The City of Cape Town said it planned to have a team of experts to help manage the takeover of the rail service ready by the end of the year.

The city wanted to run the trains in the Western Cape and would task the advisors with providing a business plan.

The Democratic Alliance promised voters a provincially managed rail network, but that plan may never materialise.

The team of rail professionals, once appointed, would be tasked with developing a feasible and incremental plan for the city to take over the urban rail function from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Prasa reports to the national Department of Transport.

Transport Mayco member Felicity Purchase said council approved the plan in October.

“Once appointed, this team of rail professionals will be tasked to develop a feasible and incremental plan for the city to take over the urban rail function. The city will only take over the function in part or in whole if it is financially feasible.”

The approved business plan proposed the city took over passenger rail in a structured and incremental manner.

Purchase said this would allow the city to plan, to acquire the necessary skills, and to develop the additional capacity.

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