Taxi recapitalisation project back on track

The transport minister says the plan now aims to scrap 130,000 unsafe mini-bus taxis.

The Transport Ministry is continuing with its taxi recapitilisation programme.

CAPE TOWN - The Transport Ministry says its Taxi Recapitalisation Programme is now back on track and is making progress.

The controversial plan was scheduled to commence in late 2005 but was suspended due to budgetary constraints.

It also had taxi owners and drivers up in arms.

The initiative aims to rid the industry of unsafe vehicles and unscrupulous operators.

In a parliamentary response, Transport Minister Ben Martins said the plan now aims to scrap over 130,000 unsafe mini-bus taxis.

The initial target of 100,000 was set in October 2006 with a budget of more than R7 billion.

Almost seven years later the plan has seen just over 54,000 taxis scrapped.

Mvuyisi Menthe of the Bellville Taxi Association says many in the sector have been resisting the plan for years, as they believe the amount they are paid out for their vehicles to be scrapped is not enough.

"We are concerned about the amount. Is the taxi owner going to manage with the amount that he's given?"

The scrapping allowance has increased from R50,000 to over R60,000.