NELSON Mandela Bay’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will be completed by next March if the municipality’s bid adjudication committee gives the go-ahead for additional costs that resulted from the taxi strike earlier this year.

Briefing the infrastructure, engineering and energy committee on Friday, the executive director: infrastructure and engineering Alie Said said the original date for completion had been the beginning of next year but the taxi strike had caused a delay of “more than a month”.
He said work had not only been held up by the strike, but because companies involved in construction work had to “disestablish” the camps they had set up and then re-establish them.
The work was now being expedited and if the adjudication committee gave the go-ahead when it met this week, the work would be completed by March with contractors working through the normal shutdown period, he said.

Responding to Jeremy Davis (DA), who had queried whether there had been proper consultation with business prior to construction taking place, Said stated that community liaison officers had been appointed to liaise with affected businesses.
Davis had pointed out that the First Avenue Funeral Home was without water and access was “seriously affected” because of the BRT work. The idea of community liaison officers was “good, but it was not working”. People had not been afforded an opportunity to plan and as a result some were now intending to sue the municipality.

Replying, Said noted that it was not possible to obtain a record of decision on an environmental impact assessment without a proper public participation process and that had to take place before the tender was awarded. He undertook to investigate why the “miscommunication” with the funeral home had occurred.