Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has taken a tough stance on taxi operators who intend to derail the government’s bus rapid transit system – she has warned them that the province will not be held to ransom.

Taxi operators who have rejected the project argue that there has been little or no consultation with them on its implementation, and that many people in the industry stand to lose their jobs if the system goes ahead.

“[The taxi industry] is an industry we must nurture,” said Mokonyane. “But it’s an industry where there must be law and order as well. There can’t be anarchy. It can’t govern itself — there is government. If they want to govern, they must contest elections.

“There can’t be selective law enforcement on them — you can’t suspend law enforcement on them. We need them, they need us, and we must find one another.”

She said that contrary to what taxi operators had said, there had been “consultations with everybody” on the implementation of the system, and that the procurement of the buses for the system was under way.

“ We have a mandate to govern and that’s my view.

“They may say ‘away with it’, but if you walk outside here, you will see there’s new infrastructure in place,” Mokonyane said.

The premier said that though there were “many” in the taxi industry who “appreciate” the government’s intentions in its attempt to improve the country’s road networks, those who rejected it should raise their concerns and seek clarity on the issue.