Govt needs to wind down the Windhoek rail plan

May 11, 2015, 11:09am

Govt needs to wind down the Windhoek rail plan

Revelations this week from various stakeholders that the railway master plan by the City of Windhoek and Ministry of Works and Transport is hanging in the balance are quite worrisome.
While some of the analyst who spoke to The Villager believe that the plan is over ambitious there is need for both Government and the municipality to drive the project in its entirety if they are serious about completing the it.
It is also imperative to acknowledge that there are those that believe that there is a possibility of the projection seeing fruition and assisting the many Windhoekers who struggle to have transport money to their various workplaces.
In this day age it is important to acknowledge that while the municipal blue buses charge around N$5 per trip not so man can afford these fares to their work places or generally to move from one suburb to the other.
This is only a tip of the iceberg as many struggle to afford the conventional taxi fares which are N$10 per trip. There are obviously different opinions from people from all walks of life on whether the plan will be a reality or not.
Transport is obviously one of the major pressing issues that all urbanites have to deal with and finding a solution to it through railway transport could the most viable and reliable source ever.
If the major proponents of this project pump in enough money to rive such a project it will see transport being very affordable for the many Namibians. It also goes without saying that it could save lives as rail transport is one of the safest modes of transport in the world.
We perhaps think that there is a need for both Government and the municipality to invest enough energies in driving this project as it has potential to bring as much relief to the poor and medium earning strata in this country who cannot afford transport.
It is also important for the role players to take a cue from some of the countries that run metro rail services successfully. One such country is South Africa were the low income earners mode of transport is railway transport. There also other countries like China England and Malaysia where this mode of transport is very efficient.
There is obviously the need for the private sector to play the part in financing this project. Challenges are that if Government and the municipality do more talking that implementation this is one project that might as well die a still birth.
The partners in this project need to put their money where their mouths are. It will also be important if both players can tell the Namibian public how much they will spend to drive the ambitious project.