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Shilowa: all clear for Gautrain construction

Posted On Wednesday, 22 February 2006 02:00 Published by Commercial Property News
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The Gautrain route has been finalised and could now be cleared for construction to begin, Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa said today.

Mbhazima Shilowa Gauteng PremierThe Gautrain route has been finalised and could now be cleared for construction to begin, Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa said today.

"We now know which route we are going to use and any utilities (electricity, gas and water lines) in the way can be moved beginning today," Shilowa told reporters in Johannesburg.

He said preferred bidder Bombela and the provincial government signed an agreemnent yesterday on issues that could affect the cost of the project.

"I am pleased to announce that we now have a deal," Shilowa said.

It was up to Bombela to decide when it would start moving gas, water, telephone and electricity lines.

The next step was for the two parties’ lawyers to finalise the concession agreement, which determined who would carry the risks for what.

The Minister of Finance would then have to approve it.

"(This) agreement should stand up to the scrutiny of the treasury and the people of Gauteng."

Gautrain spokeswoman Barbara Jensen said this process could take another eight weeks. Construction on the Gautrain would then get underway.

Gauteng’s finance MEC Paul Mashatile said last year construction on the project would start at the beginning of 2006.

"(Financial closure with Bombela) should be completed by the end of the year," Mashatile said in November 2005.

Shilowa would, however, not reveal what the reason for the delay was other than to say: "We should have started last year but couldn’t because things had to be finalised."

The project was expected to cost R20bn.

Legal hurdles were still anticipated, but no rules would be flouted, said the premier.

"We have been to court many times on the Gautrain and we’re ready to go back many times."

Public hearings on the environmental study were completed on Valentine’s Day and had been submitted to the department.

Last modified on Thursday, 17 October 2013 20:44

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