Public transport under reintegration spotlight

Herman Mashaba, the City of Johannesburg’s mayor. Photo: File/Chantelle.

JOBURG – Since the announcement that municipal-owned entities like City Power, Johannesburg Water and Pikitup will be reintegrated, a retired professor is concerned about the implications for public transport entity Metrobus and bus rapid transport system Rea Vaya.
Vaughan Mostert, retired lecturer focusing on public transport at the University of Johannesburg and a Fairland resident, said Metrobus and the two companies that are responsible for the Rea Vaya service are underperforming.
The City of Johannesburg has to subsidise these services but it is getting poor value for money, Mostert indicated. “Between the three of them, they should be carrying at least 10 000 more passengers each day, without having to put one more bus on the road.

“The City is right to consider taking back Metrobus, but it will also need to take its bus rapid transport operations in hand, even though 12-year contracts have been signed.”

Mayor Herman Mashaba said that the only people to lose their positions will be non-executive directors on boards, whose salaries totalled R18 million last year. Mostert added that dispensing them won’t be enough.

“All top management in public transport should come under the spotlight. Very few people know much about running public transport properly, so we need to find them and put them in one room and get them to run everything, rather than have dozens of incompetent and overpaid management teams all over the place.”

He said much can be done in the short term to fix things and that there is no need to waste time waiting for a provincial transport authority.

“Gauteng province is currently paralysed by incompetence, vested interests promoting and protecting Gautrain, as well as existing contract bus operators.”
In the short term, Mostert advised that the City can enter into agreements with its neighbours, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane to operate services across municipal boundaries.

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Chantelle Fourie

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