Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Zuma Puts BRT on Hold to Stop Taxi Strike During Elections

Johannesburg's bus rapid transit system has caused a major disruption among the city's taxi drivers, who have held strikes in protest and threatened more. Likely new President Jacob Zuma has put the BRT project on hold temporarily to quell emotions, ensure taxi access during today's national elections, and to give the government time to ease taxi drivers concerns about the system.

Jacob Zuma has put the world-class Bus Rapid Transit system on ice pending further talks after taxi drivers threatened an election day strike.

Zuma said he did not realise how serious the objections from taxi bosses were until they went on strike last month and came to the ANC's office to hand him a memorandum.

The strike, which turned violent in places, left thousands stranded.

...The first phase of the bus system was due to kick off in Joburg in June, in time for the Fifa Confederations Cup, with a major chunk complete for the Fifa 2010 World Cup and final completion by 2014.

Taxi drivers on Monday promised in return they would not disrupt the elections by striking or refusing to ferry passengers to polling booths.

Zuma puts brakes on new transport scheme
The Mercury via Independent Online
April 21, 2009