In a bid to help resolve the ongoing conflict between metered taxi drivers and taxi-hailing app services operating in South Africa, government is in the process of exploring amendments to national regulations to include the technologies under transport laws.
This was announced by Transport Minister, Joe Maswanganyi, after a lengthy meeting was held between metered taxi drivers and Uber, Zebra and Taxify yesterday.
“As we speak there is an amendment bill in parliament which is being assessed by the portfolio committee on transport,” Maswanganyi said.
Government had to make an urgent intervention recently after an Uber driver died after sustaining serious injuries from a petrol bomb attack in June.
“We cannot predetermine the outcome of the amendment bill which is before parliament, so there is a willingness on the side of government to accommodate innovation in this regard. However as we speak the National Land Transport Act No5 of 2009 has to be complied with,” the Minister said.
Section 50 of the National Land Transport Act states that no person may operate a road-based public transport service, unless he or she is the holder of a legal operating licence or a permit. This means therefore, that anyone who operates a public transport service for reward without an Operating Licence will be violating the law.
“Following this meeting and to ensure a safe environment for both the public and public transport operators, the Law Enforcement Agencies will continuously monitor all the identified hotspots to prevent acts of intimidation and violence. It must be noted that perpetrators of violence and intimidation will be immediately dealt with in terms of the applicable laws,” he added.
Convener of the Gauteng Concerned Meter-Taxi Operators, Oupa Sikhosana, said his organisation had fruitful discussions with the Minister.
“We are happy because the Minister was able to sit around the table with us and listen to our concerns,” Sikhosana said.