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eThekwini Municipality mulls R74m taxi incentive programme and if it is beneficial to the public

The eThekwini public transport improvement incentives programme also known as the Moja cruise programme is being discussed about its viability. Picture FILE

The eThekwini public transport improvement incentives programme also known as the Moja cruise programme is being discussed about its viability. Picture FILE

Published Jun 29, 2022

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Durban — The eThekwini Municipality is deliberating if the proposed R74 million public transport improvement incentives programme, also known as the Moja Cruise, is beneficial to the public.

The eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) intends to spend R57m over the next two financial years on the programme in addition to the R16.7m spent in the 2021/2022 financial year.

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A report by the ETA was tabled before the eThekwini Municipality executive committee (exco) on Tuesday, requesting approval for the budget.

The report said the progress made in the implementation of the Moja Cruise Programme, the slower than anticipated rate of bringing owners and vehicles on board, and gaps, observations and lessons already identified during the implementation of the pilot phase of Moja Cruise and the proposed possible responses, must be noted.

A breakdown of expenses in the financial years are:

Programme set-up and management:

• R680 625 (2021/2022).

• R1 344 145 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

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Service incentive:

• R3 540 000 (2021/22).

• R16 800 000 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

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Regional co-ordination:

• R120 000 (2021/22).

• R570 000 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

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Association co-ordination:

• R1 455 000 (2021/22).

• R6 788 000 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

Driver incentives:

• R39 375 (2021/22).

• R315 000 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

Skills development programme:

• R954 000 (2021/22).

• R300 000 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

Vehicle set up, driver induction and training:

• R2 800 000 (2021/22).

• R1 512 000 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

Vehicle deals:

• R3 500 000 (2021/22).

• R1 million (2023/24).

Marketing, communications and collateral:

• R662 500 (2021/22).

• R400 000 (2023/24).

Tracker units:

• R2 900 000 (2021/22).

Tracker monthly support costs:

• R73 265(2021/22).

• R370 855 (2022/23 and 2023/24).

The eThekwini public transport improvement incentives programme also known as the Moja cruise programme is being discussed about its viability. Picture FILE

Councillor Nicole Graham, DA exco leader, said the name of the programme had changed or been revamped on paper and she was concerned about the budgetary investment from the ETA.

“When this programme was first brought up a few years ago it was mooted as a revolutionary programme that was going to put powers back in the hands of the consumers and make sure we improve the behaviour of minibus taxis on our road,” Graham said.

It also gave commuters power to engage with owners of the associations if things were not going right via an application (app) or complaint mechanisms.

“Over the years we discovered none of the tracking mechanisms or mechanisms meant to provide feedback to the system were operating.

“The information was not being used to pay incentives. In my opinion, rather than paying money or incentives for gradual improvement, it has become some sign of co-operation between the taxi associations, where everyone is able to get paid with no tangible outcome.”

Graham said none of the core outcomes of the programmes was delivered.

“Previously, incentives were paid if they had no fines, their vehicles were roadworthy and they had licences.

“Nobody has explained to us what went wrong or right and how we can use it going forward. We were sold a dream that could not be delivered on because it was not managed properly. It has been a scam, in my opinion.”

Deputy city manager for Human Settlements, Engineering and Transport Authority, Beryl Khanyile, said they could “procrastinate the programme” to August.

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