In his speech, Minister of Transport Ben Martins spoke about the progress the government was making with the taxi recapitalisation programme. He said more than 45 000 taxis out of an initial 12 000 had already been scrapped under the programme at a cost of R2,3 billion.
He said the public transport sector was geared for fundamental restructuring with the review of the existing bus subsidy scheme to include minibus taxis.
“After 10 years of implementing the taxi recapitalisation programme, we are now ready to enter a new environment. It is envisaged that the government’s approach to the taxi industry and public transport in general will include encouraging banks and others in the financial industry to invest and support the growth of the industry,” Martins said.
On the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, Martins said the government welcomed the latest Constitutional Court ruling and was still committed to engaging with all stakeholders to ensure that a viable and amicable solution was achieved.
The acting MMC for Transport, Matshidiso Mfikoe said the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system had made giant strides in ensuring that residents of Johannesburg had a safe and reliable transport system.
“The visionary leadership of the City and other stakeholders involved in the public transport arena have ensured that the people of Johannesburg benefit from the Rea Vaya rapid bus transport system, which transports one million commuters every month since its establishment,” Mfikoe said.
The Gauteng MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi said pedestrians and motorists needed an urgent attitude adjustment if South Africa were to prevent road fatalities that claim the lives of 13 000 every year. “This means 40 people die on our roads every day. It’s unacceptable,” he said.
Transport Month was first launched in October 2005. It seeks to raise awareness of the important role of transport in the economy, and to invite participation from civic society and business, in providing a safer, more affordable, accessible and reliable transport system for the country.
The specific objectives of Transport Month are to:
• Make people aware of the role of transport in growing and developing our economy, and its importance to our citizens in their everyday lives
• Highlight important challenges in building an effective, safe, affordable, accessible and reliable transport system
• Promote the use of public transport in order to reduce traffic congestion
• Promote a greater awareness of road safety behaviour for both users of vehicles, and for pedestrians
• Engage stakeholders in all modes, in order that we may collectively prepare our transport system for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, and use this as a springboard for the continued success of our economy and people in the decades that follow.
Transport Month speaks directly to Joburg’s Vision 2040, through which the City seeks to develop sound transportation plans to improve mobility and access and connect all modes of transport – including commuter rail, the high speed Gautrain, buses, mini-bus taxis and private vehicles – and a parallel, inter-connected pedestrian system.
Transport Month launches
Walk starts transport month