Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit is on the move. Despite protests by taxi operators who do not want the proposed integrated public transport system – and the veil of secrecy the City of Johannesburg has thrown over the issue – Sowetan can reveal that the buses are already in the country.

A BRT bus was yesterday spotted on the M2 highway near Heidelberg on the East Rand. It was apparently being driven to the Marcopolo factory in Heidelberg.

Marcopolo is the Brazilian company that won the tender to deliver the buses to the City of Johannesburg.

Marcopolo’s managing director Fabio Janowski da Cruz confirmed yesterday that 143 buses have been shipped in from Brazil to Durban harbour – to be driven to the company plant in Germiston.

“Yes, 143 buses are already here (in South Africa). They are 102 articulated buses and the rest are smaller buses,” he said.

He was unaware the buses were “already” in Gauteng.

Head of transport in the Johannesburg Metro Council Rehana Moosajee was also taken aback.

“Don’t ask me anything about BRT buses. We are still waiting for an announcement from the national Department of Transport that will be made soon.”

A council official was surprised when Sowetan contacted her for a comment. “Oh my God. You say you saw the Rea Vaya bus! We’ve been told not to say anything.”

Ralph Jones, The United Taxi Associations Forum’s spokesperson, also responded with shock.

“What? That means government is not acting in good faith. We’re waiting for them to explain this BRT since uMsholozi (President Jacob Zuma) said things should stop until elections were over.”