New agreement aims to get IPTS up and running

Draft deal gives taxi bodies more control in project

A new agreement to implement the Integrated Public Transport System in Nelson Mandela Bay has been drafted and could see taxi associations given more control of the troubled project.

The municipality plans on signing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with 11 taxi associations and the Algoa Bus Company.

Laphum’ilanga was brought in years ago to act as a cooperative body for the various associations, but this could now depend on the associations.

The MOA was tabled at a transport committee meeting yesterday.

ANC councillors criticised it, saying it would anger the taxi industry and bring the city to a standstill.

ANC councillor Ncediso Captain said the DA-led coalition could not just throw away the old agreement without actually learning from it.

“We are not representing ourselves here but our communities,” he said.

“This issue is going to affect the communities when the taxi associations don’t agree with this new MOA – there will be a problem.”

The issue caused a heated debate, with Captain calling for a strategic workshop with the associations before the MOA was approved.

Committee chairman Rano Kayser said there was no agreement in place with the municipality and the various associations, and a workshop had been held.

“The agreement with Laphumilanga was just a funding and operational agreement on how the IPTS would be rolled out.”

Seven councillors approved the MOA, but six ANC councillors objected. It will now go to council where it must be passed before all parties sign.

Taxi associations were divided on the new MOA, with some saying Laphumilanga should continue to represent them.

SA National Taxi Council regional chairman Songezo Mpanda said the first hurdle was to get everybody to speak with one voice.

“We are engaged in talks with the municipality. It is important the industry must understand each other, to avoid a system of divide and rule,” Mpanda said.

“We have been using Laphumilanga but the new regime decided to stop with that.

“It is not clear what the company has done wrong.”

Northern Areas Taxi Association secretary Terrence Langtry said they were ready to sign the MOA.

“At some stage we were concerned about the contents, however the municipality came and explained it to us.”

The Port Elizabeth and District Taxi Association’s Mnikelo Ntantiso said they would state their position tomorrow.

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