DURBAN - The Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula has revealed his department is ready to disburse the taxi industry’s relief fund worth more than R1 billion.
In a statement released this afternoon, the minister said he was pleased to have overcome differences with taxi bosses to reach this point, 18 months after the national Parliament allocated the funds for the industry.
“In July 2020, Parliament allocated R1,135 billion Taxi Relief Fund 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.
“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 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,” said Mbalula.
On December 2, the minister published in the Government Gazette, which outlined the criteria for those who will qualify for the grant. The department expected applicants to be South African citizens or hold permanent residency in the country, and must be registered as a taxpayer with the South African Revenue Services.
Mbalula said the full process will be shared when he announces further plans for the fund in February 2022.
“I will officially launch the application process for operators to access the fund. At this launch, we will provide details of the application process, which will 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, 2022. No new applications will be accepted after this date,” said Mbalula.