Most town developers don't consider needs of taxi drivers, inquiry told
Cape Town – The commission of inquiry into taxi violence continued earlier today, with the head of the Transport Academy in Gauteng, Lebelo Maloka, appearing before the commission.
Lebelo, an integral role player in the 2016-2019 Taxi Summits, told the commission most town developers working with municipalities did not consider taxi drivers when building routes and infrastructure to the mall.
“This doesn’t allow taxi drivers to operate smoothly on the roads and we have to keep in mind that other motorists also drive on these routes daily,” he said.
The commission welcomed evidence leader advocate Tiny Seboko, while the panel of commissioners remained unchanged, with Lungile Mabece, Hlula Msimang and Justice Jeremiah Shongwe steering the ship.
According to Lebel, following the 2016 taxi summit with government stakeholders and taxi associations, a resolution was made that a transport academy must be established. However, the coronavirus pandemic has derailed them in launching the academy.
“We decided that we need to open this academy in order to upskill the driving of our drivers and to improve customer relations within the taxi industry.”
Asked by commissioner Mabece to provide a model of the academy, Lebelo, told the commission that a model has not been finalised yet.
“We are working with the department of higher education and other relevant entities, but the target will be the skilled and unskilled drivers,” he explained.
Lebeolo informed the commission that Gauteng Premier David Makhura attended their taxi summit as part of his Ntirhisano project. While previous Transport MEC Ismail Vardi and ex-MEC for Economic Development Lebogang Maile were also in attendance.
An eight-point plan, which was to intervene on issues of permits and operating licences, was introduced at the taxi summit.
However, this plan wasn’t followed. Lebelo, told the commission that the department of economic development was supposed to take the lead on this plan.
According to Lebelo, a co-operative bank for the taxi industry recommended by Maile was due to be established. However, the idea of a cooperative bank could not materialise due to inconsistency in hosting the summits.