Following a brief hold back in October 2018 pending the appointment of a new service provider, the scrapping of taxi vehicles as part of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP) has resumed as of March 2019.
This is in the wake of the appointment of Anthus Services 84.
Speaking at a media briefing in Tshwane on Friday, Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande announced that his department had appointed a new taxi-scrapping agency that will facilitate the TRP on its behalf.
“The Department of Transport has appointed Anthus Services 84 (Pty) Ltd (Anthus) as the technical partner responsible for the administration and management of the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (RTRP) in March 2019,” said Nzimande.
According to the Government News Agency, this was done in an effort to meet the current as well as future needs of commuters and to stimulate the economic potential of the industry.
Since the expiry of the taxi scrapping contract with the previous service provider at the end of September 2018, the department has been busy procuring the services of a new service provider to assist the department in the implementation of the RTRP.
The initial TRP was an intervention by government to bring about safe and effective taxi operations by introducing new taxi vehicles and scrapping old taxis, as well as helping operators to benefit constructively through empowerment.
Nzimande also announced that government has decided to increase the taxi scrapping allowance from R91,100 to R124,000 per scrapped old taxi.
“To fulfil the transformation and sustainability requirements of the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, 60% of the commercial benefits generated by the Taxi Recapitalisation SA operations will flow to the taxi industry. The Taxi Recapitalisation SA has already fulfilled its mandate to establish sites in all nine provinces,” he explained.
Nzimande also share that government is extending the scope of the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme beyond the scrapping of the balance, thus introducing interventions to transform the minibus taxi industry.
“Apart from reducing the taxi industry’s dependence on government over time, revenue generated from the commercial streams would be deployed to promote the sustainability of the minibus taxi industry to fund the continued recapitalisation of ageing new taxi vehicles (NTVs) beyond the current TRP programme,” he said.
Commercial enterprises include the affordable supply of new taxi vehicles, finance, short-term insurance, spare parts, repairs, fuel, lubricants, electronic fare collection and property management.
In addition, a process will be established to determine the extent of illegal taxi operations across the country by conducting a nationwide survey to populate a comprehensive database of minibus taxi industry operators and operations.
“The accurate statistics for the taxi industry will enable the Department of Transport to undertake proper planning and embark on appropriate interventions,” Nzimande said.
The department also intends to use the Revised Taxi Recapitalisation Programme as a catalyst for change to the industry’s operating model.
“The industry currently works on an individual taxi ownership model and collaborative route management structure through local taxi associations, regional, provincial and national taxi councils. By and large, the individual ownership model and taxi association route management model are at the heart of the endemic conflict and violence which have bedevilled the taxi industry for decades,” he added.
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