The IFP will be happy to throw its weight
behind the forthcoming Transport Month (October) in the light of
the recently published first ever national survey of the travel
habits of individuals and households in South Africa and the
rising petrol price.
The Survey, tabled in Parliament by
Transport Minister Jeff Radebe this week, is based on a
representative sample that covered about 50 000 households and
is aimed at understanding the domestic travel behaviour and
needs of individuals and households in South Africa. It found
that a staggering 63% of people in South Africa use taxis.
The survey also found that commuters are
spending more on taxis per month (R222) than on buses (R201) and
trains (R172), despite over R4,7 billion worth of government
subsidies being pumped into buses and trains.
"The IFP has always maintained that
South Africa's taxi industry is one of the most impressive
entrepreneurial stories of our time," said Mzwamandla Mzobe
MPP who serves his party's provincial transport portfolio
commitee. "As staunch supporters of free enterprise, we in
the IFP hail the gritty determination of taxi operators who have
created a thriving business and service without government
The numbers speak for themselves: our taxi
industry is a key player in the economy and in society,
consisting of over 150,000 public minibus taxis and boasting an
impressive annual turnover in excess of R16.5 billion.
"The IFP will use the opportunity
afforded by the upcoming Transport Month in October to turn the
spotlight on the taxi industry by promoting taxi
recapitalisation," said Mzobe.
Over the next seven years, the Taxi
Recapitalisation Programme, at a cost of R8 billion, will have
far-reaching consequences for both taxi operators and commuters
Mzobe also said:
"The IFP believes the intervention is
aimed at bringing greater benefits to both in the form of a safe
and reliable fleet, affordable services, better regulation and
more sophisticated maintenance.
"In addition, the IFP supports taxi
recapitalisation because it is already helping to eliminate
illegal operators, improving tax revenue collection and raising
safety and service standards.
"We, however, urge to government to
rethink the compensation levels to taxi operators, many of whom
are currently hostile to the programme since they perceive
themselves as its ultimate losers.
"The IFP also urges government to
afford the taxi industry enough breathing space while
implementing the programme, and allow its operators enough say
in the decision-making process that once made their
entrepreneurial miracle happen and grow."
Contact: Mzwamandla Mzobe, 072 058 9013