April 14, 2009

South Africa: Taxis Want Bigger Stake in BRT System

The South African National Taxi Council, Santaco, says it will ask the government for a larger stake in the control of the Integrated Rapid Transit System.

The taxi body is finalising its proposal that insists taxi operators have more ownership of practical aspects of the IRT system – also referred to as the Bus Rapid Transit system – ahead of its summit on Thursday.

The City of Cape Town has maintained that while it will purchase the vehicles for the industry, taxi and bus operators will run it.

Santaco has been travelling the country as part of its national roadshow on IRT.

The proposal stems from meetings held with various provincial councils. It will be handed to the National Department of Transport after Thursday’s meeting.

The Western Cape Provincial Taxi Council said it would urge the government to ensure that stakeholders in the taxi industry kept control of the IRT system, one of its main components.

Provincial spokesperson Danny Joseph reiterated the taxi council’s stance that it “can’t accept BRT in its current form.”

Joseph said continued protests and strikes would bring the industry no gains, so the taxi council saw a formal proposal as the way to voice its concerns about the system.

“We want government to consult with us,” he said.

In February, the provincial taxi council complained that the Department of Transport had displayed a “lack of commitment and transparency” in the talks with the industry.

The provincial department of transport is eager to view and discuss the proposal, said spokesperson Kaketso Sachane, pointing out: “Although, as a provincial department, we are not the implementing authority of IRT.”

The Western Cape leg of the roadshow was poorly attended, Although 1 000 members were expected to attend the meeting in the City Hall in March, only about 100 turned up.

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South Africa: Taxis Want Bigger Stake in BRT System


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