South African rail line touted at bus-crash funeral

Nov. 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM
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MATSHIDING, South Africa, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A senior South African official said the government was considering expanding passenger rail service in the wake of a bus accident that killed 30 people.

David Mabuza, premier of Mpumalanga province, said Sunday that rail was being looked at as a means of reducing traffic on the notorious Moloto Road where the bus and truck collided on Monday.

"No matter how much we can extend the road, it is a reality that the population has increased drastically, the amount of traffic is just too huge and there is too much congestion," Mabuza said at a joint burial service for 26 of the victims in Matshiding. "We are at a stage of considering an alternative mode of transport that would ease the volume of traffic on Moloto Road."

The proposed rail line would stretch between Mpumalanga and Gauteng and would go as far as Sekhukhune district in Limpopo, the premier said. "It will not only transport passengers from the areas surrounding Moloto, but will cater for goods of the farmers while it eases the volume of traffic," he said.

The project has been in the works for some time and has already undergone environmental review, the South African Government News Agency said. It appeared to receive an endorsement Sunday with the appearance at the funeral of several national government officials, including the health and transportation ministers.

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