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Public transport inquiry to focus on escalating costs

The Competition Commission has launched an inquiry into the land-based public passenger transport sector following at least 10 complaints.

FILE: Bara Taxi Rank in Johannesburg. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Escalating public transport costs will be thrust into the spotlight when the Competition Commission investigates the sector.

The commission has launched an inquiry into the land-based public passenger transport sector following at least 10 complaints.

The organisation believes that certain aspects of the industry may be preventing or restricting competition.

The Transport Department determines the fees which metered taxis could charge customers.

But minibus taxis and app-based hailing services, such as Uber, are allowed to dictate how they charge, according to the Competition Commission.

The commission's two-year inquiry will investigate whether there are any inconsistencies in the price regulation and its impact on competition.

The commission's Sipho Ngwema says there were a variety of complaints.

“People have been complaining about app-based transport, prices and the fact that they’re not being subsidies… the various aspect that impacts on competition.”

The inquiry will also probe whether the allocation of government subsidies to commuter buses Metrorail and the Gautrain are entry barriers to potential competitors.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)