The report, which highlighted challenges faced by the metro concerning the proposed projects, was noted by the council earlier this month.
Prasa presented its enterprise development plans to the Metro a year ago and the two parties agreed that follow up meetings would have to take place to shape the major projects proposed.
However, the council was informed that the meetings never took place as agreed.
The projects included “transport and rail projects”, East London Station Project, BCM infrastructure programme overview and Walter Sisulu Station Project among other projects.
In his report, Ncunyana, who is the head of the metro’s infrastructure department, said BCM’s spatial planning and development department will send a letter to Prasa to establish whether they are still interested in pursuing their development proposals within the metro.
Prasa had not responded to questions at the time of writing yesterday.
“Prasa stated their proposal is to have a deck above the current line. The said deck will be used as a taxi rank facility which will drop off and collect commuters,” Ncunyana said.
He said it was agreed that a follow-up meeting or workshop will be held between BCM and Prasa “regarding the coordination and implementation of the projects discussed before July 2016”.
“The general manager of developm ent planning has been sending an avalanche of e-mails and phone calls to Prasa reminding them about the next meeting to further discuss their development proposals,” Ncunyana said. However, in an e-mail communication dating back to May, July and October 2016, seen by the Dispatch, between BCM and Prasa revealed that Prasa had plans to host a workshop in the province last August, but that never materialised.
In his report, Ncunyana said it was a challenge that Prasa was not ready to meet with BCM to further discuss their development proposals.
Contacted for comment on the deadlock, BCM spokesman Sibuso Cindi said Prasa also had plans to have retail facilities at most train stations and more space to allow buses to load passengers from within its stations. Cindi said the retail parks project is also a long term one.
“Most of their [Prasa] projects are at planning stages and their proposed implementation plan was over 36-month period,” he said.