Mangaung makes history as metro and taxi associations partner

Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality executive mayor, Olly Mlamleli, and Taxi Associations sign a memorandum of agreement regarding new transport plans for Mangaung. PHOTO: REFILWE GAESWE

The 12th of October 2016 was marked as a day of much celebration as a memorandum of agreement between the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality and taxi associations of Mangaung was signed. Speaking at the event, newly elected executive mayor, Olly Mlamleli, announced that she was elated that the day had finally arrived when the two stakeholders came together and signed a memorandum that will further the transport industry in Mangaung.
The agreement affirms consensus and mutual understanding between the city and the taxi industry regarding the implementation of the Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN). The IPTN is a new transport system that includes the construction of bus ways, bus stations, new depots for buses and the procurement of buses that cater for people with disabilities. The implementation of this plan also means that buses and taxis will be removed from routes that will solely be used by the buses.
The event took place at Maphisa Road, in Phahameng, Bloemfontein, which was befitting as the first phase for the roadworks on that road were also completed. This road, along with several others in Bloemfontein, Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo, will be used solely for the new bus transport system. Mlamleli added that she has seen the successful implementation of this bus transport system in other metropolitan cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg and she is proud that it will soon be implemented in Mangaung. Mlamleli warned that illegal users of the road, such as “4+1” taxi owners not belonging to the taxi association, will be persecuted and warned them not to try their luck in using these designated bus routes after hours when no buses are operating.
Staying true to National Transport month, Mlamleli also announced to members of the public in attendance that the long awaited Intermodal Facility, more popularly known as the Bloem White Elephant taxi rank, will also be opened at the end of this month.
Mlamleli said all IPTN roleplayers will have to work together to ensure that the transition between phase one and two is a smooth one. The executive mayor added that if phase one is well-executed, it will boost confidence in the project and attract onlooking investors to the initiative. Mlamleli said that given the challenges faced, the signing of this memorandum was a “dream come true” and she is happy that all things were finally coming together, despite the criticism received from many. – Pulane Choane