'Bus transport system will fail'

The rebel National Taxi Alliance is demanding that the government gives it complete control of the planned Bus Rapid Transit system and recognise it as a mainstream body representing the industry.

The rebel National Taxi Alliance is demanding that the government gives it complete control of the planned Bus Rapid Transit system and recognise it as a mainstream body representing the industry.

"It is the recognition of the NTA by government and the total control of the BRT system by us or nothing," was the hardline ultimatum it issued to the government yesterday.

"The taxi industry has intellectual property rights to those routes. We gave birth to those routes. We want total ownership of BRT," said NTA general secretary Alpheus Mlalazi. "It must be run by the taxi industry or it will fail."

He said his organisation was willing to meet Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele next month.

"If he does not heed our call to negotiate we will embark on a protest march."

If negotiations failed, the organisation would withhold its vehicles and stage a strike, he threatened.

The NTA also wants the government to recognise it "as a legitimate body representing the industry throughout the nine provinces".

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) is the only taxi body recognised by the government.

Santaco was founded in 2001 at a national conference held to bring the fractious industry together into one organisation.

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