Since the construction of the Gautrain started 10 years ago, there has been much to celebrate.
“The biggest highlight by far was when the construction was complete and the first trains started running.
It was June 2010, the Soccer World Cup, and there was a great sense of accomplishment. We did it, it was there for the country and the world saw it,” recalls Dachs.
Other highlights include the opening of the full network from Johannesburg to Pretoria in 2012 and the steady growth in “ridership”.
“The Gautrain has become more and more a part of people’s lives in Gauteng, which is great.
Government is always perceived in a slightly negative light so it is lovely to be part of a public project with which people associate and that has added value to their lives,” he points out.
A KPMG assessment of the economic impact of the Gautrain sought to quantify that value. Dachs says the findings were astonishing.
“The study measured the impact of the Gautrain on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
of the province and found it was a R30 billion positive impact on the provincial GDP during the construction period,” he adds.
In addition, 122 000 jobs were created during the construction period,
while the Gautrain continues to create about 3 000 direct and indirect jobs a year.
The Gautrain has also had a massive environmental benefit by taking cars off the road, improving commuters’ travel times and reducing accidents on the roads.
“The number that has astonished us all is the amount of investment it has attracted around the stations.
“The private sector is concentrating its investment around the stations and according to the study, R22 billion of private sector money has gone in commercial and retail shops, as well as residential developments.
That’s over a five-year period, so it’s a remarkable figure,” Dachs says. Meeting the growing demand Over the years,
the Gautrain has grown in popularity and has attracted many more commuters than expected.
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