Question NW4226 to the President of the Republic

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21 December 2023 - NW4226

Profile picture: Steenhuisen, Mr JH

Steenhuisen, Mr JH to ask the President of the Republic

Considering that his term is coming to an end in 2024, what are the details of the current progress that has been made in delivering the (a) bullet trains and (b) smart cities he promised during the State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019?


In the State of the Nation Address in June 2019, I invited South Africans to look beyond the challenges of the present and to imagine a country of high-speed trains, smart cities and a high-tech economy.

I said that to reinvigorate the implementation of the National Development Plan, “we must cast our sights on the broadest of horizons”.

This bolder vision of a technologically advanced society has received practical attention over the last few years.

For example, the Department of Transport has developed a High-Speed Rail Framework. The Framework has prioritised and ranked the corridors using internationally benchmarked criteria. The Johannesburg to Durban corridor was identified as the highest-ranking potential high-speed rail corridor, with the Pretoria to Mbombela to Komatipoort corridor, and Johannesburg to Pretoria to Polokwane to Musina corridor, ranking second and third, respectively.

On 1 November 2023, Cabinet approved the High-Speed Rail Framework Framework for implementation, and for the Johannesburg to Durban corridor to be prioritised for a feasibility study. The Department of Transport plans to establish a High-Speed Rail Project Management Office to take this process forward.

Another practical example is the Lanseria Smart City.

The project aims to establish a new smart city in the area currently known as Lanseria that will be home to between 350,000 and 500,000 people by 2030. The Master Plan is managed and coordinated by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, with the support of local, provincial and national government.

Support is being provided for the development of bulk infrastructure through the allocation by the Department of Human Settlements of an Urban Settlements Development Grant to the city of Johannesburg.

The current focus of the project is on building a wastewater treatment and land acquisition.

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