The Bruma illegal taxi rank continues to be a problem for residents and businesses in the area.
Residents have been complaining about the taxi drivers who are allegedly parking in no-stopping and parking zones at the corner of Marcia Street and Ernest Oppenheimer Avenue and making illegal U-turns.
They were also accused of leaving behind mounds of garbage at the illegal taxi rank in the veld close to the Jukskei River.
A meeting was held on September 26, 2017, at Bruma China Mall with the Department of Transport to discuss a way forward on the issues but that meeting has not yielded any results.
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“This is a challenge that the previous councillor failed to address and now it continues to haunt Ward 118,” said Ward 118 Clr Neuren Pietersen.
“We are sitting with a problem that should have been addressed before the China Mall was built because now the land does not belong to the municipality and they cannot build on it.
“No one wants to take responsibility for the mess,” said Pietersen.
He said during the site visit in September, they looked for potential spots where a taxi holding area can be built but were unable to identify a place the taxi association approved.
“The taxi association doesn’t want to be out of the area. Where they currently are is central for them but the rank is not in a condition to be a taxi holding area.
“It does not have the proper ablution facilities and the municipality cannot provide them because it’s not their land,” said Pietersen.
Also read: Illegal parking frustrates motorists
A meeting was held recently with all the stakeholders to look for a solution of how the issue can be addressed until a permanent solution is found.
“The current taxi rank needs to be fenced and also the rank needs to be cleaned. Stakeholders have shown willingness to help to make the area acceptable,” said Pietersen.
Previous councillor of the area and now ANC PR Clr Alison Roberts said every councillor who comes into Ward 118 inherits the Bruma taxi rank problem.
“The taxi rank dates back to 2011. When I was councillor I was told the arrangement was not meant to be permanent,” said Roberts.
She said like now, numerous meetings and site visits were conducted.
“Meetings were held with both the Provincial and Municipal Departments of Transport as well as City Parks to try and find an alternative. Integrated Development Plans (IDP) submissions regarding the Bruma and the informal rank in Jules Street, Malvern, were made.
“In 2013 the city approved the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) Strategic Integrated Transport Plan Framework which set out plans for a public transport mode to come as far as Settlers Park next to Eastgate which would have required stakeholder engagement and inclusionary public transport feeder routes from surrounding areas into the main public transport system,” explained Roberts.
She said after all the meetings and plans, nothing ever took shape.
“With the change of government, these plans seem to have fallen by the wayside and are no longer included in current midterm or long-term budgeting, so the situation for the rank looks like it will remain unsolved,” said Roberts.
Pietersen said he will continue working with residents, taxi associations and all the stakeholders involved to find a solution.
“We cannot run away from the fact that the tax rank provides a much-needed service in the area but we must also consider the businesses that may be affected by it,” said Pietersen.