|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.
â€œ[The taxi industry] is an industry we must nurture,â€ said Mokonyane. â€œBut itâ€™s an industry where there must be law and order as well. There canâ€™t be anarchy. It canâ€™t govern itself â€” there is government. If they want to govern, they must contest elections.
â€œThere canâ€™t be selective law enforcement on them â€” you canâ€™t suspend law enforcement on them. We need them, they need us, and we must find one another.â€
She said that contrary to what taxi operators had said, there had been â€œconsultations with everybodyâ€ on the implementation of the system, and that the procurement of the buses for the system was under way.
â€œ We have a mandate to govern and thatâ€™s my view.
â€œThey may say â€˜away with itâ€™, but if you walk outside here, you will see thereâ€™s new infrastructure in place,â€ Mokonyane said.
The premier said that though there were â€œmanyâ€ in the taxi industry who â€œappreciateâ€ the governmentâ€™s intentions in its attempt to improve the countryâ€™s road networks, those who rejected it should raise their concerns and seek clarity on the issue.