Mangaung Metro Municipality has met with residents who voiced concerns over the Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) that is planned to be launched in Bloemfontein. According to municipal spokesperson Qondile Khedama, Executive Mayor Olly Mlamleli and the city manager met with the eleven complainants over the contracting of the major project.
“They wanted to participate in the process of the IPTN. There are others who were actually saying that they wanted 30% of the share of construction, which is something that in our view, would not be possible. However, of course the municipality does take into consideration that there has got to be a local beneficiation such as business people who will benefit from the programme,” said Khedama.
Khedama said that a workshop on business empowerment could possibly be held. “The Executive Mayor has recommended a workshop that would call all key role players in the area as raised by concerned people on the project and how we will empower small businesses as the metro,” elaborated Khedama.
However, community members raised concerns over the beneficiaries of the construction project for the system, which will run throughout Mangaung, affecting roads and other infrastructure. “The Executive Mayor, City Manager and Speaker met with the team who had concerns over the IPTN. The process of competitive bid was discussed and they raised their own issues, which centred on how we would accommodate small up and coming businesses,” said Khedama.
The municipality has named the new public transport system Hauweng at the name and logo launch last week. Hauweng is SeSotho for Let’s Go and is similar to IPTNs in other metros such as Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya and Tshwane’s A Re Yeng systems. Mlamleli expressed during the launch that the system is meant to improve the lives of residents. “We are here to ensure that the IPTN plan changes the course of life in Mangaung where all residents and visitors will enjoy the most reliable, safe, efficient and convenient public transport,” said Mlamleli.
Free State MEC of Police, Roads and Transport, Sam Mashinini who also attended, pronounced that the system is another step for Mangaung to become a better metro. “Ease of access through transport will contribute to the growth of the economy of Mangaung. This will give the city more opportunity for investment that will bring jobs, said Mashinini. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele