Santaco battles bus subsidies

The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) will refer the subsidy agreements between the government and bus operators, including Putco and Golden Arrow, to the Competition Commission. It alleges these subsidies are anti-competitive and inconsistent with the Competition Act. Santaco claimed on Monday that the subsidies assisted bus operators “in their destructive competition with minibus taxi operators” and it threatened a national strike on the issue. “The public transport subsidy is meant to benefit all public transport users. In the current situation it is benefiting only 35 percent, leaving the 65 percent [of] taxi commuters unsubsidised,” it said. “The failure by the government to subsidise taxi commuters has put a huge strain on taxi operations, leading to operators undercharging to remain competitive … at [the] cost to safety of taxis and poor quality of service.” – Roy Cokayne


Zimbabwe eyes refinery bidders

Zimbabwe had shortlisted two unidentified companies to build a platinum refinery, Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa said yesterday. The ministry would conduct a due diligence study before a final announcement was made by mines secretary Francis Gudyanga, Chidakwa said. The local units of Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Aquarius Platinum said last month that they supported Zimbabwe’s plan to build a refinery for platinum group metals after the government threatened to ban exports of unrefined ore. – Bloomberg


Fix e-billing, Sanral ordered

The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) had been ordered to fix billing problems related to Gauteng’s e-tolling system, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said yesterday. Briefing Parliament’s transport portfolio committee, Peters conceded there were teething problems with the system. “There remains a need to educate road users on the way the system works and the various registration and payment methods available,” she said. “My instructions to Sanral... are clear and unambiguous. They must sort out the billing challenges and sort it out now.” Peters and Sanral pointed out that all was not doom and gloom. “A positive outcome of implementation of the system has been the identification of duplicate and cloned licence plates, unregistered vehicles and vehicles without number plates,” she said. – Sapa