Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele says the taxi industry will not be sidelined during the 2010 FIFA World Cup despite the introduction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

He was speaking at the National Communication Partnership Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre on Monday.

The taxi operators previously told government to surrender the system completely or face serious repercussions.

Demonstrations by taxi operators in Cape Town and Johannesburg, earlier this year, turned violent. They vowed to continue striking if government went ahead with the project.

Ndebele says negotiations are continuing with taxi operators.

“Taxis are an integral part of our transport system. They will continue to be part of our plans for the FIFA World Cup. We will ensure that the negotiations with the taxi industry continue and that the Bus Rapid Transit system can be implemented without delay,” the minister told delegates at the conference.