Mayor Danny Jordaan meets taxi operators over IPTS
Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan, invited members of Laphum’ilanga – a consortium of minibus taxi operators in the metro that is intended to form part of Libhongolethu – the Integrated Public Transport Service (IPTS) - to a meeting that was chaired by the MMC of the Roads and Transport Portfolio Committee, Cllr Babalwa Lobishe - at the City Hall, on Tuesday.
In her introduction, Lobishe spelt out that the purpose of the engagement was to provide the bus and minibus taxi industry with an understanding of how government interprets the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement that is currently being reviewed by both the Metro and affected operators. Members of Laphum’ilanga emphasised the purpose of unity in their organisation and requested that the government continue to reinforce that cohesion as was evident by the extensive invite to the industry, as alluded to by Mthuthuzeli Madwara.
“This service is ready, the buses have been serviced, the human resources aspects have been sorted out – a new Project Manager, Ms Molatelo Rapetsoa, is in office and the technical aspects of the IPTS are being addressed,” said Lobishe as she handed over the discussion to the members of Laphum’ilanga who filled the Council Chamber.
In his opening remark, Jordaan reiterated his plan of rolling out the bus service to the community as a starter service from the area of KwaDwesi/Noxolo/Joe Slovo area to the PE CBD and another linking Green-Acres Mall to the route.
The Executive Mayor emphasised the importance of timeous rolling out of the operations.
“Money has been spent on acquiring buses and building IPTS lanes and the buses are parked and not running on the lanes. If the Department of Human Settlements built houses and there is no occupation of the houses by the beneficiaries the houses were intended for – it is not corruption – it is wasteful and fruitless expenditure and that will be treated as such by the A-G, until the buses are running and on the lanes that they were built for – it will be a win-win situation for everyone.”
The input from the Metro to the Memorandum of Agreement was handed over to Laphum’ilanga for further review with the understanding that broader consultation with their constituency will provide them with an agreement that will culminate in the signing ceremony of the agreement in the immediate future.
In a clear retaliation to the opposition which has charged that the urgency to roll out Libhongolethu is inspired by the election, Jordaan preached that, “it is never too late or too early to do the correct thing! Buses must not run because of elections, as a matter of fact – we have more in store for the Metro and have brought in billions of investment to this Metro in the past twelve months with more announcements coming on Thursday. We are moving and will not stop because there are those who are barking at a moving wagon – it would be ridiculous of us to stop and bark back!”
Jordaan is confident that the Metro is well on its way to be a fully-functional administration and mocked at those who did not believe that the Metro Police would be functional after its launch by saying that, “they will only believe it when they are apprehended when they commit deeds against the law”, to roaring laughter.
Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan highlighted the abundance of opportunities in the Metro which organised business should explore and exploit but advised that it is essential for organised business to be united as opportunities do not wait for people to sort out their differences.
He emphasised the importance of business people to take business decisions and leave politicians to make political decisions.
“The role of government is to create an enabling environment for business to grow and my administration will not tolerate politicians who dabble in business – they must be fired!” roared Jordaan.
His closing remarks excited the Metro’s partners in public transport, Laphum’ilanga - by imploring them to realise that their objective should not only be about creating jobs – but creating wealth.
The meeting ended with the singing of the national anthem and a clear determination to reconvene in the near future with the possibilities of signing a Memorandum of Agreement.
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