Taxi drivers qualify to drive new Harambee buses for metro

FORMER taxi drivers graduated and received certificates of competence to drive the new Harambee buses in Ekurhuleni.

July 28 was an exciting day for 24 men and two women who now enjoy the benefits of having medical aid and receiving proper pay advice.

This first group of graduates was absorbed from local taxi associations, trained and tested through theoretical and practical tests to ensure their readiness to drive these buses to various destinations in Ekurhuleni.

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The graduation took place at KTVR bus depot in Chloorkop in the presence of MMC for Transport Planning, Clr Petrus Mabunda.

The bus service forms part of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s integrated rapid public transport network that will link Tembisa, Kempton Park, Reiger Park and Vosloorus to provide an accessible, reliable, cost-effective, safe and sustainable transport system.

Speaking to EXPRESS, marketing officer Yoland Foster and communications officer Tebogo Modise said, “This is just the first group to graduate and more will still do as we are going to absorb another 67 drivers. We are also happy that the top achiever is a female driver, Mantwa Mahua, who was also a taxi driver.”

The graduates have been driving empty KTVR buses to various destinations for at least four weeks and are ready to start transporting residents once the construction of bus stations and routes have been finalised.

KTVR is proud of its female top achiever, Mantwa Mahua. Congratulating her are Kenneth Mtshali (KTVR chairperson), MMC for Transport Planning Petrus Mabunda, and Buti Mahlangu (KTVR public relations director).

KTVR public relations director Buti Mahlangu said, “The graduation ceremony was to also say thank you to the drivers. They have worked very hard and have proven beyond any doubt that they are serious about this.

“Soon we will absorb and train another group as we will have 32 buses. This is going to be a really convenient system because tickets will be available at all big retail stores and also at the bus stations.”

A joyous chairperson of KTVR, Kenneth Mtshali, said he could not be any prouder of the bunch of graduates.

“This is the type of work that really changes people’s lives for the better so they too can change their families’ circumstances. These graduates showed dedication and worked very hard to pass in all areas.

“I am proud to have been part of the team that helped make this possible. Eventually, people will get used to using KTVR buses as means of transport.”

These buses will transport residents to different destinations such as OR Tambo International Airport and they will have a linked system whereby commuters will be able to ride more than one bus to complete their trips.

  AUTHOR
James Mahlokwane
Senior Journalist

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