The new service will be introduced in 4 phasesPhase 1 will now be divided into three operational launch dates (Phase 1A, 1B and 1C), while Phase 2 remains unchanged. Phase 1A and 1C will see operations start during the course of 2017, Phases 1 B and 2 will come into effect in 2018. Phase 3 and 4 will follow.

Route planning is complete, but the phasing and financial viability of routes and negotiation with the Taxi Industry will all influence the finalization of the routes – so we do expect some changes but these should be minor.

The routes provide services to all the existing mines and shafts and the actual services and times will be determined in consultation with the mines. There may need to be some subsidising of off-peak services by the mining companies to make the route financially viable in some cases.

The graveyard has been moved to Rietvlei and there needs to be a service to here.

The zonal fare system will need to be properly communicated through a dedicated education campaign.  The system will be cashless from day 1 and use a bank approved “pay-as-you-go” card.  Users will need to buy a card, and then load this with money to use the system.  Wherever they go, a “tap on- tap-off” routine and habit needs to be developed. The price of the fare still needs to be modeled according to financial viability and the likelihood of securing subsidies – but the principles are that the fares will be affordable and in-line with current fares with concessions for young children (under 5) and elderly be factored into the business model.

Construction will be done in stages, and detour routes will be looked at in the CBD. Outdoor billboards and ongoing communication through the media will be used to help address traffic issues. However, it must be noted that the period of construction will be disruptive and patience of the people is needed.

Taxi and Bus services will continue to operate as normally as possible with some minor route deviations around the construction zones. Only once the system launches, will certain taxi and bus routes be taken off the roads in phases to ensure the people are not inconvenienced.

It is estimated that a further R3 billion will be invested over the next four years up until the end of June 2018. This includes road and stations infrastructure and the Intelligent Transport System technology that will ensure smooth operation of the system. This figure excludes the investment to be made in the bus fleet by the bus operating companies.

All buses will be universally accessible and there will be three kinds – Articulated 18m buses seating 110 people; Standard 12m buses seating 60 people and Midi buses of 9.8m seating 30 people. Buses will be low-entry and Euro 3 emissions standards for the first phase. Fleet needs are determined by the phasing of the project and the availability of funding.

Linda Hlatshwayo

Communications Unit Manager

Ms Linda Ntombikayise Hlatshwayo holds a BA Communications Degree from the North-West University. She is currently studying towards the completion of B.Soc Science honours degree in Peace studies and International Relations. Hlatshwayo, an accomplished authority in Advertising, Public Relations and Tourism joined the Rustenburg Local Municipality in 2015 as Unit Manager Communications responsible for providing and maintaining an efficient internal and external communications service to the RRT. Ms Hlatshwayo has experience in both the private and public sector and has a little over 12 years in the communications industry. Prior to her joining the RRT, she was the Marketing Coordinator for the National Home Builders Registration Council North West (NHBRC) and before that she was the Head of Communications at Mahikeng Local Municipality. In addition, she was part of the AFCON 2013 team that delivered the Rustenburg games as the Media Operations Manager where she was exposed to both local and international media. Moreover, she has held positions at Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) as the Public Relations Officer as well as SASSA (South African Social Security Agency as a Senior Communications Officer.

Having had a colorful work history, in her current role, she contributes towards ensuring seamless communication for the Municipality where it relates to the RRT project, so that a positive public image and reputation of the entity is maintained at all times.

Maintaining healthy relations within the organisation and all stakeholders is her daily occupation. She is also responsible for promoting the growing Yarona brand and also acts as the Yarona spokesperson. In addition, she facilitates media briefings, arranges media interviews and produces press statements in order to keep stakeholders abreast with the developments within the RRT.

Hlatshwayo has an excellent record in building crucial relations and an environment of trust and professional interaction with the local and national media to promote Yarona and handles inquiries. She is looking forward to positioning Yarona as a brand to be reckoned with especially heading towards the launching of the system in 2016!