Mbalula: Taxi industry will be subsidised from April next year

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Mbalula said his department would work with Treasury and the taxi sector.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula speaks at the Western Cape taxi lekgotla in Cape Town on 15 October 2020. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said from April next year, government would implement a subsidy for the taxi industry.

Mbalula said his department would work with Treasury and the taxi sector.

The three-day national taxi lekgotla concluded on Saturday.

Mbalula said the taxi industry was characterised as an informal sector and now government was looking at formalising it.

He said come next year April it’s going to be a ‘new dawn’ as the sector would be subsidised.

“The participation of this industry in the subsidy scheme is no longer a pipe dream, but a realisable goal we intend to see becoming reality in the coming financial year.”

Transport director general Alec Moemi said currently government provided direct and indirect subsidies, such as the public transport operators grant.

Moemi said they were looking at subsidising vehicles and then would continue to explore the possibility of tax rebates.

“For now as a start, we are looking at the commuter benefiting from the entire scheme by keeping the overheads of the industry lower — that is the path we going with and how this will also impact on the household expenditure.”

GOVT PLANNING ON REGULATING E-HAILING INDUSTRY

Mbalula said government did indeed intend on regulating Uber, Bolt and other e-hailing services in South Africa.
Mbalula said the registration of associations and effective regulation of e-hailing services were urgent tasks that government needs attend to.

He added e-hailing has been operating without regulation and said this had been a major point of difference between government and the taxi industry.

“There is no Uber or taxi that is going to go up and down here unregulated. This lekgotla empowers us. E-hailing has been operating in our country without any regulations.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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