Cape Town - Taxi associations in the Western Cape say Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s recently launched taxi relief fund (TRF), was long overdue.
The fund, which is expected to be disbursed next year after the planned launch of the application process for operators to access the fund, is aimed at supporting the taxi industry.
SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) provincial chairperson Nazeem Abdurahman said they were greatly satisfied with the new approach with regard to the TRF.
However, Abdurahman also said they would have loved it to be disbursed before Christmas to help a lot of their families.
Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) spokesperson Andile Khanyi said Mbalula and his department had promised them the relief since last year but nothing had materialised.
Mbalula said in July 2020, Parliament allocated a R1.135 billion TRF as a once-off payment to taxi operators to provide relief for the Covid-19 impact on the sector, as a consequence of restrictions that had a devastating effect on the industry, similar to many other sectors.
Mbalula said differences with the industry on the conditions and the manner with which the funds were to be disbursed gave rise to delays.
“I am pleased that we have since resolved these differences and have partnered with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to manage the disbursement of the funds on behalf of the department,” he said.
He said in January he would officially launch the application process for operators to access the fund. At the launch, they would provide details of the application process, which would enable the department, with the support of the NEF, to start accepting applications from individual operators.
“The application window will remain open until midnight on February 28. No new application will be accepted after this date,” he said.
Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) secretary Mandla Hermanus said they have adopted a wait and see approach.
“We are happy that some of the initial requirements were removed and simplified.”
Hermanus said they hope that the application process would be easy for many of their operators who were not technologically advanced.