Transport Minister Blade Nzimande addressing journalists in Pretoria on Friday. PHOTO: ANA Reporter

Pretoria - Transport Minister Blade Nzimande on Friday announced different intervention packages by government aimed at supporting, regulating, recapitalising and transforming South Africa’s taxi industry – estimated to be the daily carrier for approximately 15 million commuters.

The Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (RTRP), resumed in March 2019 with the appointment of the new service provider responsible for the administration and management of the programme.

”The department of transport, appointed Anthus Services 84 (Pty) Ltd (Anthus) as the technical partner responsible for the administration and management of the RTRP in March 2019. I am also delighted to announce that as part of our commitment to support the taxi industry, government has decided to increase the taxi scrapping allowance from R91 100 to R124 000 per scrapped old taxi,” Nzimande said in Pretoria.

"In accordance with the mandate of the department of transport, Anthus has established the Taxi Recapitalisation SA (TRSA) as the trading entity which will implement the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme. To fulfil the transformation and sustainability requirements of the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, 60 percent of the commercial benefits generated by the Taxi Recapitalisation SA operations will flow to the taxi industry.”

He said there are many possible commercial benefits in the taxi business in South Africa but the operators were not reaping them.

“We are not just looking at just an act of submitting an old taxi, scrapping it and being paid an allowance. We want to link the entire programme to other commercial benefits, including effective participation of taxi owners and taxi operators in the entire value chain of commercial activities linked to the taxi industry," said Nzimande. 

"Commercial enterprises will include the affordable supply of new taxi vehicles, finance – which remains one of the big challenges, short term insurance, spare parts, repairs, fuel, lubricants, electronic fare collection and property management. As government we are strongly of the view that the minibus taxi industry is not really participating and benefiting from the entire value chain.” 

Nzimande said the minimum requirements for applications to scrap old taxi vehicles remain the same as in the previous taxi recapitalisation programme process.

“It is therefore important that I remind all that the initial target of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme was to scrap 100,000 old taxi vehicles and was later adjusted to 135,894 in 2007. A  total of 72,653 OTVs [old taxi vans] have been scrapped and a total amount of R 4.4 billion was paid in scrapping allowances by the end of September 2018,” he said.

African News Agency (ANA)