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May 15, 2009

BRT will not lead to loss of jobs, taxi profit, Minister assures

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe discusses the BRT system. (29.04.2009) Cameraperson: Danie de Beer. Editing: Darlene Creamer
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The infrastructure for the bus rapid- transit (BRT) public transport system is on track and going ahead unabated, said Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

He added that the Reya Vaya phase one in Soweto, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth was on schedule.

“The route from Soweto to Johannesburg will be completed in time for the FIFA Confe- derations Cup next month. The taxi industry has been involved in the implementation of the BRT system from inception and government believes that the industry is the nucleus of the BRT system,” said Radebe at a media briefing in Johannesburg.

He noted that the main issue on hold for the BRT system to become operational was the convening of another meeting with the taxi industry to finalise the operational company – as soon as the new African National Congress-led administration had an opportunity.

He said that what needed to be established was the extent to which the taxi industry would be involved in the new company to be created to roll out the BRT system.

“The taxi industry has the view that it should be involved throughout the value chain and we share that view as government. We have made a commitment that none of the taxi operators involved on the route that the BRT will be operating will lose their jobs and profit, as they will be incorporated into the new system, and I am confident that the issue will be finalised this month,” said Radebe.

He stressed that the timeframe would not affect the department’s readiness for the Confederations Cup especially, since Reya Vaya was an important corridor for transporting people in South Africa

“We have done our own research as government and we know which taxi operators are on the routes intended for the BRT system and that is why we made the guarantee that there will be no jobs and profit loss.”

Radebe emphasised that when the BRT system was fully operational, Reya Vaya phase one would have an annual revenue of R1,5-billion, and if one assumed a 15% profit margin, it would be R150-million a year shared among all the operators on this route.

“We are confident that we are going to achieve that, otherwise, we would not have made the guarantee of no loss of profit and jobs.”

On match days during the Confederations Cup, additional special football trains will operate on 12 identified corridors in Gauteng, with the Ellis Park, Doornfontein, Loftus Versfeld and Rissik street stations identified as key drop-off areas during the tournament.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
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