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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Rea Vaya bus operator placed under business rescue

Piotrans has been marred by problems preventing the company from running optimally.

Johannesburg‘s Rea Vaya bus operator has been placed under business rescue.

This comes after creditors tried to seize part of its fleet due to outstanding debt earlier this year.

Piotrans, the company that operates Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus system, has been marred by problems preventing the company from running optimally.

Piotrans has since appointed senior business rescue practitioner Mahier Tayob as the company’s interim business rescue practitioner to ensure Rea Vaya operations continue uninterrupted.

Business rescue  

A fuel supply firm and vehicle repair outlet that are allegedly owed over R500 000 by the bus operator last week successfully applied for it to be placed under business rescue.

The creditors approached the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg which has agreed for the business rescue to go ahead following alleged mismanagement and maladministration.

“The BEE model of [Piotrans] is worthy of being saved in the greater public interest,” Ismaeel Dockrat, the CEO and managing director of Durban-based fuel supply company Rockville Investments (Pty) Limited, stated in court papers,” News24 reported.

“If Piotrans is liquidated then bus services to the city will stop and this would be catastrophic for working-class people who rely on the Rea Vaya bus service,” he stated, adding that the “possible restructuring of [Piotrans] debts or post-commencement finance will allow it to proceed on a solvent basis.”

ALSO READ: Driving on the Rea Vaya lane? You will get bust!

Dockrat said his company and repair centre PBC Projects (Pty) Limited had “become aware on 19 December that the Sheriff of the court had attached Rea Vaya buses and other assets of [Piotrans] pursuant to judgments obtained by other creditors and will be shortly removing these assets”.

“Should the Sheriff remove these 25 attached buses, which he said had been massively undervalued at a total R1.3 million, Dockrat said it would “immediately result in the collapse of [the Piotrans] business and any business rescue plan would become academic”.

Rea Vaya

The Rea Vaya Rapid Bus Transport (BRT) project has been over 10 years in the making, having begun initial operations in 2009 ahead of the FIFA World Cup. Its first route linked Soweto to the Johannesburg CBD.

When conceptualised in the early 2000s, the aim was to create transport linkages between communities on the periphery of Johannesburg to the province’s financial centre Sandton.

it was hoped that the BRT system would reduce traffic congestion and thereby create an opportunity for commuters to rely on buses to move between hubs, including Soweto and the CBD.

ALSO READ: Sandton Rea Vaya project to be completed in 2024

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