JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng MEC for transport, Bheki Nkosi, says threats by the United Taxi Association Forum (Utaf) spokesman Ralf Jones to embark on a prolonged strike against the implementation of the last phase of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT), is “regrettable”.

“While we are the first to uphold the right of all citizens to protest as enshrined in the Constitution, we are of the firm view that nothing will be achieved by this exercise.”

In a statement issued to the media yesterday, the department said the MEC, through his interactions, has also become aware of the threat by some to use violence in the planned protest and to derail the hosting of the Fifa 2010 World Cup.

“We respect their right to stage a protest march, and we expect any other person to respect that right.

“In the same breath, we all need to acknowledge that commuters also have the right to make a choice in terms for the mode of transport they want to use for their various destinations,” said Nkosi.

He said that all commuters should be allowed to use the transport mode of their choice without being subjected to coercive tactics, be it emotional blackmail or intimidation.