Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo on Tuesday met with representatives from the Southern African Bus Operators Association (SABOA) and Gauteng Bus Operators Council (GABOC) to discuss challenges in the sector.
The meeting, described as a productive and frank meeting, provided a platform for the industry to have an open and transparent discussion with Mamabolo and his team on challenges around contractual issues and transformation, among others.
After extensive discussions, the MEC gave a firm undertaking to look at and come up with proposed solutions to issues raised and report back within 90 days on the way forward.
Currently, the department manages 34 bus subsidy contracts, of which 26 are awarded on tenders while the remaining eight are interim contracts.
These were awarded to various bus operators and are funded through the Public Transport Operations Grant (PTOG) while the two ceded contracts from North-West Province are funded by the province.
The bus subsidy is valued at over R2 billion annually.
Contracts are operated in the Cities of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Sedibeng Municipality.
"This is the first step in the long journey to find lasting solutions to challenges faced by this sector.
"As a department, we commit to do our level best to ensure that the sector thrives, creates jobs, provide opportunities to small and emerging players to contribute to the attainment of the affordable, safe and reliable transport services to our people," Mamabolo said.
The MEC emphasised the importance for a sustainable public transport system in Gauteng which would benefit all users of public transport.
Future engagements will be held to ensure that all roleplayers are kept abreast of developments.