Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula will over the next few days lead robust discussions with the taxi industry at a National Taxi Lekgotla in Gauteng.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to officiate the opening of the Lekgotla in a virtual address. The National Taxi Lekgotla will encourage engagement with taxi stakeholders, across all provinces to debate and discuss how to create a safe and sustainable taxi industry of the future in South Africa.

In September, Mbalula released a discussion document for the upcoming National Taxi Lekgotla.

This will assist the government to formulate ways to formalise the taxi industry, tackle taxi violence and sets standards for taxi operators to pay corporate tax.

The document will further guide the government with the introduction of a subsidy scheme for taxi operators and commuters. The R40 billion industry ferries about 15 million commuters daily on the country’s roads.

The formalisation of the taxi industry with over 300 000 vehicles had been on the government’s wishlist for years.

“These recommendations which were a product of a consensus between the taxi industry, civil society and government affirm the need for an industry that’s formalized, effectively regulated and empowered. Every time you go around the corners you hear the stories that the taxi industry is not formalized, don’t pay tax, and they’re unregulated, not subsidised,” says Mbalula.

Mbalula says the introduction of the long talked about subsidy scheme benefit the operators and commuters in various ways.

“We’ve made a firm commitment that the time has arrived for the taxi industry which moves the vast majority of our people to benefit from the subsidy scheme which will form an integral part of our economic package for the industry. Now in government we are already thinking about the implementation of this subsidy scheme from the first of April in 2021. That’s what we are talking about. As we discuss this is what we are talking about because it is long overdue.”

Mbalula addressing the media in Pretoria: