MEC Ismail Vadi: Re-opening of Church Square in Pretoria

Remarks by MEC Ismail Vadi on the re-opening of Church Square in Pretoria
Thank you for your kind invitation to me to participate in the re-launch of Church Square. I am really excited by what I see here today and it is fitting that this event takes place during October Transport Month.

Let me congratulate the city and its transport team on this remarkable achievement. Our aim is to make cities more liveable. Our cities must be accessible to ordinary people – children, healthy adults, physically challenged persons and the aged. It should have gardens, fountains and public open spaces where people can relax and work in an aesthetically beautiful environment.

Cities must never resemble a concrete jungle with highly congested motorized traffic; that is inefficient and unhealthy for our people. A city should not be just for cars. Therefore, I am very pleased that you have demarcated this area as a car-free zone. A city must be for people!

The modernization of public transport infrastructure is a top priority for Gauteng. It forms part of the provincial government’s 10-pillar programme to radically transform, modernise and reindustrialise our province. Transport infrastructure and facilities must be used to improve and change the living conditions of our people. We must change the urban landscape. We must modernize our operations so that people can benefit from innovation and technological changes. This project contributes to these goals.

Our strategy aims to accelerate and improve public transport by focusing on modal upgrading and creating an integrated public transport system, which should include good railway services linked with the A re Yeng bus network. This vision is taking shape in this city. Your pedestrian walkways, this beautifully landscaped Square, the bus rapid transit system and the linkages with the taxi industry, Gautrain and Metrorail, demonstrate that we can change our city and our province for the better.

It is our responsibility to look after this infrastructure. We must jealously guard against criminality and vandalism of these assets. This responsibility also must extend to our passengers and commuters, who should help us to make public transport safe and secure.
We should remember that public transport has many advantages such as reduced costs, use of less urban space and less pollution. The city of Tshwane must be complimented for taking important steps to offer public transport services which are a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to private cars.

Source: Government of South Africa

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