Taxi operators stand to get about R5,000 from government's COVID-19 relief fund

The minister explained that the figure is the outcome of a calculation based on the existing number of minibus taxis, metered taxis and e-hailing partners.

FILE: Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula launched the COVID-19 taxi relief fund on Tuesday, 11 January 2022. Picture: Department of Transport.

JOHANNESBURG - Taxi operators could receive about R5,000 each from the R1 billion Taxi Relief Fund that was launched on Tuesday.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula explained that the figure was the outcome of a calculation based on the existing number of minibus taxis, metered taxis and e-hailing partners in the country.

The relief package was meant to help cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.

Available data from the Transport Department indicated that there were about 137,000 legal minibus taxis, 25,000 metered taxis, 1,900 cross border taxis and approximately 63,188 e-hailing partners.

Mbalula emphasised that although e-hailing was included in the group, this did not include corporate entities such as Uber or Bolt.

He said the once-off payment was a demonstration of the seriousness with which government takes the taxi industry.

“The relief funding is intended to mitigate the negative financial impact of COVID-19 on the industry without compensating for the loss of income, but rather, based on the principle an ex gratia payment.”

Some of the conditions that must be met include that applicants should be South African citizens or permanent residents and be in possession of valid operating licences.