Bus Rapid Transit System: Joint Working Group Update, &Gautrain: Management Agency report

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08 March 2010
Chairperson: Ms N Bhengu (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department of Transport briefed the Committee on the integrated Public Transport Networks Strategy in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay. The aim of the strategy was to include the existing and directly affected operators. Other cities were in the planning stage with a view to implementing the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system. The overview of progress in implementing the Integrated Rapid Public Transport (IRPT) system was outlined for each city of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane. In Johannesburg, 143 buses would be in operation, with 30 stations being functional. Further phases would rely on new sustainable sources of public transport funding. Rea Vaya was expected to be ready to transport 20 000 spectators to both Ellis Park and Soccer City on match days. The Soweto to Ellis Park corridor would be fully operational on non –match days. In Cape Town, most funding for Phase 1A was provided for in the new Division of Revenue (DORA) allocation. There had been engagement with the taxi industry, with further consultations planned after April. The challenges related to VAT rulings, funding, and an expected operations deficit. In Nelson Mandela Bay, the network would be completed by about 2015, with all existing taxi and bus operations becoming a single network by 2011. Buses would be used for World Cup events. In Tshwane, financial planning, and the marketing and communication strategy were on track. The Department said that there had been liaison with the Taxi Councils, Bus Operators and Commuters, and options on institutional models had been put forward as part of the business plan. An Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) roadmap was completed, and tenders were being developed, along with vehicle specifications. Planning in other cities was at an early stage.

The Department then gave another presentation on the National Joint Working Group, which was set up in order to attend to the concerns of the taxi industry with regard to the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system. An overview of progress was given. In June 2009 it was agreed that a structure would be looked at, and the credentials of representatives would be assessed. Subcommittees would deal with Bus Rapid Transport, Enterprise Development, taxi subsidies and the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, regulation, licensing and enforcement, communication and stakeholder management. A national framework was envisaged and there would be coordination on implementation issues. There was to be an agreement on the National Framework to guide the inclusion of incumbent operators and workers into BRT systems. The NJWG should also identify viable black economic empowerment opportunities in the sector, increase investment, liaise with financial institutions on viable funding models and advise on enterprise development models. A turnaround strategy for licensing boards would be developed, as well as a framework for implementation of the National Land Transport Act would be developed. The NJWG would create platforms for engagement. Memorandums of Agreement would be worked upon and developed. The Department outlined its challenges.

Members asked about the proposed payouts and the operational deficit on BRT, the new sources for funding, what the Department was doing to prevent disruptions, how the Department would be controlling abnormal loads on roads during the soccer tournament, and what was the situation with the contracts. They asked who would benefit from the BRT and what associations were on board in the projects, pending the South African National Taxi Council submissions, what penalties were envisaged, and what was happening to interdepartmental forums.

The South African National Civic Organisation was highly critical of the Department’s formation of structures such as the NJWG, the purchase of buses from foreign countries, lack of use of local stakeholders, and the Department allegedly marginalising the taxi industry. It claimed that the so-called representatives of the taxi industries were bogus and were causing infighting in the industry, and called upon the Department to “come clean” with its plans for the taxi industry. The South African National Taxi Associations Council was also highly critical, saying that some of the plans presented by the Department had not previously been conveyed to the Council, consultation was poor, there was no proper planning in advance, and the structure created for consultation was not being respected. Although the taxi industry had made representations to the Portfolio Committee, nothing had transpired. BRT did not intend to empower the industry, and the Council warned that the industry, fighting for its livelihood, would defend itself in whatever manner it saw fit. Members recommended that the Council and Department must meet within 21 days to try to establish dialogue

The Gautrain Management Agency briefed the Committee on the Gautrain Project, reiterating that this project was announced before the FIFA World Cup announcements of South Africa as the venue for 2010, and it was never intended to be for the World Cup, although a deal was struck to allow it to accommodate that event. Bus services would transport passengers from O R Tambo International Airport to the destinations. In many cases the BRT routes would join the Gautrain stations. The same business rules as Rea Vaya would also be used by the Gautrain Management Agency so as to create comprehensive co-ordination on both projects. Vehicles used had to comply with the Road Traffic Act requirements. Members were severely critical of the fact that the list of stakeholders in the Gautrain, although promised to the Committee, had never been delivered, and called upon the Agency to deliver it by 12 March. Members also asked whether contractors could hold government “to ransom” over payments and completion dates,

Meeting report

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System: Presentation by the Department of Transport (DOT)
Ms Khibi Manana, Chief Director: Public Transport Strategy, Department of Transport, apologised that Ms S Madikizela, who was in charge of the 2010 portfolio, was unable to attend this meeting, as she was called to another meeting on the 2010 World Cup. Any questions that Ms Manana could not respond to here would be conveyed back to the Department of Transport (DOT or the Department) who would respond in writing.

Ms Manana said that the Department had been implementing the Integrated Public Transport Networks strategy in four main cities across the country - Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay. The aim of the strategy was to include the existing and directly affected operators. Other cities were in the planning stage with a view to implementing the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system.

Ms Manana gave an overview on the cities implementing the Integrated Rapid Public Transport (IRPT). The Johannesburg BRT system was called Rea Vaya. There had been a positive response from commuters and the public in general on the assessment undertaken by the Department. She pointed that areas seen as excellent were customer support staff, security teams, station design and system branding. She added that stations represented a high-quality effort as they appeared well maintained and cleaned throughout the day. The infrastructure was mostly of high standard. The contract negotiations with Phase 1A operators were well advanced. The Rea Vaya branding identity was well-developed and creative and mobilised great support for the system.

She reported on the progression from Phase 1. The Department was anticipating the introduction of feeders, in phases, as from 1 March and 1 May. Event services during the World Cup were being looked at. It was anticipated that 143 buses would be in operation, with 30 stations being functional. The plans for a  transition period with ‘shadow management’ were also to be incorporated. There were constraints relating to environmental assessment on Oxford road.

She noted that in Phase 1B,the the route from Noorgesig would be revised, as also Westbury, University of Johannesburg, Wits, Metro Centre, and Rissik street (except North route). However construction would only be completed in August  2010. The affected operators included Metrobus, Putco and the mini-bus taxi industry. The Department would in due course begin to work on a new model regarding the bus procurement and negotiations. She further alerted that further phases would rely on new sustainable sources of public transport funding.

Rea Vaya was expected to be ready to transport 20 000 spectators to both Ellis Park and Soccer City on match days. The City of Johannesburg was working speedily to complete the two stations at Soccer City. The one station was on top of the Soweto Highway and pedestrians would have to travel by the longest man-made tunnel in Johannesburg under the freeway into the North side of the Stadium. 53 buses would be utilised during this period. The Soweto to Ellis Park corridor would be fully operational on non –match days.

Ms Manana moved to the City of Cape Town’s progress on its Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT, referring to progress from the end of February 2010. In Cape Town, the high quality dedicated roadways and stations on the first leg, in the Central Business District (CBD) and Bayside, were nearing completion. The first BRT-related contract in South Africa was concluded with the company representing the inner city taxi industry with vehicle services for World Cup, using IRT infrastructure. There were two IRT posts that were recently advertised to lead a dedicated IRT project office, consisting of IRT implementation and IRT operations. In view of the new funding allocations, there were detailed operational plans reviews under way to determine the most effective project roll-out and an updated business plan was in preparation.

With regards to progress on finances and tenders, Ms Manana said that funding needed to complete Phase1A was substantially provided for in the new Division of Revenue (DORA) allocation, and that provision allowed for funding to be committed into future years and would assist implementation. A sum of R668 million of construction tenders was already awarded. Further contracts were tendered but not awarded because of awaited funding. On infrastructure, another R1 billion was awaited and on fare systems and the control centre R500 million was awaited. These tenders would soon be ready to be awarded.

On the issue of progress on engagement with the taxi industry, Ms Manana pointed out that 8 taxi associations and 2 bus companies were engaged in order to transform them into 2 IRT Vehicle Companies. A comprehensive compensation model was developed to give effect to the promise that the taxi industry “would not be worst off”. She said that, since November 2009, focus had shifted to negotiating contract for the 2010 World Cup service using IRT and other vehicles. In February, a contract was signed, in terms of which taxi companies held a stake of 75% of the existing inner city public transport market. Consultation and negotiations would resume after the review of the system plan and business plans were concluded in April and May.

Ms Manana highlighted the following challenges; Firstly, a directive was needed from SARS on whether VAT payable would be re-directed to BRT infrastructure. This had a significant impact on budget, as in Cape Town an average of about R500 million was already lost to VAT. Secondly, the additional Public Transport Infrastructure System (PTIS) funding allocation was not sufficient for the completion of Phase 1A, especially if VAT was payable. Thirdly, there was a need for a start operation of Phase 1A starter service as soon as was possible after the World Cup, to ensure early utilisation of infrastructure investment. Lastly, investigation into creative ways to minimise and deal with an expected operation deficit in Phase 1A was needed.

Ms Manana then detailed what was happening in Nelson Mandela Bay. The status of the BRT there was partially done, but DOT was aiming to contract a full city-wide network between 2011 and 2015, depending on taxi operator negotiations. Phases 1 and 2 would include 45 kilometres (kms) of trunk-feeder bus corridors and 16 kms of BRT with 25 buses. All existing taxi and bus operations were to become a single network by 2011. This would transform the taxi industry and would integrate after three to five years. That network was to comprise of five contract packages, aiming to transport over 450 000 passenger trips per day.

Challenges facing Nelson Mandela Bay BRT were that, due ongoing taxi negotiations, the network would not be ready by 2010, but instead, a pilot was aimed at 25 bus event services for the World Cup.

In regard to the city of Tshwane, Ms Manana stated that the BRT’s implementation level was on line 1 of Phase 1. Designs were being finalised and discussions with the Public Transport Industry (PTI) were progressing positively. Line 1, from Mabopane station to the CBD, had 37 km of lanes and 17 stations prioritised for Phase 1 implementation. Station concepts were launched and designs were proceeding. A professional team was appointed for infrastructure design and this was being fast tracked. Discussions with the Department of Transport on full network design were to take place and financial plan model development was in an advanced stage, with the first output expected from mid March 2010. An integrated marketing and communication strategy was already developed.

She then outlined the progress. Liaisons between the BTR and the PTI had taken place. Meetings were held with the Taxi Councils, Bus Operators and Commuters. A BRT Stakeholder Summit was being planned for March/April 2010. The aim was to set a platform for further engagement and negotiations with affected operators. The Tshwane BTR Team was further developed as part of re-alignment of departments and a new Transport and Roads Department had been established. Various options on institutional models were pursued as part of the Business Plan, and a Financial Plan was to follow. An Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) roadmap was completed and the ITS tenders were in the process of development. Also, a vehicle specification was being developed and the funding of vehicles was to be finalised after the financial plan.

Furthermore, Ms Manana said that progress in other 8 IRPTN cities was still at an early planning level.
Buffalo City had completed a draft operational plan. Polokwane and Rustenburg’s operational plans were still in progress. Mbombela’s IPTN operational plan was nearing completion and the business plan was in preparation. Mbombela needed a dedicated team and project leader. Ekurhuleni and Ethekwini’s operational plans were still in the procurement process. Mangaung and Msunduzi had operational plans; however tenders were in preparation and needed intervention to motivate city officials to move faster and to take on their responsibilities. In the rural districts, operational planning and networks would commence in 2010/11.

Update on the National Joint Working Group by the Department of Transport
Ms Kemantha Manilal, Acting Chief Director, Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, Department of Transport, stated that the Minister of Transport had met with the South African National Taxi Council on 11 June 2009. The purpose of the meeting was to attend to the concerns of the taxi industry with regard to BRT. It was agreed that a structure would be created to deal with all issues raised by the taxi industry, and civil society would also be represented within that structure. That stricture would be called the National Joint Working Group (NJWG).

Ms Manilal gave an overview on the progress made by the NJWG. On 25 June 2009 the Department met with all heads of Public Transport from provinces and cities. It was agreed in that meeting that a proposed structure, and representatives’ credentials in the NJWG, would be looked at. The NJWG was to be a decision making body constituted by heads of Public Transport, and there would be subcommittees to deal with BRT, Enterprise Development, Taxi Subsidies and TRP, regulation, licensing and enforcement, communication and stakeholder management.

Terms of reference were developed to guide each subcommittee. The second meeting was held on 14 July 2009 in order to finalise terms of reference for the NJWG subcommittees. That meeting was also to finalise the legalisation of semi-legal taxi operators. A draft framework and implementation plan for the taxi industry was to be made. A tariff policy was to be developed. Also, models on ownership were to be developed. A further aim of the meeting was to consult various stakeholders on the implementation of the regulatory framework. Engagement with the National Treasury on the proposed subsidy framework was to be embarked upon.

There would be a national framework, to guide authorities implementing Integrated Rapid Public Transport Networks (IRPTNs), of which Bus Rapid Transit systems were one of the components. Co-ordination of implementation issues relating to BTRs would be worked upon. Regular monitoring of BRT progress across the three spheres of Government was to be embarked upon. There was to be an agreement on the National Framework to guide the inclusion of incumbent operators and workers into BRT systems.

On the issue of Enterprise Development, the NJWG was to identify and suggest viable BEE opportunities in the transport sector. It was also to devise strategies to increase investment in existing entities. The group was also aiming to design a model for the corporatisation of the industry. Liaison with financial institutions on funding models appropriate for the sector was also to be undertaken. The NJWG was to advise the national forum on the best possible enterprise development model.

In regard to legislation, licensing, regulation and enforcement, Ms Manilal said that the NJWG would develop a strategic framework for the implementation of the turnaround strategy for operating license boards, as adopted by the Cabinet. It would identify critical and strategic issues affecting issuing of operating licenses. Further, a strategic framework for the implementation of the National Land Transport Act would be developed.

In respect of communication and stakeholder engagement, Ms Manilal said that the NJWG was to develop a strategic framework for communication of progress by the sub-committees. It was also to identify critical strategic and technical questions for communication purposes. Identification and recommendation of communication and stakeholder engagement strategies, tools and approaches was to be worked towards. The NJWG was to create a platform for engagement between the national working, stakeholders and communities. Finally, it was to mobilise support for the IRPTN policy from the affected stakeholders and from the public in general.

Ms Manilal said that numerous meetings between government and the taxi industry were held. In those meetings, parties agreed to bring on board members of civil society and to develop a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which would guide all activities of the NJWG. She pointed to the fact that the MOA was signed by three parties to the agreement, but still needed to be signed by provincial members of the Executive Councils (MECs).

She concluded by indicating the challenges facing the NJWG. There were outstanding representation lists. There was a delay in finalising the South African Taxi Associations Council’s (SANTACO) credentials, and the reasons cited were that SANTACO was still busy with elections and would endeavour to finalise the list. With regards to the funding of the NJWG, there was an eminent likelihood that the funding of the NJWG by the Department of Transport would not be sustainable in the long term. The Department was to try to align all activities of the NJWG with those of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Gautrain Update: Gautrain Management Agency (GMA)
Mr Jack Van Der Merwe, Chief Executive Officer, Gautrain Management Agency announced that the Gautrain project was well on track. He started off by mentioning that ten stations were near completion, within a stretch of 15 kms, with 25 bridges. The underground stations at Rosebank, Marlborough, Midrand, Pretoria, Centurian and Park Stations were all on track. A link to OR Tambo International Airport was also well under way. He wished to emphasise the intensity of the project in terms of job creation and infrastructure development, the improvement on public transport and tourism development.

Mr van der Merwe reminded the Committee that the Gautrain project was announced by the Minister in the year 2000, four years prior to the awarding of the FIFA World Cup in 2004. He said that the Gautrain project was never intended specifically for the World Cup, but the deal was struck so that the project could accommodate the FIFA 2010 spectacle. The deal was such that the project was divided into two segments, Phase 1 being from the O R Tambo Airport to Sandton, which would be complete in June 2010, and the rest of the project to be completed in March 2011.

The projects also incorporated bus services, which would transport passengers from the airport to various destinations. The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) had met with the bus companies for the additional services. It was then decided that tenders would be given out and these were in the process of being awarded. GMA had agreed with the Department of Transport that the project would transform public transport positively. He expressed his amazement at the amount of construction happening around the Gautrain route stations. Design and construction of the route was done in consultation with the City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and surrounding municipalities. Much consideration for the BRT was taken into account as the BRT routes would join the Gautrain stations and go over the newly erected bridges. Some BRT stations, such as in Sandton and Plaza, would be built on top of the Gautrain stations so as to allow people to gain easy and integrated access to both systems. Electronic ticketing systems ware created in order to alleviate congestion and long queues. The same business rules as Rea Vaya would also be used by the Gautrain Management Agency so as to create comprehensive co-ordination on both projects. For Phase 1, the operation period would be from 4 June 2010 to 14 July 2010 and those operations would also be functional during days where there would be no World Cup tournament matches. A route from Lanseria to Johannesburg would also be covered by the project. All vehicles used would conform to the Road Traffic Act, in that vehicles should not be older that 5 years, and must conform to safety standards in terms of roadworthiness. No additional money would be needed from Government agencies and, in case of budget under spending, monies would be given for social development. Mr van der Merwe concluded that the total numbers of buses used in the feeder system would be 125. He noted that on the train route, on every kilometre there was an emergency exist shaft with control centres at stations to ensure the safety of passengers.

Mr S Farrow (DA) asked what had happened to the proposed R8 000 payout to affected operators. This question related to the operational deficit that was detected on the BRT strategy, as the Department could no pay the yearly subsidies. He pointed out that the subsidies should be directed to the commuters instead of the operators.

Ms Manana replied that in Johannesburg, 157 taxis were withdrawn from operation with the introduction of the BRT. The city had to compensate the affected operators. She said that the City of Johannesburg could be invited to explain that in detail to the Portfolio Committee. There were 585 affected operators by the implementation of the BRT system in Phase 1A. However there were 580 beneficiaries in the BRT that represented the taxi industry. She added that the city had detailed verification processes to determine the authenticity of representatives’ status.

Ms Manilal replied that the Department had money to fund the BRT project, but that it was not a sustainable source. That was an area still to be evaluated and new sustainable sources would be sought.

Mr Farrow also called for the names of the stakeholders in the Gautrain, to ascertain whether there was conflict of interests. He called for the immediate hand over of that document, saying that this had been promised before.

The Chairperson agreed that Mr van der Merwe had promised to hand over the document but he had not done so. That was tantamount to his disrespect for Parliament.

Mr van der Merwe again promised that the document would be handed over to the Committee no later than 12 March 2010.

Mr Farrow asked what was the likelihood that the contractors could hold the Government at ransom over payments and completion of the Gautrain project.

Ms B Dambuza (ANC) asked what the Department was doing to prevent disruptions during the World Cup, and also asked about the NJWG funding.  She also asked how the Department was going to control abnormal load on roads during the soccer tournament.

Ms Manana replied that the BRT was looking also at including the rail and other subsidies in order to integrate public transport, and this would play part in alleviate some of the abnormal loads on the reads.

Mr N Gcwabaza (ANC) wanted clarity on the contracts on the BRT, and wanted to know how long the R8 000 pay-out would be rolled out for.

Ms Manana replied that the R8 000 figure was the figure that was put forward by the taxi industry, for them to be part of the BRT process, and that figure was yet to be further verified. She added that the contracts were being determined by the Department and would be addressed at a later stage.

Mr P Poho (COPE) asked whether there was any relationship between the BRT and the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme. He asked who stood to benefit from the implementation of the BRT. He also wanted to know whether the BRT was a consultative initiative, or acted as it wished.

Mr Poho asked NJWG whether other associations were already on board whilst the SANTACO submission was awaited.

The Chairperson responded to Mr Poho’s question by giving the back ground to the creation of SANTACO. She said that all stakeholders were consulted and an agreement was reached that SANTACO would handle issues between the taxi industry and the Government. This decision was reached under the leadership of former Transport Minister Dullah Omar, because of the then-fragmentation of the taxi industry that had spawned difficulties during negotiations.

Ms Manana agreed that a consultative model should be created by the government. She indicated that the City of Johannesburg was the only city that had mastered consultative models with stakeholders and communities. She stated that the model would be created on a national level and implemented on the provincial level.

Ms Manilal replied that the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme was aimed at replacing unroadworthy and unsafe vehicles, not at casting the taxi industry out of the system, and the BRT was intended to improve public transport as a whole.

Mr M De Freitas (DA) asked what the penalties of the BRT were about. He also asked what “legalisation of semi-legal operators” and “corporatisation” meant. He also needed some clarification as to what was happening to the interdepartmental forum.

Ms Manana replied that the penalties were for buses that emitted excessive smoke due to lack of servicing. Other fines were for lateness and lack of cleanliness, and therefore the fines were for both mechanical and petty operational issues.

Input by South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO)
Mr Dumisane Mthalane, General Secretary, South African National Civic Organisation, said that the Organisation (SANCO) was critical of the Department’s tendency to agree to form structures such as the NJWG, whilst carrying out its own mandate outside the structures. He said that the Department was purchasing buses and procuring in countries such as Brazil, leaving out the local stakeholders who initiated public transport during the apartheid regime, and stressed that instead of the Department rewarding the taxi industry, it was severely marginalising it. He stated that the taxi industry was contained in none of the Department’s plans for the FIFA World Cup. He stated that in Johannesburg, individuals claiming to represent the taxi industries to the BRT were bogus and were only after money, and the only results those “representatives” presented were causing infighting and conflict within the taxi industry. He called the Department to come out clean and announce its plans for the taxi industry.

Input by the South African National Taxi Associations Council
Mr Andrew Mthembu, President, South African National Taxi Associations Council (SANTACO) said that he had been to the Committee’s meetings several times, but today he wished to express his disappointment at the Government representatives. He questioned whether these representatives really represented the Administration, the Ministers or were putting forward their own agendas. He added that he was shocked by what he had learned in this meeting about the Department’s dealings and progress and was discouraged that this was the first time he was hearing about some of the information being presented by the Committee.

He explained that the whole purpose behind the creation of the NJWG was to address a crisis and problem-based situation. It was not merely a government programme of empowerment. He stated that the government had no good intention to participate with the taxi industry, and that consultation was sorely lacking. He stated that construction was under way, but the government’s assurance had been that “the plans would come later”. He said that was like building a house, for which the plan would follow later. The question he raised was what exactly it was that the government was building, as the taxi industry had not been informed.

Mr Mthembu stated that the structure that was created for consultation was not respected, and he felt that the Government had sold out the industry, as it was not part and parcel of the new events around the World Cup tournament. He said that anyone feeling that his matters were being interfered with would feel entitled to act as necessary, since the taxi industry was feeling that its members’ opinions were disregarded.

He said that he did not understand the tactic of divide and rule that was evident  from the Government’s treatment of the taxi industry and the BRT. He wished to point out that the industry had understood that its challenges could be presented and understood at the Portfolio Committee, but nothing had come of this. He asked what powers the Committee had. He warned that the industry could pull out of the NJWG if the policy of divide and rule continued.

He said that SANTACO was not satisfied with the processes of BRT and how the matter was been handled. He pointed out that the BRT had no intention to empower the taxi industry, but rather would invade on routes that the industry had created when the apartheid government was making no provisions for public transport. He stated that since this industry was created without the assistance of government, it was up to the industry to defend itself by any means possible. Because this involved the source of income for the industry, Mr Mthembu vowed that the industry members would not stand by and watch their livelihoods being taken away from them.

What he found bizarre was the fact that even though the industry was carrying 15 million citizens daily, there were no plans provided for in preparations for 2010, but only promises. Mr Mthembu stated that SANTACO had indeed sent a list of representatives, which was not responded to by the Department.

Mr Phillip Taaibosch, General Secretary, SANTACO, added that there was an indication that the government wished to get rid of the taxi industry, as issues pertaining to operators’ licensing had not been addressed in a long time. He echoed Mr Mthembu’s sentiments that the taxi industry would protect its turf by any means necessary. He regarded the BRT as the “final nail in the lifespan of the taxi industry”. He mentioned that he had written letters to the Minister with no response being received.

Mr N Duma (ANC) proposed that the Committee should recommend that SANTACO must meet with the Department of Transport within 21days, in order to open up dialogue. He also proposed that NJWG should lead negotiations as that was one of the key functions.

The Chairperson pointed out that during the pre-election strike of the taxi industry, there was a danger that the election outcomes could have been affected. She also indicated that there was a danger of loss of life and she warned that such a situation of that nature should be averted.
The Chairperson stated that a household survey was conducted on public transport in 2004. The results showed that households could not afford public transport, and that the public transport services were not safe, wasted time, and were not integrated. She wished to know how affordable the BRT was for ordinary citizens. She asked what the Department’s master plan was in dealing with the findings of the survey.

The Chairperson noted that there would be follow up meetings with the Department and the Gautrain Management Agency when the report was handed over. The Committee would also pay an oversight visit to the Gautrain and the Rea Vaya, so that it could ascertain whether transportation would be ready for the World Cup. The Committee would also follow up on the Department’s plans to include the taxi industry.

The meeting was adjourned.


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