Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Mr Jacob Mamabolo, today met with representatives from Southern African Bus Operators Association (SABOA) and Gauteng Bus Operators Council (GABOC) in what can be described as a productive and frank meeting.
The meeting provided a platform for the industry to have an open and transparent discussion with MEC Mamabolo and his team around challenges they face.
Operators were able to table their challenges around contractual issues and transformation, amongst other issues.
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 thirty-four bus subsidy contracts, of which twenty-six (26) are awarded on tenders whilst the remaining eight (08) are interim contracts.
These were awarded to various bus operators and are funded through the Public Transport Operations Grant (PTOG) whilst 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.
Speaking of the meeting, MEC Mamabolo indicated "that 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".
The MEC further emphasized the necessity and importance for a sustainable public transport system in Gauteng which would benefit all users of public transport.
Future engagements are planned to ensure that all role-players are kept abreast of developments.
Issued by: Gauteng Roads and Transport