GO!Durban construction has been halted in recent weeks as a result of aggrieved groups within the taxi industry and workers of the contractors.
Their disputes according to the eThekwini Municipality include their inclusion in the GO!Durban project, and payment schemes of workers with their contractors.
The City has been in close consultation with the groups and is still currently engaging with them so that the disputes are addressed and issues resolved in order for work to commence.
“At this point, the City is unable to divulge the details of these meetings as discussions are still in progress with group representatives,”the city said in a statement.
“It is important to note that in terms of the National Department of Transport’s (NDoT) action plan of 2007, the vision of the integrated rapid public transport network is dependent on three main factors including having a plan with municipal control over the integrated networks and to incorporate a provision whereby bus and mini-bus taxi operators have a stake in the operations.”
In line with NDoT’s vision, the process of engaging with the taxi and bus industry began a number of years ago.
In February 2014 the City signed a memorandum of agreement with the relevant industry structures to map out the way forward in terms of roles and responsibilities for the negotiation process.
The compensation model and the model of how the industry will be involved has been drafted and will be agreed upon through a process of negotiations with the taxi and bus industry, where they will be assisted by expert independent advisors who have been appointed by the City. This process is imminent.
“Regarding the paying of workers, it is important to note that the workers of the Contractors are not employed by the Municipality but they work for the Contractors.
Therefore, the City cannot interfere with the employer and employee relationship on the payment terms between these parties,” the city concluded.