Taxi bosses will ruin BRT

SOME people say that the trade unions are the official opposition because the government listens to them and they get more done than the opposition parties.

SOME people say that the trade unions are the official opposition because the government listens to them and they get more done than the opposition parties.

That's true. And the taxi bosses have the same power as unions.

Some years ago then minister of transport Jeff Radebe, speaking at a press conference, spat fire at taxi operators and claimed the end of un-roadworthy taxi's were nigh. The government would act on all "coffins on wheels."

He introduced the taxi re-capitalisation programme in terms of which owners of un-roadworthy taxis would be paid R50000 a vehicle. The taxis were going to be removed from the roads. But they are still on the roads . A case of much ado about nothing .

New Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele declared war on panel vans that were converted into taxis two months ago. Another press conference and threats to remove the taxis .

Taxi bosses are not worried because they are the official opposition. Ministers and MECs can rant all they want but the taxi men will prevail.

The government is in the process of introducing the BRT, a fast, comfortable and low-cost transport system. The Government has bent over backwards to accommodate the taxi authorities by offering them training and jobs as drivers.

The City of Johannesburg also offered taxi bosses a stake in BRT but they refused.

Before the elections President Jacob Zuma promised to have further discussions on BRT, though all the T's were crossed and I's dotted. But it was election time and every vote counted.

The BRT starts tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how the government and taxi bosses, or rather the "official opposition", will sort out this mess.

Hendrik Appel, Eersterust

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