Commuters wait for the intermodal rank to open

Picture: Ntsikelelo Qoyo

Users of the makeshift taxi rank opposite the “Rhawutini” informal settlements have to wait a bit longer before they can move to the intermodal taxi rank.

The rank, which cost R35 million, has been idle since completion in 2016. Last month a scuffle ensued between Uncedo Taxi Association with drivers from Vaalbank, Thornhill and Whittlesea after they invaded the rank, with the intention to operate from it.

After the skirmish the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) promised to meet all the interested parties to resolve the issue speedily.

“The leadership held an emergency meeting with taxi industry stakeholders to try to resolve the matter amicably and there were undertakings agreed upon as a matter of urgency for the handing over of the rank,” said EMLM spokesperson Gcobani Msidwana.

In a media realise on June 12 Msidwana said a steering committee would convene to “iron out all the outstanding issues and fast-track the handover.” He said the committee had since agreed to self-dissolve because the managing of the rank was outside its scope.

“The project steering committee was dissolved on June 28. It was agreed that the committee was meant for the construction of the rank, not management.

 “All in the meeting agreed that we must develop an intermodal management advisory committee which is formulated by all the beneficiaries as per the advice of Department of Transport,” he said.

Uncedo chairperson Sandi Mgodo said they had been engaging the Mayor’s office and were happy with the progress.

We had a meeting with the municipality in which we agreed the initial date for the opening will not be successful.

We wanted to organise all our branches so that they were part of the opening ceremony. They will be witnesses that the rank was opened in a proper manner and handed over to the right stakeholders.

Talks with the mayor’s office have been fruitful and this proves that Uncedo has a good working relationship with the powers-that-be,” said Mgodo.

Msindwana could not confirm when the intermodal rank would be open, saying: “The rank belongs to many beneficiaries who need to be consulted well to avoid unnecessary conflict. Everyone has to understand the purpose of the rank when it is operational.

“Once we reach an agreement and terms of reference are met, we will invite all the stakeholders and the rank will be handed over for the benefit of the people.

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