My visit to Randburg Taxi Rank in Hillbrow today was a painful reminder of the consequences of poor leadership and the lack of proactive planning under Mayor Parks Tau’s administration.
I am appalled that although this taxi rank services on average between 15 000 and 20 000 people a day, there is a visible lack of infrastructure and unbearable conditions that commuters face each day.
Many of the commuters I interacted with today, have for several months now experienced a pungent stench from blocked toilets and overflowing sewerage which often reaches areas where food is sold.
This after the ANC-run City of Johannesburg allegedly cancelled the vendor’s cleaning contracts for the toilets and the entire taxi rank.
The inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure reveals no consideration of the harsh and extreme weather conditions people experience when standing in long queues.
Petty crimes such as muggings are rife, particularly in winter, due to poor security and no electricity.
Local vendors use candles when selling goods to night- shift workers in the evenings.
The thousands of commuters in Randburg taxi rank, and others like it around Joburg, play a crucial role in this city’s economy.
It is important that this space is made accessible, safe and clean. A happy commuter is a productive worker.
Upon being elected Mayor on the 3 August, I will ensure significant investment in crucial infrastructure and services.
I will coordinate infrastructure investment between the council, provincial and national government as well as public and private transport operators.
I would also like to strongly condemn the continued taxi violence which has resulted in at least 7 deaths over the past two months, most recently two people who were shot dead outside the Mall of Africa this past weekend.
Over the same period, more than 10 people have been injured – the majority of who where uninvolved members of the public.
I can guarantee that this would not be the case under a DA-run City of Johannesburg. If elected mayor on 3 August, I will set up a task team to look into the taxi violence and work closely with the provincial government and taxi associations to resolve this situation.
I acknowledge the crucial role the taxi industry plays in our city, transporting hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis. Indeed, for many residents of Joburg, taxis are their only form of transport.
Under a DA government in Johannesburg, all transport modes will complement one another other so that a seamless system, with integrated ticketing, evolves.
The public transport system as well as taxi ranks must be appropriate, comfortable, safe, well maintained, and accessible to everyone, including the disabled.
Only under a DA government can the City be host to spatially-integrated taxi ranks with vigorous economic activity and safe and efficient transport services.
DA Mayoral Candidate for Johannesburg