The war of words

BONE OF CONTENTION: A model of the BRT bus. Pic. Unknown.
BONE OF CONTENTION: A model of the BRT bus. Pic. Unknown.

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Cape Town's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has become a political football ahead of the elections, with taxi associations lining up in support of political parties, and one threatening to use the courts to stop BRT altogether.

The National Taxi Alliance (NTA), which supports the ANC and has held protests against BRT, will ask the high court on Friday for an interdict against the BRT.

NTA spokesperson Mbuyisi Mente said the city "did not consult our 160 taxi associations in this province".

Cape Town mayor Helen Zille's spokesperson, Robert Macdonald, said the city does not recognise the NTA.

The city only recognises the South African National Taxi Association (Santaco), which Macdonald claims support BRT.

The NTA and Santaco are at loggerheads over Santaco accepting a trip around South America, paid for by the city.

But Santaco general secretary Philip Taaibosch says his organisation has never endorsed BRT.

Now the ANC and the UDM have joined the war of words, with the ANC calling Zille a "war monger" for threatening to set the army on striking taxi drivers.