UDM and IFP worried for taxi industry

2009-03-31 00:00

Taxi drivers are a large voting constituency and the issue of an inefficient public transport system riles voters in South Africa.

Little wonder then that two political parties have come out saying they share the concerns of the taxi industry.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) said it is opposed to the imposition of ANC ideas that are copied from other countries, which are not suitable for South Africa’s infrastructure.

The party’s provincial chairperson, Bongani Msomi, said the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that is being introduced “forcefully” in Gauteng by minister of Transport Jeff Radebe needs to be explained properly to all taxi structures, not just those who support the ruling party.

He said the UDM wishes to know:

•Who is going to own the BRT programme?

•What incentives are there for the taxi industry?

•What subsidy the government is going to give to the industry?

•How many jobs to be lost or created through the BRT?

Msomi reminded the taxi industry of the UDM’s support, saying his party opposes the taxi recapitalisation programme “that is already failing”.

The IFP yesterday also expressed its concern over the taxi recapitalisation programme.

The party’s candidate for KZN premier, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, said government is aspiring to be both a player and a referee in its over-regulated vision for public transport and there appears to be little space for private taxi operators.

She added that the IFP views the taxi industry as a triumph of South Africa’s entrepreneurial spirit.

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