KZN seeks delay in taxi scheme

2012-07-24 16:57
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal is to ask the national government to delay the taxi recapitalisation programme in the province.

Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said on Tuesday this was agreed at a meeting between the provincial department and the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco).

"We decided that we needed to approach the national department of transport to consider the moratorium of implementing the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP), so that we can engage with taxi operators."

The R7.7bn TRP was first announced in 1999 and came into effect in October 2006 to replace the country's minibus taxi fleet with more modern and safer vehicles.

In terms of the TRP, taxi owners were each to be paid R50 000 to have a vehicle scrapped. The owner could then use this money to exit the industry or as a down payment on a newer, safer vehicle.

Currently the amount paid in terms of the TRP is R63 100.

The TRP was supposed to be introduced in September in KwaZulu-Natal.

Six month delay

Ncalane said the department of transport would ask for an extension of six months to engage with taxi operators.

Ncalane dismissed taxi operators' claims that government wanted to scrap all Siyaya taxis.

Siyaya minibus taxis, originally known as Hi-Aces, were built by Toyota South Africa until the end of 2007.

"When government compensates taxi operators they cannot use that money to buy a vehicle that was bought in 2006 and the years before," Ncalane said.

"There are certain provisions in the National Transport Act that talk about compliance of vehicles to be deemed roadworthy."
Ncalane said there was no need for taxi operators to stage a march on Wednesday as the department was engaging with Santaco, which represented all taxi organisations.

However, some taxi bodies in the province did not recognise Santaco.

On Monday, Big Boy Dladla, secretary of the Top Six Taxi Alliance, said Santaco did not represent the interests of taxi operators because it was paid by the government.

"They are receiving an annual budget from government which runs into millions of rands. It's difficult for that person to represent our interests," he said.

Taxi operators will hold a meeting in Durban on Tuesday.

Read more on:    santaco  |  durban

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