The City of Joburg says it remains committed to Rea Vaya commuters and the seamless continuation of the rapid bus service.
This comes after the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, placed the bus operator, PioTrans, under business rescue after some of its creditors attempted to seize the company’s assets.
On Tuesday, The Citizen reported that PioTrans confirmed to the publication that the company has been placed under business rescue after one of the creditors approached the high court in Johannesburg following alleged maladministration.
In a statement on Thursday, City of Joburg MMC for transport Kenny Kunene assured commuters of continued uninterrupted services as PioTrans went under business rescue.
The city said that in spite of the legal challenges, the implementation of the BRT system formed part of the broader integrated public transport network catering to the transport needs of some of the key townships and suburbs in the city.
City spokesperson and transport director Benny Makgoga said those include Soweto, the Joburg CBD and Ekurhuleni, with more corridors set to receive a massive roll-out in the coming months.
“The city is well within its plans to roll-out BRT services and other modes of public transport to further achieve its integration plan and objectives. Rea Vaya Phase 1C (a) which was delayed by among other factors, prolonged negotiations with affected operators along the corridor, is planned for commissioning by end of the current financial year, that is, before the end June 2024,” he said.
Makgoga said significant progress was being made to expand the services provided by the rapid bus service to ensure that Joburg citizens benefited from an integrated transport service, following recent agreements with various stakeholders.
“Four significant agreements with public transport operators were concluded, the last one being in June 2023. The new BRT phase comprises15 stations, 13 of which have been completed and are ready to be activated.
“While these will not prohibit the commissioning of services, the remaining stations that are currently under construction are planned to be completed in December 2024,” he said.
It was reported that the legal blow to the bus operator was due to PioTrans owing more than R500 000 in fuel costs to a service provider. The service provider subsequently approached the courts in a bid to recover the money.
Makgoga said the city was aware of the challenges and committed to resolving them so that commuters were not inconvenienced.
He said the city would work with business rescue practitioners in resolving the matter.
“In view of the recent developments on PioTrans, the city is aware that the company is placed under business rescue and a Business Rescue Practitioner (BRP) has been appointed (Mr Mahier Tayob).
“The city’s Transport Department will work closely with the business rescue practitioner to ensure that uninterrupted bus services are rendered in the best interest of commuters.
“Furthermore, regular updates on operations of all-inclusive Rea Vaya services will continue to be communicated through the city’s social media platforms,” Makgoga said.