Department of Transport announces the scrapping of over 83000 ‘old’ taxis

The Department of Transport says it’s working on regulating the minibus taxi industry. Picture: David Ritchie Independent Newspapers

The Department of Transport says it’s working on regulating the minibus taxi industry. Picture: David Ritchie Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 20, 2024


Cape Town - At least 83 713 taxis from a target of 135 894 have been scrapped, with around R5.9 billion paid to operators through the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP).

This is according to Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga, who briefed the media at the Sanral Central Operations Centre in Centurion on Tuesday on the state of the public transport and road infrastructure in South Africa.

Each time an old taxi is scrapped, an owner is paid, Chikunga said.

Chikunga said they continued to implement taxi industry reforms to improve the industry. Examples of this include the TRP. The Department of Transport has spent R69bn on public transport, covering infrastructure and operations.

A total of R55bn has been spent in 13 cities between 2006 and 2024.

“The most important benefit has been the formalisation of informal taxi operators and their economic empowerment in the Integrated Public Transport Network.

“The majority of these vehicle operating centres are run by taxi operators,” Chikunga said.

The department was also developing a National Public Transport Subsidy Policy to address the funding requirements for subsidising public transport, including the equitable allocation.

South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) public relations officer in the Western Cape, Makhosandile Tumana, said that in 1996 the National Taxi Task Team issued recommendations for improving the quality of minibus taxi transport and continued sustainability in the country.

“The final recommendation was to formalise and regulate the minibus taxi industry; implement and execute training and capacity building initiatives; and create conditions for economic growth.

“But currently we are not sure about the effectiveness of these initiatives,” Tumana said.

In terms of taxi scrapping, he said only taxi models from September 2006 and older qualified for scrapping.

“As the industry we are happy with the process, but there is a lot still to be done.

“There are many old vans – the government never amended the law to allow us to scrap vans from 2006 October to 2010.

“We strongly believe all Siyaya taxis should be scrapped so we can get rid of them because they are old,” he said. Meanwhile, an official handover of the “30 Years Freedom and Democracy Bus” to the Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni,, followed the briefing.

The bus, which will be managed by the Government Communication and Information Systems and be available to all government departments for various campaigns, will travel throughout the country until April next year.

“This bus will be used in the coming months by different departments to hold community engagements objectively aimed to foster dialogue and increase citizenry participation in shaping government’s service delivery programmes,” Chikunga said.

Ntshavheni said the bus would also be used for fact-finding purposes, and would form part of the presidential inauguration proceedings.

Ntshavheni said: “And I dare anyone in South Africa to challenge me and tell me which national road has a pothole … And I say without fear of contradiction, we have no national roads that have a pothole.”

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