Address by Mr Lucky Montana, Group CEO Of Prasa On The Occasion Of The Launch Of The New Century City Station
10 June 2010
Honourable Minsiter of Transport, Mr Sbu Ndebele
Honourable MEC for Transport, Mr Bheki Nkosi
Honourable MME for transport, Ms Rihana Moosaje
Members of the Community
Ladies and gentlemen
Today, Mr James “Sofasonke” Mpanza must be proud of the achievements of the people of Masakeng - the original name for Orlando West. The struggle for basic human rights such as housing was the benchmark for the struggle for a better not only for the people of Orlando West but for the people of South Africa.
Today, we speak of transportation as an integral part of our lives all because of such humble and resolute efforts by our heroes such as Mr Mpanza. Today we plan our lives around transportation and take for granted its history and its part in the systematic segregation of Black and White South Africans.
The opening of the refurbished Orlando Station gives one a clear picture of how our history has interpreted black rail passengers in townships – as travelers, workers, nothing more.
Prasa’s mandate in a democratic dispensation changes this outlook. Our state of the art station, with upgraded facilities, access for disabled travelers, electronic message boards and most importantly, stations designed to allow light and air and easy interaction between the station and our passengers – pronounces the people of Orland, and other upgraded stations, as proud and dignified.
Honourable Minister Prasa has heeded government’s call in changing the face of public transportation, in particular passenger rail services, by making use of the R 25 bn given to us to interpret that vision.
- Im happy to report that among our achievements, we now have built new stations (Moses Mabhida, Rhodesfield and Windermere).
- We have upgraded Nasrec, Cape Town Station, Doornfontein Station, Rissik Station, North End station, Durban Station, KwaMashu Station,Kwa Mnyandu Station and of course, Orlando station.
- We have implemented various operational improvements on our 2010 corridor stations which in total amount to 50 stations countrywide.
- The Nasrec Infrastructure Intervention has created an opportunity for passenger rail to extend its services to approximately 40 000 commuters in Soweto alone as well as the possibility of opening the Bara Corridor as an additional travel point.
Over the next three years however, we want to establish and position the passenger rail industry through restructuring, consolidation; investments in New Rolling Stock; create new systems that integrate customer experience and enhance access & mobility; apply international Best Practices and strengthen rural and regional nodal mobility to name a few.
Ladies and gentlemen, the positive legacy we create in the passenger rail industry will not only revolutionise South African travel as we know it, but by its sheer longevity, we are able to leave a lasting legacy for future South Africans.
Ladies and gentlemen, members of the Orlando Community, this is your station. Government has built this station for your enjoyment, for practical travel and also as a means to re-define yourselves in how you use this space. Government has invested approximately R67million of your hard earned tax money into this station. Its success is now your responsibility.
I thank you