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Limpopo Business 2020/21 edition

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  • Polokwane
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FOCUS Leeto la Polokwane

FOCUS Leeto la Polokwane aims for safe public transport rollout Safety measures for Covid-19. In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic that has had an impact on every element of society in South Africa, the Leeto la Polokwane team has drafted measures to protect both its personnel and commuters to ensure a safe journey for everyone. One of the critical measures is the reduction of contact. It is challenging to reduce contact in a transport environment, but all precautions should be taken. The following measures as guided by Covid-19 Bus Transport Operators Guidelines May 2020 have been adopted by Leeto la Polokwane and include: • Meetings should be replaced with Zoom (or similar) to limit contact between staff. If meetings must take place, a meeting room for 10 people should not have more than three people in the room with a distance between each person no less than 2m. The meeting room should be disinfected after each meeting. • Administration staff who can work from home should do so between Levels 2-5. • Customer service staff should be available to passengers from behind perspex or glass screens. • Security staff should be provided with full-screen face masks and sanitiser spray. • Drivers should have perspex or glass cabins installed to protect them. If this is not possible, rear boarding can be considered to protect drivers. • Automatic fare collection systems must be operational to ensure a contactless system. • Ticket booths should be cashless as far as possible. • Types of masks to be used should be clarified to ensure people touch their faces as little as possible. Masks worn should adhere to the national specifications. ■ Leeto la Polokwane uses an automated fare collection systems to ensure a contactless payment system that is safe for everyone to use amid the Covid-19 epidemic and beyond. LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21 16

Empowering the minibus taxi industry and providing efficient public transport INTERVIEW Polokwane Local Municipality’s Transportation Services Director Malose Lamola outlines the transition of the regional taxi industry to becoming a bus-operating company. Three taxi associations have registered a company which has signed agreements with the City of Polokwane to provide bus services on behalf of the city. The Leeto la Polokwane project has been planned in line with the 2007 Public Transport Strategy and Action Plan, under the guidance of the Department of Transport. One of the principles in implementing Integrated Rapid Public Transport Networks (IRPTNs) is that the incumbent public transport operators should not compete with the system to be implemented and should be compensated for their loss of business. In the case of Phase 1A of the Leeto la Polokwane project, the Polokwane Municipality has been negotiating and engaging with the Flora Park Pietersburg Taxi Association (FPTA), the Seshego Polokwane Taxi Association (SPTA) and the Westenberg Taxi Association (WTA), all of which are directly affected by the system footprint. The process has been finalised between the two parties in order to make way for the implementation of Leeto la Polokwane Phase 1A. Empowerment and training One of the main aspects of this project is to empower the minibus taxi industry and to assist it to make the transition from providing informal public transport services (unscheduled operations) to the provision of scheduled services. As part of the empowerment directive, which includes a capacitation programme, the three affected taxi associations have registered a Vehicle Operating Company called Esilux (Pty) Ltd. This company now has a full Board of Directors. The City of Polokwane and Esilux have also concluded an interim Vehicle Operating Company Agreement (VOCA). The municipality has started rolling out suitable training programmes to capacitate the Board of Directors to run the company sustainably. Other personnel that will be involved in the management of the company, as well as the operation of the Phase 1A of the Leeto la Polokwane system, will be recruited for the operationalisation of the system. Leeto la Polokwane is to be launched in the 2020/21 financial year. The following milestones have been reached since 2018: • Execution of supplementary market surveys for Phase 1A. • Sign off on the supplementary market surveys on Phase 1A. • Operating licence verifica-tion process for Phase 1A. • Signed process agreement on the Vehicle Operating Company Agreement (VOCA). • Signed process agreement on the compensation for affected Malose Lamola operators. • Delivery of universally compliant 12-Metre Buses. • Delivery of universally compliant 9-Metre Buses • Draft Vehicle Operating Company Agreement (three years). • Negotiations on VOCA, legal document. • Negotiations on VOCA, financial model (commercial contract) and approval by council. • Compensation negotiations for Phase 1A finalisation. • Signed vehicle removal agreement. • Signed restraint of trade and compensation agreement. ■ By Malose Lamola: Director, Transportation Services, Polokwane Local Municipality. 17 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

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