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Well, South Africa's high-speed train system is a white elephant almost on a par with their expensive new stadiums. Terrible allocation of resources for most South Africans, especially the poorer ones. And restricting immigration when you're experiencing 9.5% unemployment is unassailable common sense, which is why the only 'argument' against it is to play the race card.

The low scores are a problem and also a symptom, like many symptoms. But unfortunately, again, we're at square one: you deny the low scores are a problem, so you'll refuse to suggest what should be done about it. But if I misunderstand and you do feel the low scores are a problem, I'd love to hear your ideas on how to increase scoring at the World Cup.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Jun 16th, 2010 at 02:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
South Africa has no high-speed train system, but keep digging.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 16th, 2010 at 06:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Africa's first high-speed train 'Gautrain'
8 May 2010

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Pictures/Videos/Pictures-/Africas-first-high-speed-train/article showpics/5906715.cms

GAUTRAIN - PREPARE TO PAY FOR IT

Johannesburg property company Bradford McCormack estimates the cost of the proposed new road tolls to a motorist driving by freeway from Johannesburg to the Pretoria CBD at R1,020 a month. Two years ago the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) estimated that use of the new R21bn Gauteng freeway system would cost in the region of 50c per km. Taking inflation into account, by the time tolling starts in April 2011, that "base rate" has moved up to 65c-68c per km according to SANRAL manager for tolling and traffic Alec van Niekerk. If the cost is only 65c a km, that Johannesburg-Pretoria trip is going to cost R1,300 a month.

This is the price we are going to pay for Gautrain, because unless punitive tariffs like these come into effect, it is highly doubtful that the planners' ambitious expectations for train patronage will come to pass.

http://www.railwaysafrica.com/2010/05/gautrain-%E2%80%93-prepare-to-pay-for-it/

All in the Name of the Beautiful Gain: On the World Cup in South Africa

South Africa desperately needs large-scale public infrastructure, especially in the area of public transport which is in some cities, including Johannesburg, is almost entirely absent. The Gautrain, which was launched on Tuesday the 8th June (just in time for the big event) is probably the biggest irony here: in a country where the large majority rely on unsafe private mini-bus taxis to travel long distances on a daily basis, the Gautrain offers high speed, luxury transport for tourists and those travelling between Johannesburg and Pretoria... who can afford it if a single trip between the airport and Sandton will set you back a massive R100.

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20100612083446220

Glitz, Glamour and the Gautrain: Mega-Projects as Political Symbols

(Only the abstract is free) Gautrain, South Africa's first high-speed metropolitan transport network, is being developed at a cost of nearly R25 billion. It is being primarily justified on the basis of its close association with South Africa's hosting of the 2010 World Cup. However, the sheer scale of the costs involved, set against the larger and more pressing national transport shortages, invariably prompts questions about the rationale behind the construction of the Gautrain. Focusing on rational, cost-benefit considerations, and special interest groups on the one hand, and political symbolism on the other, the article concludes that political symbolism appears to be a major explanation for the construction of the Gautrain.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a792243496~jumptype=ref_internal~fromvnxs=v6 7n3s7~fromtitle=713405746~cons=

Red Cards for Fifa, Coke and South African Elites

New luxury transport infrastructure, for example, gambles on shifting rich people's behaviour away from private cars. But the $3 billion Gautrain rapid rail costs riders five times more than previously advertised and probably won't dislodge Johannesburg-Pretoria commuters, thanks to traffic jams and parking shortages at the new stations.

As labour leader Zwelinzima Vavi, put it, Gautrain "does nothing for those who really suffer from transport problems - above all, commuters from places like Soweto and Diepsloot. Instead, it takes away resources that could improve the lives of millions of commuters."

http://www.counterpunch.com/bond06142010.html

SA'S PASSENGER RAIL TIME-BOMB

South Africa is sitting on a passenger rail time-bomb, write Clayton Barnes and Noelene Barbeau in the Daily News (published in Durban): "A third of the country's trains will be out of service by 2013. And if the government fails to secure new rolling stock by the end of the year, Metrorail's already stretched service will be under further pressure, resulting in more overcrowding on trains and longer delays. More than 280,000 passengers in KwaZulu-Natal make use of Metrorail's trains daily.

"The country's urban railway system will have totally collapsed within 10 years without the necessary recapitalisation. . . .

"He admitted that the country's commuter rail system was headed for disaster if the government did not buy new trains soon. `It doesn't make sense to keep refurbishing. It costs nearly as much as buying a new coach,' said Montana. "The current coaches are not built for the modern economy, and the levels of reliability are too low."

"But the Transport Department says it simply does not have the budget. Transport minister S'bu Ndebele acknowledged the need for more passenger trains, but said that there were other areas, such as roads, which also required huge investment.

http://www.railwaysafrica.com/2010/05/sas-passenger-rail-time-bomb/

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Jun 16th, 2010 at 11:05:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL, you indeed kept digging, without even suspecting a trap.

Though its speeds are higher than other trains in South Africa, Gautrain is not a high-speed train, not by any international standards, whatever an India Times journalist writes. (And it is especially no high-speed train system, with a single line...) It is a limited-stop suburban service, 80 km long with ten stations, and a standard top speed of 160 km/h; only with separate grade from all-stoppers, in that it is analogous to say metro and RER in Paris. Indeed Gautrain uses trains derived from Bombardier's Electrostar, a family of regional EMUs for Britain.

Now, Gautrain could be discussed as an example of bad mismanagement (delays and cost explosion); and one could thematise the class aspect (the new ANC elite is sadly no better on this than whites) in the fact that ticket prices and the routing indicates that it was indended for the upper classes and tourists (though there is at least ticket integration with normal suburban trains). But, don't fall from your role, you are supposed to be anti-long-distance-rail, not anti-passenger-rail like US Republicans.

Keep digging.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 03:06:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's commonly described as a high-speed train system.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 11:29:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to play semantics instead of considering top speed and stopping distances... it is commonly described as rapid rail.

About Gautrain | The Gautrain Rapid Rail link described

The Gautrain  is a state-of-the-art rapid rail network in Gauteng.

Keep digging.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good faith means not attempting to 'trap' each other. And so, I rated your comment a '1'.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Jun 24th, 2010 at 08:56:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way...

the cost of the proposed new road tolls to a motorist driving by freeway from Johannesburg to the Pretoria CBD at R1,020 a month

What's your problem with making driving more expensive?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:09:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it's heavily regressive taxation in a country with apparently the worst income distribution in the developed world. If they could fix that problem, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Of course, this is basically just my diary says very close to your blockquote, so I'm only repeating myself for someone who has decided to selectively read.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Fri Jun 18th, 2010 at 01:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Regressive taxation? What are you talking about?

  • Which income segment do you think owns cars in South Africa, with its extremead income distribution?
  • Which income segment do you think drives frequently on the Jo'burg-Pretoria highway?
  • What do you think is relationship between income distribution and weight/size of cars?


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jun 18th, 2010 at 02:28:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wouldn't have a problem with it."

*Which income segment do you think owns cars in South Africa, with its extremead income distribution?

Every income class, but predominantly the middle class, upper middle class, and the wealthy. What impact would the skyrocketed rates have on the mini-buses?

*Which income segment do you think drives frequently on the Jo'burg-Pretoria highway?

Every income class, but predominantly the middle class, upper middle class, and the wealthy.

*What do you think is relationship between income distribution and weight/size of cars?

You're implying that heavier cars would pay more to drive the highway. That's an interesting and creative idea . . . and reminds me: "If they could fix that problem, I wouldn't have a problem with it."

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Fri Jun 18th, 2010 at 05:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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