The South African Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, wants to withdraw 63,000 illegal taxis from circulation over three years. This project is part of a National Sector Sanitation Program called the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme (TRP).
South Africa plans to remove 63,000 illegal taxis from circulation by 2024. The announcement was made by South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, speaking at the State of the Nation Address in Parliament on 13 February 2021. According to him, the TRP was reviewed after the lekgotla (national conference) of the taxi organized in October 2020.
“With this redesigned TRP program, we will meet the 63,000 taxi withdrawal targets by 2024 while implementing a new public transportation funding model that includes the taxi industry starting next fiscal year.”, he said, adding that implementing the conclusions of the national conference will put the taxi industry on a new path.
South Africa has nearly 200,000 taxis. This sector generates more than 40 billion rand (US$2.7 billion) of revenue per year. But more than a quarter of taxis in circulation operate without a business license and pay no taxes.
The TRP provides compensatory financial support for the withdrawal of illegal taxis. This is to allow owners to acquire new vehicles that meet the standards. Already in June 2015, the Ministry of Transport had withdrawn 61,254 former taxis from traffic against the total payment of 3.4 billion rand in compensation.
In the context of the lekgotla resolutions, the South African government also intends to align the taxi sector with the national master plan for the automobile industry. The latter provides for the release of 60% of locally manufactured vehicles.
In addition, for better empowerment and self-regulation, there is also provision for the creation of a new single coordinating body for industry. It will replace the South African National Council of Taxis (Santaco), founded in 2001 and whose authority is regularly challenged by members.