17 April 2019

South Africa: Minister Blade Nzimande On Suspension of George Integrated Public Transport Network Roll-Out

press release

Minister of Transport statement on the suspension of the Roll-out of Phase 4B of the George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN)

The Minister of Transport, Dr. Blade Nzimande, requested the Western Cape Provincial Government to suspend plans to rollout Phase 4B of the George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN).

Minister Nzimande was responding to a letter sent by the Western Cape, MEC of Transport, Mr. Donald Grant, informing him of the intended roll-out of the GIPTN on Sunday, 28 April 2019.

In the letter dated 1 April 2019, MEC Grant, indicated that the George Municipality has skipped the implementation of Phase 4A of the GIPTN as a result of the failure by the municipality to gain the support of UNCEDO Taxi Association and the Taxi Commuter Forum (TCF).

These are the two critical structures representing the taxi operators and the commuting public in the Thembalethu township where the roll-out of Phase 4A of the project was to be implemented before Phase 4B as per the original plan.

"The support of the taxi operators and the commuter forum that are likely to be affected by the rollout of the IPTN's in

particular, and the community in general, is critical for the successful rollout of the systems, said Minister Nzimande, in reply to MEC Grant's letter.

Minister Nzimande said that while government urged all municipalities supported by the Department through the Public Transport Network Grant (PTNG), to accelerate IPTN's implementation, this cannot be done at the exclusion of the taxi industry transition, which is an important component of the IPTN's.

"Skipping Phase 4A of the GIPTN Project that will serve the communities of Thembalethu and proceed to (Phase 4B), that include Parkdene, Borcherds, Conville, Lawaaikamp, and Ballotsview, will not only cause divisions amongst the communities, but will further delay the implementation of this project," said Minister Nzimande.

Minister Nzimande will avail additional capacity, from the Department of Transport, to ensure that the George Integrated Public Transport network challenges are resolved so that the original plan to rollout Phase 4A first and then Phase 4B is adhered to.

Minister Nzimande will hold a stakeholder engagement meeting at Thembalethu in George, on the 26th April 2019, to brief members of the community about the benefits of this Integrated Public Transport Network and its ability to ensure a safe, reliable and dignified public transport service for all the George communities. In addition, the purpose of this

engagement by the Minister will be to underline the importance of an inclusive approach in the implementation of the IPTNs in all participating municipalities.

Issued by: Department of Transport

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