Thursday, February 17, 2011

Toll Road Debates Heating Up

There is no doubt that Jozi people are not happy with the new tolling system in Johannesburg. Yesterday Sbu said if people are not happy to pay the toll they must make use of taxis which was met with revolt by readers who said Sbu must try the taxi himself. Such a response from the Minister of Transport is not well thought me thinks and has to do with our Minister's arrogance. Surely Sbu knows how well taxis are hated in South Africa because of their perceived un-road worthiness, he could have came up with a better response. 

Nazir Alli, the CEO of SANRAL, an agency of the Department of Transport responsible for the implementation of the tolling of the roads is also not providing the public with satisfactory answers. Not that there are any that he can give to the public...people are mad that the taxes that they are paying are not being used to maintain the roads and there are just no alternative public transport available to their disposal. Its true...Gautrain, which was being tainted as an alternative to those who don't want to pay toll roads is not accessible to every Tom Dick and Harry, as Cosatu says. Sbu's response: "You are not forced to make use of alternative Routes". Sbu, are you aware of the extra costs this will have on CoJ?  At the moment JRA can't even fix a pothole within the specified time period. Anyway If you want alternative routes people, see the map below;

View New Roads to be Tolled and Alternative Routes in a larger map 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SANRAL New Toll System

What is your take on the new toll system? Are you going to pay or not?

Metrobus and Rea Vaya Drivers on a Striking Spree

Are the Metrobus (City of Johannesburg) and Rea Vaya striking workers ill advised or fighting for the legitimate issues? I do not have all the facts but I am concerned about what I have read up to so far especially regarding the Metrobus. For those who do not know, Metrobus mainly operates in traditionally old white suburbs in Johannesburg while Rea Vaya operates from Soweto to the CBD. Both these services serves the poor and the middle class....people without cars or access to other bus services as PUTCO (Putco serves mainly black people and operates from Soweto/East Rand/West Rand to the Southern suburbs of Johannesburg). They are said to be independent but they are financed by the City of Johannesburg


I read that some Metrobus workers are are not happy with their new schedule as reported here whereby they will start working for eight hours. Currently the bus drivers are said to be working for six to seven hours claiming overtime for any extra hours worked. This is disturbing considering the following;

  • Metrobus does not fill in their seats all the times;
  • Metrobus only operates between 6 am and 6 pm while its competitors (Putco) operates longer hours;
  • Metrobus drivers probably earn more than taxi drivers and other bus drivers (the reason why Rea Vaya drivers are also on strike);
  • The bus drivers steals monies from the company;
  • No profit is made by Metrobus forcing rate-payers to foot the bill while not serving all communities;and
  • The service is poor and not reliable.

Even more worrying is the behavior of those drivers who are striking who intimidated those who wanted to work. Do they forget that they have passengers who are the reason they are working? Will they not be the ones crying unemployment when the passenger numbers decreases down further? 

Rea Vaya

The drivers are said to be demanding that they get employed by the Council, the same Council that employs the Metrobus. Could it be because that they know that the Metrobus drivers earn more that they do? I suspect this to be the case and whether the council will meet their demands or not is not something to predict. But there is one thing for sure that needs to happen....Rea Vaya and Metrobus should just get merged. There is no point in running the two separate services while being financed by the same Municipality. Its a waste of money.