Government committed to subsidising taxi industry

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National Transport Department Director-General, Alec Moemi says government is committed to subsidising the taxi industry. This is one of the resolutions at the three-day Taxi Lekgotla in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.
The taxi industry contributes R40 billion a year to the country’s economy and transports 68% of commuters everyday.

The aim of the conference was to seek solutions to the challenges that the industry is facing.

Moemi says the taxi industry has been calling on government to financially assist them.

Moemi, explaining how the subsidy will work, says, “The discussions around tables we are having with the National Treasury speak to both direct and indirect financing in terms of subsidy. We are looking at financing capital and that will make sure that ultimately, that the operator pays back is quite lower. As a start, we are looking at a commuter being the end-user benefiting from the entire scheme by keeping the overheads of the industry quite lower.”

The video below is the live stream of the launch:

Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula says all the stakeholders at the Taxi Lekgotla have agreed that the taxi industry needs to be formalised as their first task to ensure smooth operation.

“In this Lekgotla, that is the first thing, top on the agenda. We wanted agreement on. They must agree on how do we see this formalisation been undertaken because from here we are going to implement. People are tired of slogans. People are tired of rhetoric. If the taxi industry has got reservations on the issue of formalisation, as the first issue, the task team that I am going setup will continue to negotiate on those issues we don’t agree on.”

Key topics in the National Taxi Lekgotla discussion: 

South African National Taxi Council has welcomed one of the resolutions at the conference of government focusing on taxi recapitalisation.

Santaco President, Phillip Taaibosch, says, “Government has promised that it will start the programme. Its intention is for the taxi industry to take over this programme, hence, this conference was emphasising the point around empowerment. We have been consumers most of our time and what we want to do. We want to ensure that there is black represented in the industry, which is now producing the necessary fruits for its members and its workers.”

Santaco’s Thabisho Molelekwa weighs in on National Taxi Lekgotla: 

Meanwhile, National Taxi Alliance, which was not part of the Taxi Lekgotla, says they are not aware of the resolutions taken at the conference.

NTA Spokesperson Theo Malele says as long as the resolutions have a positive impact on the industry there will be no problem.

“As long as the resolutions would (be) on the affirmative side for the taxi industry then we wouldn’t have a problem. The only time we will have a problem with the resolutions is when they have negative impact on our business. Only then, we will kick start (sic). But having said that, we do have our own inputs for which the minister has agreed that even beyond the Lekgotla our inputs will be considered.”

Mbalula says by next year the taxi industry should be reformed.

Taxi Alliance withdraws from the National Taxi Lekgotla: