The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) has hailed what it called the first-of-its-kind leasing agreement between the Mangaung Metro Municipality and the Greater Bloemfontein Taxi Association (GBTA) at the official signing of a multimillion-rand public transport facility.
Santaco president, Phillip Taaibosch, said the programme should be used as a yardstick to inspire other taxi associations across the province in the hopes that they will emulate the model agreed upon by the two parties for the greater good of the commuters.
The chairperson of the Taxi Association, Leemisa Seloane, revealed that the facility is expected to be fully operational within the next 8-10 months, according to an assessment done by the engineers.
Seloane said despite the challenges and criticism levelled against the project he was excited about it that finally everything is on the right track. He said as association they are prepared to contribute to develop the skills of the youth in Bloemfontein through the project.
“We must show our gratitude to all the relevant role players who made it possible after the many difficulties we went through as association and municipality but despite all that we managed to come together and have an agreement to make this a success,” he added.
Meanwhile, the executive mayor of the municipality, Olly Mlamleli, also expressed her satisfaction with the progress achieved thus far. “The second reason for my excitement relates to the significance of the taxi industry as the most effective, easily accessible and most affordable form of public transportation system that is used by the majority of our people, not only in our city, but nationally,” Mlamleli said.
“I wish to commend the taxi industry for patiently enduring the long process of resolving the reservations they had about the Intermodal Public Transport Facility. However, in future we have to be time conscious in settling our disputes.” – – Lucky Nkuyane