Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga seems to have changed her tune, about devolving the rail service to capable provinces and metros.

She’s not been in favour of allowing other spheres of government to manage the network, and she’s gone on record saying as much.

But she has now conceded that the matter is part of government policy.

The City of Cape Town is planning to declare a formal intergovernmental dispute with national government over the devolution issue.

“The City of Cape Town has tried every constructive and proactive means possible to work with two successive ministers of Transport and the President to drive the devolution of passenger rail from the national government to the local sphere. But despite this policy decision, there’s been little to no progress of any sort to make it happen,” said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis on the 6th of September 2023.

Chikunga says however just because devolution is part of government policy, there isn’t yet a clear strategy on how it would work in practice.

” We still need to come with up a strategy which must go to Cabinet for approval and then we look at what can be devolved to provinces. It may well be that we say you are going to monitor the services for us and then devolve the monitoring part of it , or we can devolve any other part. There’s still a long way to go”.