Speech by Donald Grant, Minister of Transport and Public Works
Good morning, Goeie more, Molweni
Dit is vir my ’n eer om vandag hier te wees vir hierdie belangrike mylpaal, vir ’n projek wat al nege jaar in wording is. Ons is trots om vandag die Go George geïntegreerde openbare vervoerstelsel te vier . Hierdie projek is ’n bewys van die harde werk van ons beamptes op al drie vlakke van die regering – nasionaal, provinsiaal en plaaslik, in samewerking met die plaaslike taxi- en busbedryf, asook die gemeenskap van George. Ons kan almal trots wees daarop dat ons, ons doel bereik het om ’n bekostigbare, geskeduleerde, veilige en betroubare diens aan die George-gemeenskap te verskaf vir verbeterde toegang tot geleenthede en om ’n hoër lewensgehalte te bereik.
I would be remiss, however, to not acknowledge the valued contributions of two key members of the project team, whom we have tragically lost along the way: Mr Tom Queba and Mr Jacques Quinot. We are grateful to have their widows join us here today.
Mr Tom Queba, the Chief Negotiator for the George Taxi Industry, was shot and killed for his involvement in the project. We remember Mr Tom Queba for the strong, principled and committed leader that he was. Mr. Queba was a man of vision, a dedicated leader who sought the transformation of George and the greater South African public transport sector for the betterment of all.
He foresaw the benefits of the Go George system, and the potential it had to dramatically improving the lives of the people of George. He also understood how the transformed system could better the circumstances and long-term prospects of his fellow operators.
He was a fair negotiator who was fiercely committed to achieving an outcome that was to benefit everyone. He had an important role to play in the future system and his premature death was a great loss not only to his family, but also to George. Mr Queba left behind his wife Veronica, and his daughter T’morray.
Mrs Queba, today we salute Tom and we recognise the sacrifices that your family has made for this project.
Mr Jacques Quinot, George Municipality lead for Go George infrastructure and vehicle fleet implementation, also suddenly passed away recently.
Mr Jacques Quinot’s eagerness, energy and passion will remain ingrained in the hearts of the entire project team for years to come. Mr Quinot was beloved to all who worked alongside him, a loyal friend, dedicated colleague, passionate mentor and visionary leader. He was instrumental in pioneering the design of the first universally accessible minibuses for an Integrated Public Transport Network (ITPN) in South Africa. Mr Quinot left behind his wife Marlene and young daughter Lisa.
Mrs Quinot, today we pay tribute to Jacques and thank you for your family’s tireless commitment to ensuring that Go George is fully implemented.
Go George remains committed and resolute in fulfilling both Mr Queba and Mr Quinot’s vision, and continuing their legacy as the Go George grows its reach further and further in the months and the years to come.
We will not let criminal elements and various other individuals with their own political interests derail the good work that has been done on this project. As they make empty noise and level unsubstantiated allegations, we will continue with the urgent business of ensuring that commuters are able to travel to and from their various destinations in buses that are safe, reliable, scheduled and affordable.
Without further ado, I ask the Honourable Premier of the Western Cape, Ms Helen Zille, to deliver the key note address.
I thank you.