Ndebele welcomes court's decision on BRT

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has welcomed the decision of the North Gauteng High Court to rule against an urgent application by the taxi industry to prevent the launch of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on Sunday.

The court turned down an application by the United Taxi Association Forum (UTAF) to block the implementation of the system which gets underway in Johannesburg on Monday.

Judge Willie Seruti said the applicants did not provide a strong enough case for the matter to be heard as a matter of urgency.

Minister Ndebele said through the National Joint Working Group (NJWG) on Public Transport, government will continue to engage with the taxi industry towards the development of a memorandum of agreement as well as a national empowerment framework for the industry.

"We want to re-affirm our commitment to implement the BRT system in partnership with all stakeholders, particularly the taxi industry.

"Everything we do in public transport must ultimately benefit the industry," he said.

Meanwhile, it all systems go for the launch of BRT in Johannesburg today. The Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo is expected to release the first bus at Westgate Station in a few minutes.

Johannesburg will become the first city to launch the system which aims to provide state-of-the art public transport. About 90 taxi drivers had been trained so far to drive the Rea Vaya buses.