THE City of Joburg remains committed to the expansion of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system programme, spokesperson Gabu Tugwana has said.

“Since the launch of the trunk service commuters and residents have continuously urged the city to ensure that the system has a wider reach,” Tugwana said in a statement yesterday.

But taxi operators still have reservations about the BRT system. They see it as a way for government to “flush out the taxi industry”. Last week City of Joburg MMC for transport Rehana Moosaje announced that BRT would extend its service when the City completes its phase 1A rollout next month.

Moosajee said the complementary service would run directly from Dobsonville to Johannesburg city centre and Ellis Park.

The feeder bus system will operate from Naledi to Thokoza Park, Jabavu to Lake View and Mofolo to Boomtown.

“The government just wants to take our jobs. They are killing us,” said taxi owner Gideon Ndlovu.

Ndlovu, who owns four taxis, said the introduction of BRT had made his life difficult.

“There is no business at all. These feeder buses are going to make things worse,” said Ndlovu, who has been in the taxi industry since 1975.

Thomas Ngcobo said: “I have been up since four and the first load was at 5am. The next load will probably be around 5pm.”

“They want to flush us out. We are waiting for people who are never here. They have all gone to the buses.”

Hamilton Miya, who owns two taxis, said: “In the past the trips from Johannesburg to Emndeni used to give me R500 a day. Now, on a good day, I make R350. This has had a huge effect on my employees because I pay them less now.”

But Moosajee said: “The BRT system has no intention of flushing out the taxi industry. We believe the industry is a critical part of the public transport sector.”