Taxi businesses could be harmed by demerit system - SA Taxi

2016-09-06 16:00
Taxis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Taxis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Taxi business financier SA Taxi says the proposed implementation of a point demerit system for South African drivers could bring small taxi businesses to a "grinding halt".

SA Taxi was presenting to Parliament's portfolio committee on transport on Tuesday, which was holding public hearings into the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Amendment Bill.

The group, which currently finances over 50 000 taxi businesses worth over R20bn, said it supported the amendment bill to improve compliance and corrective measures, but had a few concerns over proposed licence suspensions.

"Chapter 4 [of the bill] will result in drivers' inability to make a living during the suspension period, which is against what the government stands for and aims to achieve in terms of employment creation," director of corporate affairs Bonisile Makubalo said.

"The demerits would lead to the suspension of a vehicle operator card, and could create a risk of grinding a taxi business to a halt, irrespective of a driver."

Operators would be unable to derive an income from taxi operations and could default on their payment obligations, affecting funders like SA Taxi, Makubalo said.

Fines, tax

"Rather than a suspension of an operator card, perhaps the committee can look at other mechanisms to punish taxi offenders, such as monetary fines through tax," he suggested.

Makubalo also said training of individuals with regard to the change in law would be crucial, and asked the committee to consider that.

The committee also heard from IT project specialists Tasima on Tuesday.

Tasima is responsible for managing the National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS) project, which would be operating the online database for collating all traffic offences.

Project Director Gert van Eeden said eNaTIS would be responsible for: Vehicle registration, issuing of licences, registering traffic officers and all traffic offence-related information.

MPs were unhappy with Tasima's progress on the eNaTIS project and requested that it speed up its testing programmes and keep the committee updated.

Public hearings into the AARTO Amendment Bill continued on Monday.

Read more on:    transport  |  parliament 2016

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