Will IPTS buses be sold?

2015-09-09 06:00


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THE DA is jumping the gun and prematurely predicting council decisions, said Danny Jordaan’s chief of staff, Mlungisi Ncame.

Ncame was referring to the DA’s warning that they would fight tooth and nail to prevent the metro’s mass sale of the buses of the controversial public transport system (IPTS).

A proposal to sell the unused buses of the IPTS to other metro’s was skipped during a council meeting last week, but still led to fiery debate.

Ncame said the Municipality was looking at three different options which would be investigated by the roads and public works standing committee.

These options include:

• Retain the IPTS in its current form;

• Drop the project all together;

• Modify the project with reduced cost.

“All these options will be investigated and the standing committee will be seeking advice from other metro’s who have succeeded with their public transport programmes and then, a report will be tabled in council,” said Ncame.

Ncame said he found it strange that the DA would challenge its own decisions as council.

“The DA is part of council and this decision will be taken by council. I find it strange that the DA would challenge its own decisions,” said Ncame.

During a council meeting on August 24, DA councillor Retief Odendaal said the proposal (to sell the buses) was totally unacceptable. “We promised a reliable bus service to the metro, and if we sell the buses we have spent R2,5 billion in vain. It would be sad to have to sell the buses because we cannot find solutions ourselves,” said Odendaal.

He said the DA would oppose the proposal.

“The ANC only needs one voting process in council to get rid of the system and buses, but the DA will put forward a motion to integrate the IPTS service and the metro’s taxi services. The motion will put taxi owners in charge of licensing of vehicles rather than drivers,” Odendaal added.

In contrast, the local ratepayers association is in favour of the buses being sold to recoup as much money as possible and start from scratch with a public transport system.

Kobus Gerber from the ratepayers association said he didn’t think selling the buses would be a bad idea.

“There is no other alternative since this system will never work in the Bay,” he said.

Last month, in his capacity as vice chairmain of AfriForum, he demanded nearly R6 million in IPTS expenses be paid back by the municipal manager, Mpilo Mbambisa.

“It could be the best option: to get back money from the contractors, sell the buses and repair the roads. Then the metro can start from scratch and come up with a new plan,” said Gerber.

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