ROLL OUT: Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele
Addressing provincial road and transport MECs as well as heads of department, Ndebele encouraged provinces and municipalities to provide reliable public transport similar to the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, which continues to be rolled out across Johannesburg and Gauteng.
“If Johannesburg has managed to get it right through Rea Vaya BRT, why can’t Nelson Mandela Bay share in the experience of Johannesburg for the benefit of its people,” Ndebele asked delegates.
“Public transport remains a critical challenge in various parts of our country. We continue to receive negative feedback about the state of our public transport system.”
Outlining the importance of an efficient public transport system, Ndebele said: “We are the heartbeat of South Africa’s economy. Without us people cannot move from one point to another. People cannot go to work, learners cannot reach schools and goods cannot be transported.”
Jeremy Cronin, the deputy minister of transport, revealed that, to realise Ndebele’s goal, 12 cities across the country were undergoing a pilot project to implement a system similar to Johannesburg’s BRT. Among those cities are Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay, Ethekwini and Rustenburg, which Cronin said looked set to have an integrated public transport system by 2015.
Cronin said Rustenburg’s relatively small size made it easier for an integrated public transport system to be implemented by 2015.