Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Roll on 2010 circus

Bus plan thrown into disarray

CONSTRUCTION of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Nelson Mandela Bay has been thrown into disarray following new demands by taxi associations.

Operators want the project to be completely redesigned to allow taxis free reign in the city and that new bus lanes be built in certain areas, including Uitenhage and Motherwell.

The transport system, which is a national project and a Fifa prerequisite for all cities hosting World Cup matches next year, has been the cause of a series of transport strikes that have crippled the city during the past four months.

Last week, taxi associations called off the strike after the municipality agreed to negotiate on a possible redesign of the BRT system.

The radical new demands follow a meeting between the municipality and taxi associations on Monday, at which they presented a redesigned plan.

A dedicated BRT committee has until March 2 to study its impact.

Any change of plan is bound to further delay the key 2010 project, which is already behind schedule.

The taxi industry wants both bus and taxi operators to have equal access to BRT infrastructure in the central business district (CBD).

The associations also oppose the idea that they be “feeders” to buses.

Port Elizabeth and District Taxi Association chairman Melekile Hani said they had also suggested that dedicated bus lanes be incorporated in the plan for areas like Motherwell, Uitenhage, Stanford Road and Kempston Road to curb congestion.

“But nothing much was discussed regarding the regulation of the industry and other key areas we are in opposition to. The municipality has agreed to pay, on our behalf, for the drawing up of a business and operational plan.”

Municipal spokesman Kupido Baron confirmed the taxi bodies had submitted their report, but alterations could always be integrated into the current BRT plan. “If the situation constitutes that extra manpower should be brought in to meet the deadline, we will do exactly that.”

However, the municipality could not say when the project would be completed or how far behind schedule it was.

On Monday night, taxi representatives faced the wrath of residents at a meeting organised by the SA National Civics Organisation (Sanco).

Taxi operators were grilled and forced to publicly apologise by angry Motherwell residents for the hardships caused to commuters during last week‘s strike.

Some even insisted Hani be called to the meeting to be reprimanded.

Transport was disrupted and two clinics in Motherwell were also destroyed by fire during the strike.

A Motherwell community leader, Mxolisi Mani, insisted that the taxi representatives give the public reasons for the destruction of their facilities.

“Why must it be us the people who suffer?” he asked. “Why, each time there is a taxi strike, must it be the poor people who are the victims?”

The meeting, attended by councillors, political parties and civic bodies, saw sparks fly as residents threatened to boycott the taxi industry, which they described as being “infiltrated by thugs”.

The situation, which could have got out of hand, was saved by the arrival of councillor Fikile Desi, who urged the residents to “also understand the plight facing the taxi operators, who see the BRT as a means of forcing them out business”.

“Taxi operators are asking for forgiveness. They did that by cutting last Friday‘s taxi fares by half. We should instead say that the next time there is a strike, we should be consulted and that we do not want to see any violence,” Desi said.

Sanco chairman Toni Duba moved the attention of the residents away from the taxi drivers to mayor Nondumiso Maphazi, who he said had failed to attend the meeting although she had been invited.

“We wanted the mayor to come and address the residents. All the problems surrounding the whole BRT system have been caused by her,” said Duba.

In Johannesburg, Transport MEC Ignatius Jacobs said the BRT system would be introduced in Gauteng in time for the Confederations Cup kick-off in Johannesburg on June 14, despite opposition from taxi owners. LOL

Jacobs said taxi owners had been included in the BRT planing process with the City of Johannesburg for the past two years.

“Now, at the stage of implementation, they are asking us to hold on?

This is just the begining......... Blatter.

You are about to get a crash course in African Politics.

5 Opinion(s):

Judge said...

you suck! You say you love SA but then you destroy her image internationally with your blog. Your comments are scaring people from coming to this country and smacks of racism even tough you oppose the so called reverse racism. There is nothing called reverse racism. If there is you imply that racism is when whites are pregidous against blacks and not the other way around. You my friend need to become a bit more educated and more tolerant.

Doberman said...

"You suck"? Is that the best you have? Fuck 'image' pal. Saving lives and fixing what's wrong is what matters even if it means revealing the dirty laundry, the skeletons in the cupboard plus all the crazy uncles we have running the "guvmunt". You keep your fucking 'image' and I'll try and save lives ok? That matters to me. If a tourist is killed because you withhold information, then I need your address where I can send them for compensation.

20000 dead South Africans each year, which includes blacks by the way, the majority killed, is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!! GOT IT?!!!!!

When that changes, when we have a responsive, responsible, accountable government in place that does not discriminate on the basis of race or creed then we can talk but until then, YOU, and people like you can keep your fucking heads up your arses and keep pretending everything is ok. Ok?

Stop fucking wasting my time. Give me answers. Give me positive contributions towards fixing the fuck-up that my beloved country has become otherwise stay the fuck away. DON'T tell me that 20000 dead people murdered each year is something we must pretend is not happening! As for 'education', buddy, I have two university degrees, am a registered professional in two countries, am financially well off through fucking hard work so don't tell me to be 'educated'. Go get yourself educated and stop thinking about yourself only. Prick.

FishEagle said...

Judge, the day people like you get your heads out of your asses it won't be necessary for blogs such as these. But until that happens, expect to see more and more of this anger. You people have created a mess with your tolerance. You are tolerant of everyone and everything other than your own race. How about telling your government to get a bit more educated! Expect to be blown away one day when you realize the consequences of your actions. Oh darn, that was not mean in the literal sense.

FishEagle said...

I just read your comment again Judge. Your logic is laughable. I'm just so tired of people like you that appear to be so reasonable yet your actual stupidity is spectacular. Why do I even bother? Go ahead Mr. Popular, knock yourself out.

Doberman said...

Thank you FishEagle. The mentality of these people astounds me. It is better to pretend everything is alright than admit the problem and do something about it. If a tourist is lured to SA under false pretences and is attacked, how much damage will that word of mouth do? We want positive news about SA being spread based ON REALITY, that's how we get more tourism.

But that's not even the crux of this blog. For 14 years, I played along with the BS New SA hoping for some effing miracle that it would not go bad but I really cannot see it improving unless we, the people say enough! We must voice our concerns, we must reveal the truth. Only through that may we force this useless guvmunt to make changes that involves the wellbeing of all our people and not themselves so no, Judge, you carry on lying and pretending everything is alright - that is your prerogative - but I have the right, as a proud SAn also to speak up and do something.

I won't pretend everything is alright and I won't stand by while my country is looted and destroyed and while 20 000 people die needlessly each year. That, Judgey is a noble cause and if that makes you and your ilk feel uncomfortable then it is working.

There are other SAns who care about others that can't speak up for themselves. No one is listening to them but WE can do something and this blog is doing it. The truth hurts doesn't it? But not as much as the death of 20000 people.

Let's hope that the next victim won't be you or a loved one. Consider this: 50 people were murdered today and another 50 will be murdered tomorrow. What did YOU do about it?