SA’s public transport system lacks integration, Competition Commission finds

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele on Wednesday released the final recommendations of the 2020 Public Transport Market Inquiry report.

FILE: Metrorail's physical distance markers. Picture:: Metrorail.

CAPE TOWN - The Competition Commission has found a lack of integration and high inequality within South Africa's public transport system.

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele on Wednesday released the final recommendations of the 2020 Public Transport Market Inquiry report.

The inquiry was initiated after concerns around competition within the sector and looked into complaints from industry players and stakeholders.

The Competition Commission looked at price setting mechanisms, price regulation and routes.

LISTEN: Competition Commission releases the public transport report

Its inquiry focused on minibus taxis, busses, trains and e-hailing services.

Bonakele said the lack of integration was worsened by the persistent inequality between the modes of transport.

He said the differences in service levels further deepened the socio-economic divide in society, as public transport was now catering for different classes.

There are particular concerns around Metrorail: “Metrorail service is considered a social service and are thus provided in the interest of the public. However, Metrorail is generally inefficient in the provision of urban rail communal service.”

Another example is in the provision of rail services by both Metrorail and Gautrain, which Bonakele said was not an efficient utilisation of limited government funding, as both services were subsidised.

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