Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Cape Town - Government has taken an initiative to amend the National Land Transport Act in an effort to accommodate e-hailing services following the industry’s increased violence.

Transport Minister, Joe Maswanganyi said: “as we speak there is an amendment bill in parliament which is being assessed by the portfolio committee on transport”.

Maswanganyi was addressing a media briefing on Thursday on the outcome of the meeting between the Department of Transport, the Meter Taxi Associations and the E-Hailing Operators which include Uber, Zebra and Taxify.  Maswanganyi said that public hearings on amending the act are expected to start soon. 

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“We cannot predetermine the outcome of the amendment bill which is before parliament, so there is a willingness on the side of government to accommodate innovation in this regard. However as we speak the National Land Transport Act No5 of 2009 has to be complied with,” he said.

The Minister’s meeting with operators follows an increase in violence involving both these operators.“Following this meeting and to ensure a safe environment for both the public and public transport operators, the Law Enforcement Agencies will continuously monitor all the identified hotspots to prevent acts of intimidation and violence.

“It must be noted that perpetrators of violence and intimidation will be immediately dealt with in terms of the applicable laws,” Maswanganyi said.