Call for unity in taxi industry to re-define its future and rethink its way
Taxi Recapitalization Deadline Extended
As the goal post for the implementation of the taxi recapitalization program
has been moved to a date that will be announced after 2008, the taxi industry is
taking advantage of the interim period to reposition itself and redefine its
role as transport service providers.
Leadership representing the industry and government alike are united in
working towards a common goal whereby KwaZulu Natal and the rest of the country
should have vehicles that are affordable, accessible and safe. It is an
undisputed intention of government to subsidize the taxi industry like it does
Endeavors to help the taxi industry to diversify its business investments,
including the production of spare parts and tires by companies that are owned by
taxi owners, as well as investing in petrol stations and buses, enjoy the
support of the taxi leadership in the province.
KZN Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele has repeatedly called upon all
stakeholders in the taxi industry to come out with a mutually acceptable plan
that will benefit the taxi industry and also be credible to government as
representatives of the interests of society, especially on questions of safety
Reporting to taxi owners on the agreement between government and the taxi
industry to postpone the introduction of the taxi recapitalization programme in
Durban recently, Mr A.J. Mthembu of the KwaZulu Natal Taxi Council, points out
that some taxi operators rely on stolen parts to keep their vehicles on the road
since they cannot afford to buy news ones. Nowadays it is very expensive to buy
a new vehicle, he added.
Ideally, it should be in the interest of the taxi industry that government
intervenes in availing subsidies so that they can buy new vehicles. But the taxi
industry has been unhappy with the government’s proposal to replace the
present fleet that is dominated by 16 and 18-seaters, with 35-seaters.
Their resistance is based on the fact that a number of operators and their
employees may find themselves without work if their vehicles were replaced in
accordance with the new recapitalization programme.
Mr Mthembu called upon taxi operators to help boost the image of the taxi
industry to that of professional business people. He said that unnecessary
killings and uncalled for disruptions of the work of these transport service
providers was bringing the industry to disrepute.