NC Taxi Battle – Operator rivalry underpins need for City Integrated Transport Plans

Harold McGluwa, ID MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Chairperson Spokesperson on Transport, Safety & Liaison

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes the Department of Safety, Transport & Liaison’s failure to draw up and implement desperately needed Integrated Transport Plans in our provinces municipalities, not only causes residents immense frustration, but is also one of the sources of confusion and tension among public transport operators.

This comes after reports of brewing tensions in Ritchie involving rival taxi owners operating the route to Kimberley, who are accusing each other of illegally operating in the wake of the ongoing national bus strike.

The DA is of the express view that this situation is masking the real problem of a lack of coordinated transport plans in the provinces major municipalities, such as Sol Plaaitje Municipality (Kimberley) and the //Khara Hais Municipality (Upington), both of which are some of the most populous areas in the province with a combined population of 334 698 people.

Of greatest concern is that the Departments 2013/14 Annual Performance Plan and Budget still make no provision for Integrated Transport Plans which are specific to the realities of people of this province. As the political head of the department, MEC Patrick Mabilo, must explain why he has left so many people out in the cold, and has relegated them to the frustration of dealing with warring taxi operators and, limited and unreliable bus service?

As the DA we propose that the Department prioritize the thousands of people who commute in the province by urgently establishing Integrated Transport Plans that include and supports those who commute by walking and cycling in major Cities like Kimberley, by establishing dedicated and safer cycling and walking routes. The plans must also modernize public transport, and make provision for single ticket systems. This would allow residents to seamlessly use other modes of transport in the event of a strike.

 

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