Durban wants to regulate taxis
A row has erupted over an eThekwini Municipality proposal to reward the city’s notoriously errant taxi operators and minibus drivers.
A detailed report on the plan was tabled before Wednesday’s final council meeting for the outgoing term. The programme follows a lengthy stalemate after taxi operators brought the construction of the R22 billion Go!Durban project to a standstill when taxi workers invaded construction sites, threatening violence.
The city maintained that the programme was to “improve the quality of public transport”.
Municipal manager S’bu Sithole said in the report that it was “necessary that other programmes be considered to ensure that service standards improved across the city, and that empowerment programmes be initiated”.
An added advantage would be “the reduction of focus and risk for the implementation of the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network”.
Strict criteria for drivers
Operators and drivers would have to meet stringent “qualifying criteria”.
Vehicles would have operating licences, would have to be roadworthy and there would be formalised conditions of employment of drivers and other employees.
There should also be a maintenance programme for vehicles. A deal could be negotiated with dealerships to support a programme for training of mechanics.
Vehicles would also have to be fitted with tracking devices, while drivers would need an appropriate driver’s licence as well as an up-to-date PrDP (professional driver permit).
Vehicles would have to be “dispatched from ranks at regular intervals to improve predictability of service to passengers”.
Taxis could not be overloaded and could not exceed the speed limit or be driven recklessly. Drivers should not play loud music.
Penalties would be imposed.
The project would “facilitate the empowerment of existing operators; and promote black economic empowerment and enterprise development”.
Read the full story here: http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/durban-details-strict-new-taxi-plan-2037649
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