Mbalula says govt going ahead with plans to subsidise taxi industry

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula was speaking during the launch of the R1.1 billion taxi relief programme, which will see individual operators pocketing R5,000 each.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that the government was forging ahead with plans to subsidise the taxi industry.

Mbalula said that the multi-billion rand sector was the backbone of the country’s transport system and should be treated as such.

He was speaking during the launch of the R1.1 billion taxi relief programme, which will see individual operators pocketing R5,000 each.

Despite struggling to raise the COVID-19 relief funds for the industry that saw the process drag on since the onset of the pandemic, Minister Mbalula said that government would subsidise taxis.

The Competition Commission’s land-based public passenger transport market inquiry from last year flagged the skewed relationship between ridership levels and subsidy funding.

It said that commuters still preferred the unsubsidised taxis for several reasons despite the government’s investment in buses.