South Africa’s high-speed train opens for public

South Africa‘s first high-speed train service, the Gautrain, last week officially opened for the public, just in time for the World Cup kick-off.

The trains will currently only run between Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport station with more routes to open at a later stage.

The Gautrain will reduce the gridlock on the country’s roads as well as contribute to nation building said Justice Minister, Jeff Radebe, at a function on Saturday.

“The emphasis of public transport is that [it will encourage] social cohesion and reduce gridlock. The use of public transport cuts away individualism,” Radebe said.

The minister was standing in for Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele.

According to Radebe, the biggest beneficiary of the Gautrain is definitely the tourism sector. “Throughout the world [tourism and transport] they are joined at the hip.”

The “innumerable” spin-offs of the project include businesses moving closer to the railway line.

Radebe said the completion of the first phase of the Gautrain ensured that those who doubted and did not believe the project would get off the ground would now turn their attention elsewhere.