Taxi owners can now get R1.1bn in Covid relief - but they must be registered with SARS

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula in May 2020.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula in May 2020.
Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu
  • Government has launched a R1.1 billion fund to assist drivers of minibus taxis, cabs and e-hailing drivers affected by the pandemic.
  • Mbalula estimated that 227 000 taxi operators will receive once-off relief to the value of R5 000.
  • But only licensed taxi operators that are registered with SARS can get the money. 

Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula announced a R1.1 billion fund to assist drivers of minibus taxis, cabs operators, and e-hailing services whose businesses were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing national lockdown.

Applications are now open and Mbalula estimated that 227 000 taxi operators were each expected to receive once-off relief to the value of R5 000.

Almost 70% of all South African households use minibus taxis, and according to SA Taxi, the South African minibus taxi industry draws an estimated R5 billion annually in revenue.

However, the industry was hit by a national lockdown which curbed travel, as well as work-from-home arrangements during the pandemic. 

Mbalula said the revenue loss during the lockdown presented an economic challenge, with transport operators experiencing "an unexpected shortfall in their finances".

"Almost 20% or more of the taxi industry experienced total loss of income, particularly the long-distance and cross-border operators as a result of the closure of international borders and the prohibition of inter-provincial travel," said Mbalula.

Mbalula said the disbursement process served as a stepping stone towards the transformation and formalisation of the taxi industry and would go a long way to standardising role of the taxi industry in broader public transport.

The department said operators must have a valid operating licence or a receipt as proof of renewal and must be registered with the South African Revenue Service as a taxpayer to get the money.

"The disbursement… will be done through the National Empowerment Fund (NEF).  We have appointed the NEF as the implementing agent of this process and they have worked tirelessly to put systems in place to enable the release of funds to thousands of eligible operators," Mbalula said.

Minibus taxi operators can apply on the Department of Transport's website, or via telephone (0800 201 971, toll free) and SMS (45864).

Applications will close in March. 

Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Fin24 front page.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.77
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.69
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
16.65
+0.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.10
+0.6%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.5%
Gold
1,846.66
0.0%
Silver
21.76
0.0%
Palladium
1,970.00
0.0%
Platinum
958.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
112.55
+0.5%
Top 40
61,000
-1.2%
All Share
67,575
-1.0%
Resource 10
72,529
+1.6%
Industrial 25
72,948
-3.9%
Financial 15
15,746
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot