Devolution of Rail Welcome but PRASA Already Broken

PRESS RELEASE: CIAG welcomes devolution of rail but says ultimately Cape Independence is the only viable long-term solution.

PRESS RELEASE: CIAG welcomes devolution of rail but says ultimately Cape Independence is the only viable long-term solution.

Department of Transport Director-General James Mlawua yesterday informed the Africa Rail Conference that national government intended devolving passenger rail services to municipalities. He said the devolution strategy would be gazetted later this year.

Whilst the CIAG welcomes this move because it will allow Western Cape municipalities, and most notably the Cape Town metro, to begin restoring a functional rail service to the province, the move underlines the urgent necessity for Cape Independence.

CIAG spokesperson Phil Craig says, “The devolution of rail is not a Damascus moment for the ANC-led national government. PRASA is bankrupt and passenger numbers have fallen 97.5% over the last decade. It has been fleeced to death, and now the national government wants to handover its lifeless carcase hoping that municipalities can once again breathe life into the continents largest rail network, and to ensure that if it can’t then at least it has someone else to blame”.

The majority of Western Cape voters have never once endorsed the ANC national government, and it has no means by which to democratically remove it from power.

Craig says, “It doesn’t help to wait until the national government has destroyed everything and to then be grateful that we’re allowed to pick up the pieces. We need to take control of our provincial assets before the ANC destroys them and the only way that is possible is through Cape Independence”.

In 2001, Eskom was voted ‘Global Utility Company of the Year but it can no longer provide a constant supply of electricity. SAPS is corrupt and dysfunctional and at 55 murders per 100 000 people, the Western Cape has the highest murder rate in the world. Cape Town’s Port is now ranked 347th out of 351 ports worldwide. At 25.9%, the Western Cape’s provincial unemployment (expanded rate), whilst significantly lower than any other South African province, is substantially higher than in any other G20 country.

Craig says, “We must control economic policy, we must collect our own tax revenue and spend it on the people of our province, we must adopt a symbiotic relationship with business and create jobs through economic growth, we must provide functional services to the people of the Western Cape, we must end the large-scale illegal settlement of land, and we must end race-based policy once and for all. Without Cape Independence, we can’t do any of these things”.

The CIAG is calling upon the DA to honour the promise it made before the 2021 Local Government Elections, and to call a referendum on Cape Independence which the CIAG suggests should be held on election day in 2024.

DATE: 28 June 2023

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