PIOTRANS employees apprehensive about the possibility of being laid off

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There is anxiety that many of the employees and beneficiaries of PIOTRANS, the Rea Vaya Bus Operating Company in the City of Johannesburg, could find themselves out of work come January.

The 12-year contract of PIOTRANS to operate the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid transport system in the City of Johannesburg is coming to an end in January, and they may have to compete for the same tender.

The company says it’s in talks with the City on how to move forward on the matter. They are concerned that taxi operators had to hand over their taxi operating permits at the beginning of their BRT contract twelve years ago.

Twelve years on and the contract was given to taxi operators to operate the Bus Rapid Transport System is coming to an end. Now, there is the matter of now what?

The former taxi operators surrendered their permits to the city of Joburg in order to be operators of the system forming PIOTRANS the first Rea Vaya Bus Operating Company.

PIOTRANS says the City of Joburg has not yet informed them of its intention to advertise a tender for the service. PIOTRANS board chair says the matter is complicated as the taxi operators had to hand over their taxi operating permits to the city when they started operating the BRT transport system.

Video: Growing anxiety among employees and beneficiaries of Piotrans

Contract ends in January

The contract is supposed to come to an end in January, but then “we are still waiting to hear from the City with regard to that. If they are tendering, then we will have to face that music and then there are also BRT mother body SABRATA.”

The organisation fears the changes may spark a taxi war, as the operators left their businesses for the 12-year contract.

They say the operators cannot go back to their taxi associations. The organisation says the Ministry of Transport has failed to honour three meetings organised to discuss this matter.

Meanwhile, PIOTRANS CEO Mochele Noge has been suspended and the board of Piotrans says a charge sheet is still to be presented to him.

Video: Rea Vaya operators want contracts reviewed