Public Involvement in Rea Vaya: The Case of the Minibus Taxi Industry in Johannesburg, South Africa


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By Aimee Gauthier, Institution for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP)

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  • From the beginning was decided as key Critical to success of project Need to bring taxi industry along: to avoid problems to the system through strikes and violence, economic empowerment of black South Africans, only way to transform industry
  • History of taxi industry …resulting in what you see here.
  • It also created four levels of hierarchy in the industry
  • two members of the two Johannesburg regional taxi structures, Top Six and Greater Johannesburg Regional Council, the MMC for Transport Clr. Rehana Moosajee, CoJ officials, Putco and Metrobus representatives travelling to South America with the aim of understanding the BRT system
  • Between the summer of 2006 and November of 2006, the idea of Rea Vaya was developed. Presented to the Council in December, it was approved. The CoJ decided to approach the two municipal level taxi associations, GJRTC and GNTA/Top 6 (the company created by GNTA) to begin negotiations with impacted operators. In a historic achievement, these two associations of previously fighting groups agreed to work together and form the taxi negotiating steering committee for the Rea Vaya project, and to call representatives from among the 10 impacted district association members. The leaders of these two associations were brought fully into the planning process, given offices inside the CoJ DoT, and sent to Bogota and Curitiba by ITDP to learn about how those systems handled the contracting of BRT operations. In turn, these two leaders shared information with their steering committee members from among the impacted corridors about the progress of Rea Vaya.
  • Disrupted the process – national taxi associations asking presidential candidate to stop negotiations with taxi industry on BRT or they would boycott the election United Taxi Association Forum was created giving voice to the local industry members who opposed BRT
  • For the first three days, the national South African Police Service (SAPS) had two officers on every bus, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department had vehicles shadowing the buses, and the Gauteng Traffic Police managed access to the busway at the junctions. The South African National Defense Force together with Metrobus’ own armed guards protected the depots and parking lots. Emergency Management Services were on hand with ambulances and fire trucks at strategic locations in case of any needed emergency response. MTC hired private security guards for each station and an armed response team.
  • Public Involvement in Rea Vaya: The Case of the Minibus Taxi Industry in Johannesburg, South Africa

    1. 2. Public Involvement in Rea Vaya: The Case of the Minibus Taxi Industry in Johannesburg, South Africa
    2. 5. 4 levels within the taxi industry <ul><li>National (SANTACO & NTA) </li></ul><ul><li>Provincial </li></ul><ul><li>Regional </li></ul><ul><li>Local </li></ul>
    3. 6. August 2006 Study Tour to Bogota
    4. 7. BRT in Joburg – a negotiated tender <ul><li>December 2006 - Council approves BRT </li></ul><ul><li>February 2007 - Consultation process begins </li></ul><ul><li>March 2007 - Technical consultants brought in </li></ul><ul><li>October 2007 – MOU signed </li></ul><ul><li>2008 - Road Shows to the various associations </li></ul>
    5. 8. Major Concerns <ul><li>What will happen to our vehicles? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the government honour their word? </li></ul><ul><li>Won’t we lose our jobs? </li></ul><ul><li>What about vehicles without permits but are operating? </li></ul><ul><li>This project sounds too good to be true. Will we really be better off? </li></ul><ul><li>The most important questions are not being answered. How much will I make? </li></ul>
    6. 9. Aim of the Taxi Industry Transition <ul><li>Creation of internationally competitive and profitable companies composed of impacted former taxi operators </li></ul><ul><li>Created in time to operate the service </li></ul><ul><li>Performance based contracting </li></ul><ul><li>Adverse impacts to taxi operators minimized </li></ul><ul><li>Violence is mitigated </li></ul>
    7. 10. Major Problems to Negotiations <ul><li>10 different associations </li></ul><ul><li>4 levels of the taxi industry </li></ul><ul><li>Who was affected? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illegal operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-routing </li></ul></ul>
    8. 11. Elections 2009 – negotiations break down <ul><li>Disrupted the process </li></ul><ul><li>United Taxi Association Forum </li></ul>
    9. 16. Since August <ul><li>Negotiations have started back in earnest with the negotiation team meeting weekly </li></ul><ul><li>The industry in now unified in a process </li></ul><ul><li>Compensation issues have been resolved </li></ul><ul><li>Fee per kilometer is being negotiated </li></ul><ul><li>It is hoped that negotiations will resolve soon and the taxi industry will take over the service </li></ul>