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Zuma hops on BRT bus

2010-05-21 11:41
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma surprised Soweto commuters with an unexpected visit to a BRT bus rank on Friday to mark 20 days to kick off for the Soccer World Cup, his spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.

"He went to visit commuters, handing out South African flags, and just to have a look at how the [Bus Rapid Transit] system is working," said Magwenya.

Excitement mounted as passers-by realised that the president was chatting to commuters on one of the buses at the Thokoza Park station, he said.

"He was getting a holistic feel of the experience that our visitors and all citizens [will have]."

Challenges

Zuma received positive feedback on the new bus system from commuters and a driver he spoke to, in spite of the "challenges" experienced during the rollout.

This had included a fatal shooting and opposition by minibus taxi drivers who said the BRT system was muscling in on routes they developed over decades.

Zuma encouraged people to use public transport, and said that there was "ample room for all stakeholders to work together", in a message to minibus taxi drivers.

Zuma did not have time for a bus ride as he had to travel to Pretoria to prepare for the launch of Child Protection Week.

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