Kevin Hustler, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, made the Business Chamber’s stance on the Integrated Public Transport System clear this morning in a letter to members of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.
“While we are certain that the city needs an improved public transport system that is safe, efficient and affordable,” says Hustler, “we are deeply concerned at the delays in implementation and the negative impact on the city as a whole.” Following the Chamber’s most recent stakeholder engagement and consultative action on the IPTS, the letter outlined the challenges faced by business in the Govan Mbeki and Kempston road areas, as per the results of a survey conducted among its members earlier this year. “The survey of our members and our interaction with SAPOA has informed our position on the issue. A small number of members responded to the survey, almost all of whom agreed that the city needed an improved public transport system, while they were divided on how to achieve this.”
Hustler says the Chamber advocates a pragmatic, two-pronged approach in pursuing the IPTS issue. “Firstly, the Business Chamber calls for all parties, including taxi owners and the Algoa Bus Company, to be properly consulted. Secondly, we believe strongly that the infrastructure put in place should not limit access to deliveries, customers or clients. We make this appeal on behalf of property owners and businesses operating in the Govan Mbeki area and on Kempston Road. We believe the municipality must address this as a matter of urgency, in order to avoid losses of rate-paying businesses and future investors. The metro must put every effort into creating a transport system of an international standard for the city. They must ensure that the national funding is unlocked, and that a competent team is in place to bring these plans to fruition.”
Hustler committed the Business Chamber to continued engagement with the municipality on the issue. “Our next steps include meeting with the consultants to develop a clear understanding of progress and stumbling blocks, and to continue to participate actively in any and all forums and committees set up to drive the project.”