In a long-anticipated move, the Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and some top officials from the Department, made a presentation to the joint sitting of the Select Committee and Parliamentary Committee on Transport, on the intervention government is making on the minibus taxi industry.
One of the first intervention government would make would be the convention of the Taxi Indaba which will be held on a date still to be announced for next year. The Indaba will be preceded by a public dialogue platform which will be launched this month of August in Johanesburg. The minibus sector has suffered years of neglect and sheer brazen discard by both the apartheid and democratic government – with the national government having to bear the brunt of the taxi leadership for all the many negotiations that have been held over the years – many of which had borne little or no success at all.
In a statement released at the end of July by the Department of Transport, it stated that the Indaba would mainly focus on the burning issues raised by the industry for which government had not paid much attention.
“The Indaba will focus on formalization. This would entail the convention of the taxi business into corporate entities, ensuring compliance with the country’s tax and labour laws, enforcing a code of conduct for all operators, enforcing penalties for non-compliance and introducing legally binding mechanisms for a single industry representative body,” read the statement.
The Indaba will also discuss regulation and empowerment. This will entail the issuing of operating licences, creation of a business value chain that is entirely owned by the taxi industry, severe penalties for operators who get involved in conflict and the introduction of a subsidy system.
“The objectives of the public dialogue platform are to engage in conversation with stakeholders and civil society on the future of the taxi industry as the largest mover of people in the country,” read the statement.