20 October 2005
TO: Mr Thobile Mhlahlo – Eastern Cape MEC for Transport
FROM: Bantu Holomisa, MP – UDM President
RE: CONCERNED BUS OPERATORS AND OWNERS FROM MATATIELE AND MALUTI
I’m in receipt of a letter of concern regarding the above; a copy of this letter is attached.
Reading from the attached letter it appears as if significant progress has been made between your office and members of the taxi industry. Undoubtedly, everybody in the Eastern Cape will support initiatives to improve public transport in the province.
However, there remains some contentious issues:
“The Government has put down conditions , including what kind of bus and age is preferred. Where the age of the bus does not meet the government specification, that bus should be replaced with a new bus. We agree with that, but the Dept seems to have done an about turn and is now insisting only on new busses. The result of that is Mr De Vries telling us that 180 busses have been ordered without the blessing of some of the operators. We are saying the Dept should stick to the original proposal about replacing only those busses that don’t qualify.
The Dept is backing AB350 to be the legal entity. We disagree with that. We feel that the legal entity should be a neutral entity, preferably administered by Pricewaterhouse Coopers. That AB350 and one or two other companies, to the people choice, should then be dealing with the legal entity… The legal entity should then be used as an agency to reach Dept.”
I concur with the suggestion of these concerned stakeholders that it would be prudent not to sign contracts at this stage whilst the matter is being disputed, and whilst a proposal is on the table that might better suit all parties concerned.
I therefore appeal to your office to call a roundtable discussion with the concerned parties in order to overcome this last hurdle.