New transport strategy for SA

The transport department intends to create viable public transport

and will take the focus off building more roads, according to a new 10-year

strategy announced today by minister Sibusiso Ndebele.


“Our focus is to place transport at the centre of moving South

Africa from being a developing country to being a developed country. The taxi

industry can help us create a reliable, safe and affordable transport system for

our 50-million strong population,” Ndebele told taxi industry representatives in

Midrand, according to a copy of his speech.


The so-called TR3 2020 strategy would “redefine, restructure and

reposition” the taxi industry. He said the taxi industry had a bad image, but

accounted for 65% of public transport use.


The department offered R5.5 million to a “taxi academy” to develop

skills. The department would further help create “corporate structures” in the

industry.


“We guarantee government support. We want the industry to take this

giant leap through the training of owners and drivers, maintaining unity and

becoming investment partners in the public transport system of our

country.”


Ndebele said the partnership between taxi owners, the government,

the private sector, banks and car manufacturers should be consolidated by

March.


He said over the past 10 years, investment in the taxi industry

increased through the ownership of garages, dealerships and partnerships with

vehicle makers such as Toyota. The industry’s turnover last year was R16.5

billion.


“We need to look beyond just the obvious opportunities and look at

the entire value chain. There are massive opportunities in the local

manufacturing of buses, taxis, and rail coaches and locomotives. These

opportunities are about deriving economic benefits through the entire value

chain.”


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