BRT won't be on time for SWC

2010-05-03 23:34

Johannesburg - The bus rapid transit (BRT) system won't be on time to meet the transport needs of soccer fans in Johannesburg during the FIFA World Cup, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the very vital route along Oxford Road to Sandton will now not be ready in time (and) the Department of Transport has yet to announce the alternative transport plan between Sandton and Park Station (in the city centre) along Oxford Road," said DA spokesperson on transport in the city, Nico de Jager.

The BRT was implemented between Johannesburg central and Soweto in August last year. On Monday, further extensions of feeder routes to Protea Glen and Eldorado Park were launched.

The City of Johannesburg could not immediately be reached for comment.

On Friday evening, a 32-year-old man was killed and eight others were wounded when gunmen opened fire on Rea Vaya BRT buses in separate incidents in Orlando West and Moletsane.

Taxi industry's unwillingness

Commuters are transported by BRT at a cheaper rate than that paid to minibus taxis.

A number of taxi associations have opposed the launch of the bus system as they say it would put them out of business.

There were a number of attacks on BRT busses and De Jager said these were a clear demonstration of the unwillingness of the taxi industry to co-operate with the city and its plans.

"Of great concern... is that to date absolutely no arrests have been made by the (police) relating to any of the incidents of shooting since the violence against the introduction of BRT started in 2006," he said.

Brutal attack

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said in a statement on Monday that the brutal attack on BRT commuters undermined the provision of quality public transport services in Gauteng.

"Popcru has noted the brutal attack on commuters in Soweto related to the continued narrow disrespect by some taxi juntas who undermine government intentions and intelligence to improve provision of quality, sustainable public transport system in our country," Popcru said.

The union called on law enforcement agencies to bring those responsible for the attacks to book.

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Khabisi Mosunkutu and senior leaders from the Johannesburg council were expected to take a trip to Soweto on one of the BRT buses later on Monday in line with the provincial government's efforts to intensify security on the transport system.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has also called upon police to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for the BRT attackers.