City’s plan for taxi operations in Durban CBD

The eThekwini Municipality says it has a plan to change how taxis operate in the Durban CBD. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers.

The eThekwini Municipality says it has a plan to change how taxis operate in the Durban CBD. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ Independent Newspapers.

Published Dec 21, 2023


The eThekwini Municipality is looking to change how taxis operate in the city centre as part of the metro’s inner-city regeneration strategy.

City manager Musa Mbhele said the City cannot afford to have taxis continue to operate in the manner they do now, adding that the current situation “undermined the user experience of other residents”.

As part of reforming how the taxis operate, Mbhele said, the municipality plans to build dedicated taxi holding facilities and have dedicated taxi lanes.

Briefing the media recently, Mbhele said in terms of the inner-city regeneration strategy, “we are planning to build what we call holding facilities across the city and identify dedicated lanes for taxis”.

“They cannot be moving in the manner that they do. They will have to be in the taxi holding facility and when it is peak time that is when they will be able to go and pick up passengers, as opposed to what they are currently doing,” he said.

He said the facilities still have to be built, but in the meantime they intend to ensure that “there is enforcement on the road to deal with (issues) on the behavioural side while we build those holding facilities”.

Mbhele said the City had laws that the industry had to abide by and it had increased enforcement of these laws.

“We have realised that if you are going to have taxis that are not going to respect shared public spaces and drive anyhow, and do not respect the rights of the other motorists, we are not going to have people experiencing the best (of the city), not just during the festive season but throughout the year.

“We have decided to intensify our enforcement. We want to ensure that taxis have permits and when they drive they observe the requisite traffic laws and regulations. This is a work in progress. It will take time to deal with that problem completely,” he said.

The move has been welcomed by City councillors.

African Democratic Change councillor Visvin Reddy said the proposed changes are necessary.

“We believe that the current state of taxi operations in the City of Durban is haphazard and unco-ordinated. This has proven to be a disaster for the city’s economy, as the taxi industry plays a key role in its success.

“We welcome the eThekwini municipality’s initiative to reform the taxi industry by building holding facilities and dedicated lanes. However, we were not aware of these plans, as they were never presented to the council. We urge the City to engage in dialogue with the taxi associations to ensure their input is considered in the implementation of these reforms.”

DA councillor Thabani Mthethwa said this was a step in the right direction.

“It will ease traffic congestion, especially in the CBD. I hope that there is going to be proper consultation with the relevant structures to avoid a repeat of the GO! Durban issues.

“The ANC is known for not following procedures, which ends up costing millions in fruitless expenditure.”

ActionSA councillor Alan Beesley said they would support any initiative that improves informal public transport.

“A high number of commuters make use of taxis and as such it is imperative that the use of taxis is made as seamless as possible. However, it is imperative that these improvements do not come at a massive cost to the residents and businesses of eThekwini.

The benefits must outweigh the costs,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal South African National Taxi Council spokesperson, Sifiso Shangase, said the plans formed part of the GO! Durban project that was being negotiated.