TAXI drivers in Centurion are unhappy with the ongoing delays in the construction of the promised R20m taxi rank in the area. Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Taxi operators in Centurion are running out of patience following a number of delays in the construction of the new R20million state-of-the art taxi rank.

Plans for the replacement facility were announced more that two years ago, after the old taxi rank made way for a corporate building.

Public transport and small business operators were moved to a nearby open field near the Centurion Mall.

It is used by about 15000 commuters daily.

Late last year the businesses were promised that work on the site, on Hendrik Verwoerd Drive and South Street, would commence by the end of January, but nothing has happened yet.

Taxi associations and concerned commuters said they were convinced that the plans had been shelved.

“They always raise our hopes. We are not buying into anything until we see work starting at the site,” said a taxi driver.

Emphasising his colleague’s comments, Job Mkwanazi said it was all "mind games".

“All of sudden they say paperwork is being finalised; why now before the general election? I doubt it’s a coincidence. They want our votes,” he said.

Commuters also complained about the makeshift rank opposite the site, saying they, too, had concluded from the state of the site that the project had been stopped.

It has also become a dump for rubble from a nearby construction site.

From late last year rumours did the rounds that construction had been called off, but ward councillor Peter Sutton dispelled those as myths, saying they were waiting for a go-ahead from geologists who were checking for dolomite.

“It’s all systems go. The building will commence in April. All the paperwork has been signed, sealed and delivered by the City of Tshwane.

"Finally, commuters and drivers will get treated like top class,” said Sutton.

Centurion is generally known for its sinkhole troubles.

Premier David Makhura has named Centurion “sinkhole alley”.

This was when he visited a mammoth sinkhole in Quagga Road in Laudium last year.

“A total of 119 sinkholes have been recorded in the Centurion area between the early 1970s and 2012 and the situation is not getting any better,” he said.

The site, which was once fenced off, has been vandalised.

“We have decided to cordon off and hire security guards once proper construction commences,” Sutton said.

The construction of the rank is a partnership between Redefine Properties and the City of Tshwane.

Upon completion the taxi rank will have numerous shelters, taxi holding areas, offices, route lanes, informal trader stands, public toilets and possibly free wi-fi.

Pretoria News