Time is running out for jozi BRT

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

Transport authorities are not sure if the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport system will meet its deadline and start operating on June 1.

The proposed integrated system was planned to be launched and start improving public transport in the next two weeks. But the Department of Transport has barred Johannesburg from making public statements about the programme after taxi drivers protested against the initiative to create a cheap, fast and efficient system for commuters.

Sbu Ndebele was sworn in on Monday as transport minister, and his office could not comment on the progress of the system.

"We are trying to organise meetings with the minister," said Rehana Moosajee, the Joburg council's head of transport. "We hope to hold a press conference soon to detail progress on how far we have gone with BRT."

The council has, however, continued to develop the system's infrastructure. Bob Stanway, the project's technical manager, said the team was on track to complete phase 1A.

"The 25km stretch of the route between Regina Mundi in Soweto and Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg is on track. The trunk route will comprise 20 stations. Four other stations will be completed by the end of June," Stanway said.

Transport department spokesperson Collen Msibi said that Ndebele could not comment as he had not yet been briefed on developments.