Taxi operators get BRT warning

2010-02-18 21:30

Johannesburg - The "might of the State" would be unleashed against any violent protests by taxi operators against Johannesburg's BRT system, Gauteng's transport MEC said on Thursday.

Members of the United Taxi Allied Forum (Utaf) had threatened a prolonged strike against the implementation of the next phase of the Bus Rapid Transit service, Bheki Nkosi said.

It was announced last week that the BRT service would be extended in March to include a route from Dobsonville in Soweto, through the Johannesburg CBD to Ellis Park.

Utaf threatened protests against this route as they felt it threatened their livelihood.

Nkosi said: "We want to assure the commuters that the government is planning for the eventuality of a violent protest by the industry."

"In terms of our planning from today (on Thursday) we will make sure that we leave no stone unturned to protect them and ensure that on the day they are able to continue with their lives unhindered."

He said his department had become aware of a threat, allegedly by some taxi operators, to use violence in their planned protests and to derail the Soccer World Cup.

The government was however more than ready to deal with anyone threatening violence against the tournament.

"The might of the State will be unleashed on them."

"Any threat against hosting this prestigious event for the first time in Africa is a threat against not only the government, but the people of South Africa."