Thirty-one non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from across Johannesburg are today proud owners of minibuses thanks to the innovativeness of the City of Joburg.
The vehicles will assist the NGOs to better provide services in their fields of specialisation. The minibuses were part of the 585 vehicles handed in by prospective shareholders of the Rea Vaya bus operating company, Piotrans.
Piotrans is 100%-owned by former taxi industry operators who handed in their vehicles and operating licences when they became shareholders of the company, bringing the number of shareholders to more than 300.
They collectively used to own and operate 585 minibus taxis, the majority of which were either auctioned off or scrapped. The 31 vehicles in question were, however, either too new to be scrapped or were not successfully auctioned off.
That was when the City and Piotrans felt organisations in the NGO sector would benefit from the donation of vehicles.
South African Taxi Finance and Provantage also contributed to this initiative.
The NGOs that benefited include those involved in childcare, sports, orphanage homes and poverty alleviation. They were identified by the City’s Health and Social Development Department.
The gesture fits in with the City’s desire, in line with the Joburg 2040 Vision, to create “a city where everyone has an opportunity to improve their own lives”.
The City signed service level agreements with them to ensure the vehicles benefited communities.
Rose Kubayi of the Alexandra-based Banakeleleni Orphanage, which takes care of 22 orphans and other vulnerable people, was ecstatic when she took delivery of the minibus.
“It will help us to collect donated goods and food, and transport children and people with disabilities to schools and other places,” she said.
Cllr Matshidiso Mfikoe, who was Acting Executive Mayor at the time, said: “On behalf of the Executive Mayor, Parks Tau, I would like to thank all the role players who have made this initiative a success. These include the South African Taxi Finance, which has donated a vehicle; and Provantage, which has branded all the vehicles for free.
“As the City of Joburg, we have a vision to build Johannesburg into a world-class African city; a city of the future; a vibrant, equitable African city strengthened by its diversity; a city that provides real quality of life, a city that provides sustainability for all its citizens.”