Concern as taxis wait for opening of multimillion- rand rank
ENOCH Mgijima Municipality has indicated it is currently working on issues of facilitation relating to the multimillion-rand intermodal transport rank which lies between the Komani CBD and Mlungisi. The rank has not yet opened, to the dismay of both taxi bodies and hawkers, the latter who have indicated that they hoped to have shelters from which to work at the rank.
Responding to questions from The Rep this week, municipal spokesman Fundile Feketshane said the newspaper would be provided with an appropriate schedule as to the official opening of the rank when related issues had been sorted out. A project plan would then also be issued.
The Rep reported (“Not enough money”, June 6 2014) that the taxi rank was 90% complete. It was also reported (“On the rise”, April 3 2015) that the project had been allocated R11-million in the 2015/2016 financial year, with R14-million at the time to be allocated in the 2016-17 financial year.
This week the Vaalbank Association spokesman Mkhanyiseli Sokhatsha said a temporary area which was provided by the municipality for them between the CBD en route to Mlungisi, was overcrowded as they had to share it with other taxi associations and bus companies.
“They moved us from our rank because they said they would build a better one. But now, after numerous meetings, we have come to realise that the municipality has failed to live up to their promises.”To date, the taxi rank remains closed, although the work seems to be complete.
“We are working from an area that becomes one big mess when it rains. We do not know when the rank will open. We have noticed that there are now many taxi associations wanting to work from that rank.”He said the situation had a negative impact on their industry and that commuters were choosing to hitchhike.
“People do not come to where we are working as this place gets slippery and muddy when it rains and there is no order. They must open that rank as it is being vandalised.”His words were echoed by hawker Fezeka Klaas who said they were promised shelters to enable them to work at the rank.“Some do not come to this area – it is not good for a small business, especially when it is raining or windy.”