Rapid Transport System Explained

In line with the National Land Transport Strategic Framework (NLTSF), Rustenburg Local Municipality (RLM) took the decision to introduce an Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN). The Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) system forms part of the national agenda towards the integration of various modes of transportation. This is an attempt to transform the public transport sector, in line with national policy, through the provision of a high quality transport system that is affordable, safe, rapid, reliable, accessible, and environmentally friendly. This will reduce the overall journey travelled by public transport users. Yarona is the official name of the integrated public transport system.

The name is inspired by the people and derives from the Setswana “Ke Ya Rona” meaning “It is Ours.” Key amongst the characteristics of the system will be an improvement in access between residential areas and major economic nodes. The main objective of the RRT system is therefore to provide new and attractive road-based public transport services.

The Rustenburg Local Municipality is mandated by the Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 to engage all stakeholders that may be affected by the implementation of the RRT on a quarterly basis. To that end, the RRT project team continuously engages with stakeholders and all affected parties. Engaging Community is vital and in line with ‘Batho Pele’ principles.

Bus Rapid Transit

South Africa’s Public Transport Strategy, approved by cabinet in 2007, features the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) programme as its road-based component. The BRT is designed to move large numbers of people to all parts of a city quickly and safely. Its aim is to link different parts of a city into a network.

With the BRT system, government aims to ensure that by 2020, most city residents are no more than 500m from a bus station. It further seeks to ensure that different parts of a city are connected into a network.

Where it all started

Rustenburg is one of 13 cities around South Africa selected by National Government to implement a public transport improvement project. South Africa’s Public Transport Strategy and the Public Transport Action Plan were developed by the National Department of Transport (DoT) and approved by Cabinet in 2007.

The DoT’s Action Plan is premised on two main thrusts:

  • The improvement of the quality of the country’s public transport fleet and its current operations in the short term through Accelerated Modal Upgrading.
  • The implementation of an Integrated Rapid Transport Network (IRPTN) in 13 targeted cities by 2020.
  • With the IRPTS, Rustenburg local Municipality aims to provide affordable, reliable and efficient public transport system to residents of the city.

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!