Gauteng Department of Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo. Picture: Picture: Ayi Leshabane

INFRASTRUCTURE MEC Jacob Mamabolo has appointed Gauteng Transport Authority head Jack van der Merwe to lead a team to investigate the possibility of rolling out green transport, including electric vehicles (EVs), within the structures of the provincial government and its associate bodies.

“I have appointed Jack to lead a team in the department to help us move forward with regards, particularly, to EVs, as it relates to our fleet in Gauteng, called the Gfleet.”

Gfleet is described as a trading entity of Mamabolo’s department, and as a provider of vehicle leasing and fleet management services for the public sector, with its clients being national, Gauteng province and local government departments.

Gfleet currently operates a fleet of around 7 000 vehicles.

“If we as government do not lead and build confidence in EVs, it will be very difficult for people to follow,” says Mamabolo. 

“We, as a provincial government, must start with our own fleet. We must start with our own cars. We must be the leading buyer of EVs.

“This is why we have commissioned a team to look at everything – including value chains and working with the automotive sector to achieve these goals.” 

The development of the necessary skills and the concomitant new jobs that it will create will also be a priority.

Mamabolo says he includes the Gautrain’s bus fleet in the prerogative to move to green transport.

He notes that he has also asked the Gautrain Management Agency to investigate the possibility of installing EV chargers at Gautrain stations.

“We shall make an announcement very soon about our practical plans – not a theoretical broad policy statement – about how many vehicles we are going to buy and when, when the first charging stations will be installed, and over what timeline this will be done.

“We want to lead in building confidence, in building positive sentiment on EVs because this is the best way forward,” says Mamabolo.

“The rest of the world will simply lock us out if our carbon footprint is too high. In transport we want to play our part and lead by example.”

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