Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has requested the Western Cape Provincial Government to suspend plans to rollout Phase 4B of the George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN).
The Minister Nzimande was responding to a letter sent by the Western Cape MEC for Transport Donald Grant, informing him of the intended roll-out of the GIPTN on Sunday, 28 April 2019.
The GIPTN is a partnership project between the Western Cape Government, the Municipality of George, and the national government to establish a high-quality, scheduled bus service in George.
In the letter dated 1 April 2019, MEC Grant, indicated that the George Municipality has skipped the implementation of Phase 4A of the GIPTN as a result of the failure by the municipality to gain the support of UNCEDO Taxi Association and the Taxi Commuter Forum (TCF).
“These are the two critical structures representing the taxi operators and the commuting public in the Thembalethu Township where the roll-out of Phase 4A of the project was to be implemented before Phase 4B as per the original plan.
“The support of the taxi operators and the commuter forum that are likely to be affected by the rollout of the Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) in particular, and the community in general, is critical for the successful rollout of the systems,” Nzimande said, in reply to MEC Grant’s letter.
The Minister said that while government urged all municipalities supported by the department through the Public Transport Network Grant (PTNG), to accelerate IPTN’s implementation, this cannot be done at the exclusion of the taxi industry transition, which is an important component of the IPTN’s.
“Skipping Phase 4A of the GIPTN Project that will serve the communities of Thembalethu and proceed to (Phase 4B), that include Parkdene, Borcherds, Conville, Lawaaikamp, and Ballotsview, will not only cause divisions amongst the communities, but will further delay the implementation of this project,” Nzimande said.
Minister Nzimande will avail additional capacity, from the Department of Transport, to ensure that the George Integrated Public Transport network challenges are resolved so that the original plan to rollout Phase 4A first and then Phase 4B is adhered to.
Minister Nzimande will hold a stakeholder engagement meeting at Thembalethu in George on 26 April 2019, to brief members of the community about the benefits of this Integrated Public Transport Network and its ability to ensure a safe, reliable and dignified public transport service for all the George communities.
In addition, the purpose of this engagement by the Minister will be to underline the importance of an inclusive approach in the implementation of the IPTNs in all participating municipalities. – SAnews.gov.za