Investment in transport-related infrastructure projects would total R50,9-billion over the next three years, reported the Treasury in its 2009 Budget Review.

The South African Rail Commuter Corporation would receive an additional R600-million over the medium term, in order to overhaul and upgrade 1 900 coaches and improve the signalling system.

This brought funding to the corporation to R15,2-billion over the next three years.

A further R13-million was added for rail safety inspectors to strengthen the capacity of the Railway Safety Regulator.

This followed two Metrorail accidents on the same day last week, one of which was reportedly attributed to signal system failure.

The taxi recapitalisation project was also to receive an additional R350-million, raising spending on the programme to R1,6-billion and providing for the scrapping of 28 566 taxis over the next few years.

The taxi recapitalisation programme aims to replace old minibus taxis on South Africa’s roads with more modern, safer vehicles.

The Treasury also announced that a further R1,8-billion would be made available for bus subsidies, owing to general cost increases and growing passenger volumes.

Government was to spend more than R11,5-billion on the bus subsidy programme over the next three years.

The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme would upgrade 165 km of freeways, with costs to be recovered from road users through an electronic tolling system.

However, to ensure continued road maintenance and improved safety on nontoll roads, the South African National Roads Agency would receive an additional R900-million, noted the Treasury.

The Department of Defence would also receive an additional R600-million over the medium term for the upgrading of the Waterkloof Air Force base.

Around R620-million has also been allocated to rehabilitate the coal haulage route in Mpumalanga between coal mines and power stations, and to develop the road network around Eskom’s new Medupi power station, in Limpopo.

The Treasury noted that parastatal Transnet would invest R80,3-billion over the next five years to build a multiproduct pipeline from Durban to Gauteng, expand the ports of Durban and Cape Town, and extend the coal and iron-ore rail lines.