Nearly four years of work have paid off in an historic agreement between the City and the taxi industry, which will be shareholders in Rea Vaya.

IN a first for South Africa, more than 300 minibus taxi operators, affected by the Rea Vaya bus routes have agreed to become shareholders in a Bus Operating Company.


Central to the creation of a Bus Rapid Transit system across Johannesburg was the inclusion of affected taxi operators as partners, recognising their role in the economic growth and development of the city.


This came to fruition with the signing of an agreement on 4 June 2010 between the City of Johannesburg and the representatives of the taxi operators.


It has taken four years to this point: with the process including study tours, workshops, seminars and meetings between the various roleplayers. One such occasion saw representatives from both the taxi and bus operators join a City of Johannesburg team on a fact-finding trip to Bogotá in August 2007 to study how the TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit system was set up, and to extract some of its best practices.


After 10 months of intensive negotiations, the City of Johannesburg and representatives of affected minibus taxi operators for Phase 1A have reached substantive agreement on the contents of a future bus operating contract.


One of the new Rea Vaya routes through Joburg's CBD
One of the new Rea Vaya routes through Joburg's CBD

The contents of this contract has been accepted by over 300 operators who own over 600 mini bus taxis along the affected route who have agreed that they will hand in 585 mini-bus taxis for sale or scrapping and become shareholders in the new Bus Operating Company.


Next on the agenda is a transition period where a Shareholder Representative Team will be orientated and trained by the existing temporary bus operating company, Clidet.


When all the technical processes have been finalised to transfer ownership from Clidet to the new company as well as the Cipro processes, the Board of Directors will appoint a CEO and other key staff and a formal and final handover will happen.


The target date is 1 September 2010.