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Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality kick starts recruitment for IPTS managers

May 29, 2017
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality kick starts recruitment for IPTS managers

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality set the wheels in motion to get its stagnant Integrated Transport System (IPTS) back on the road. 15 managerial positions were advertised by the Roads and Transport Directorate on Monday.

"This forms part of the Municipality’s re-engineering strategy to operationalise the IPTS," said Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip.

"Over the years, the project was plagued by an array of fraudulent activities where millions of rands earmarked for running the project were looted.

"Lack of funds and an impasse between the Municipality and taxi associations when they failed to reach a consensus on operational matters also saw the project grounded to a halt."

Trollip said that to get the buses back on track, the Municipality is looking for, among many, a Divisional Head of Transport Infrastructure and Management, as well as the Deputy Head of Bus Operations and Management.

"This comes on the back of a Council decision on 26 May 2017, when it passed the IDP and Draft Budget where the IPTS has been allocated R168, 242, 175 for the 2017/18 financial year.

"The appointments will be three-year contracts and will start from July 2017 and end July 2020," he said.

"There are 30 more non managerial positions to the advertised, be on the look out."

Former taxi drivers to become IPTS drivers

In May, the municipality took 35 former taxi drivers for learners licence tests to become IPTS bus drivers.

The drivers come from the four Northern Areas taxi associations that have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the City to roll out a Starter Service of the IPTS, which will run on the Cleary Park to the Port Elizabeth CBD route.

"The testing programme is done to equip the drivers to be able to work on the fleet that will be used in the IPTS system," the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality said.

"The testing will see a total of 144 drivers trained by June this year. Following the learners tests, the drivers will then be taken through a drivers test.

"Those who have qualified will then be taken for an advanced training by Volvo, which is a company that manufactured the buses that will be used."

According to the Metro, the process is in preparation of the implementation of the IPTS pilot phase that is expected to start in October this year.

IPTS scandal

The looting of funds meant for the roll-out of the IPTS many years ago became the Nelson Mandela Bay's biggest scandal.

Several individuals and local companies have since been identified in forensic reports as having unduly benefited from money stolen from the project.

The IPTS buses were meant to ferry locals and visitors during and after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, the buses, which were bought at great expense to taxpayers, were only seen on the road during a pilot project, before being parked in storage.