Fresh vow for plan to go ahead
Taxi associations in Nelson Mandela Bay will give members of the metro’s new leadership time to find their feet before pushing the issue of the much-anticipated Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS).
Laphum’ilanga Transport Services, representing 10 major taxi associations, held a two-day workshop to look at a number of business development opportunities and to consider their approach to the IPTS since the DA took over governance.
After the workshop ended yesterday, Laphum’ilanga chief executive Gregory Rockman said members had held very constructive discussions and had clear plans for the short, medium and long term.
“Probably the most important issue raised was that we engage with government as a collective,” he said.
“If the industry is divided, we will have a number of splinter groups each vying for themselves, causing more problems than they are solving and delaying any constructive engagement even further.” A meeting with mayor Athol Trollip about the IPTS had already taken place and the organisation trusted that he would listen to them once the new government had found its feet.
“We support the IPTS 100% and we will assist the new government just like we assisted the previous government in coming up with a cost-effective and efficient way of getting the system up and running,” he said.
“An operational IPTS will potentially create more than 7 000 direct jobs, not to mention secondary employment that will come from spin-offs linked to the system.
“That is why we cannot wait a day longer than is necessary to get the IPTS going.”
Rockman said the organisation already had plans to take up transport routes between the CBD and Cleary Park, Njoli Square and Uitenhage.
In the meantime Laphum’ilanga, would focus on developing secondary business opportunities.
He said a modest estimate for the Nelson Mandela Bay taxi industry’s annual revenue was about R1.4-billion, and the industry spent about R450-million on fuel a year.
Should the industry establish its own fuel company, that money would go right back into the taxi businesses.