Ndebele hands over bus company

2011-02-07 15:16

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele handed the BRT Rea Vaya Phase 1A bus operating company to taxi industry shareholders today.

“Today we celebrate a major milestone in the life of the taxi industry and of our country,” Ndebele said during the handover at Nancefield, in Johannesburg.

“We reaffirm that this important industry, which is owned, managed and controlled by black entrepreneurs, will no longer primarily be defined by violence and disorder,” he said.

Former taxi owners got 66.7% of the shares in the company, which owns buses and bus stations across Johannesburg. The remaining 33.3% was owned by the City of Johannesburg and other companies.

Ndebele said the company had a turnover of R174 million a year, from which the new owners would benefit.

“I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the taxi industry in opening a major shareholding and stake in the BRT system in Johannesburg.”

Former taxi owner Sicelo Mabaso was excited to be a part of this “new, sophisticated” transport industry.

“We are hoping that even those taxi owners who are still against the BRT will now come on board as they will see this is working and it’s a viable business,” he said.

It had been a “long journey to success” in the industry’s partnership with the government, with a “lot of challenges”.

“As you remember there were shootings when these buses began operating in the roads. Members of the public were shot dead and injured by the taxi operators who were against this system. Some owners were killed for being in favour of the BRT,” he said.

There were about four shootings during implementation of various phases of the Bus Rapid Transit system in Johannesburg.

At the hand-over, old unsafe minibuses, which their owners had exchanged for equity in the new venture, were scrapped.
As he watched his minibus being squashed, with the assembled guests looking on, Sipho Khanyi said it was a day of mixed emotions.

“Seeing my minibus taxi being scrapped was very said for me, but there’s also the excitement of being involved in this new viable, sustainable business that will add value to my life and the future of my children.”

Khanyi has been in the taxi industry for 21 years. He owned eight other taxis which other taxi operators forced off the road last year.

“My other taxis have not been operating for more than a year now. My drivers were intimidated by other operators because of my involvement with BRT. Hopefully, those against BRT will come on board now, as we are living proof that it is working.”

A total of 349 more minibus taxis would be scrapped and the metal recycled.

The Rea Vaya buses transport about 30?000 passengers with 1313 trips across Johannesburg daily. There are 143 buses and 30 Rea Vaya stations.

The city of Johannesburg initially signed a contract with Clidet, an interim company owned by BRT Systems Trust.

Clidet signed a management contract with Metrobus to manage the bus operating company.

On January 31, Clidet’s interim board passed a resolution for the transfer of shares to the new shareholders from the taxi industry.

These are organised into nine Taxi Operator Investor Companies and a trust. They have reserved Piotrans as the new name for the company to replace Clidet.

Ndebele said he would like to see that project being rolled out in other provinces as well.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.