Rustenburg is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, with a current estimated population of over 500 000 residents, and an area of jurisdiction covering approximately 3 500 km2 over 38 wards. The Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) system is a modern and efficient public transport system that is being introduced in Rustenburg, South Africa. It is a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which means that it uses dedicated bus lanes and stations to provide fast and reliable service. The first phase of the RRT system, which is known as Yarona Bus, began operating in August 2022.
The RRT system is designed to be integrated with other modes of transportation, such as taxis and mini-buses, to make it easy for people to move around the city. It is also designed to be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.
Some officials said at the inauguration of Yorona Bus:
“The Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) project is a critical part of our vision to transform Rustenburg into a modern and sustainable city. This project will provide our residents with a safe, efficient, and affordable public transportation system that will help to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.”
— Cllr Mpho Khunou, Mayor of Rustenburg Local Municipality.
“The RRT project is a testament to the commitment of the Rustenburg Local Municipality to improving the lives of its residents. This project will provide our residents with a safe, reliable, and affordable transportation system that will help them to reach their full potential.”
— Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa.
Cost of Project
R3-billion (Three Billion South African Rand) is the estimated cost of the entire project, from planning and construction to operation and maintenance. This includes the cost of building dedicated bus lanes, stations, and buses, as well as the cost of operating and maintaining the system on an ongoing basis.
Why do we need this?
Rustenburg is quite possibly the quickest developing city in South Africa. An ever increasing number of individuals live and work in Rustenburg and we are at a populace of more than 500,000 as of now. We don’t need a blocked and dirtied city later on. We maintain that a city with spots should walk and cycle, green spaces and a decent personal satisfaction. Gridlock is a reality and won’t improve by building more streets. We really want to take a gander at how we oversee and designate our street space among the different necessities. South Africa has vowed universally to decrease fossil fuel byproducts by 2020 and Rustenburg plays a part to play by diminishing the quantity of vehicles out and about, and presenting more carbon productive traveller transport choices. To guarantee we are monetarily, socially and ecologically practical as a city we should anticipate the future we need. Powerful vehicle administrations and foundation are key parts for giving a superior life to all.
What is Universal Access?
Widespread Access alludes to the capacity of the public vehicle framework to cook for all individuals from general society, not just physically fit individuals. The Public Division of Transport has commanded that all new open vehicle vehicles, frameworks and administrations are all around available to the crippled, to the meeting and outwardly disabled, as well regarding the old, those with prams and small kids, and harmed individuals on props or in wheelchairs.
What will happen to the existing taxi and bus operators?
The arrangement for the change to the new framework is that there will be no deficiency of real positions. The Rustenburg Fast Vehicle group is drawing in with agents of the taxi business in Rustenburg and the encompassing regions to find straightforward arrangements that will empower all ongoing taxi administrators to take part in the new open doors for big business and occupation creation and carry advantages to all. Existing transport and taxi administrators are being locked in from the very start of this venture to guarantee total comprehension of the functional agreements, work and business open doors. The point is to have functional elements set up by 2014 to work close to the undertaking as it is carried out. The serious existing administrators are ensured of functional agreements in the new framework for the underlying agreement time frame. Working agreements will be concurred through a conventional discussion process.
RRT Shut Down
In October 2023, the Rustenburg Municipality announced that the RRT system had been cancelled. The Municipality cited a number of reasons for the cancellation, including:
The shutdown of the RRT system was a major disappointment for the people of Rustenburg as the “Cllr Mpho Khunou, Mayor of Rustenburg Local Municipality”, said in his speech:
“The shutdown of the RRT is a sign of the mismanagement and incompetence of the Rustenburg Local Municipality. This project was supposed to be a success, but instead it has turned into a disaster.”
The RRT system had the potential to revolutionise public transportation in the city and make it easier for people to get around. However, the cost overruns, delays, poor workmanship, and safety concerns made it impossible to continue with the project.
The President of South Africa said:
“The shutdown of the RRT is a national tragedy. This project was a showcase for South Africa’s ability to deliver on its promises, but now it has become a symbol of our failure.”
The shutdown of the RRT system is a cautionary tale about the dangers of corruption, poor planning, and poor execution. It is important to learn from the mistakes that were made on the RRT project so that they are not repeated in the future.