Department of Transport
The Taxi Lekgotla Public Discourse Platform has been launched.
In a speech announcing the launch, the transport minister, Fikile Mbalula, described the platform as a dialogue with industry and civil society on topical issues in the taxi industry that require resolution.
“It will provide an opportunity to stakeholders and civil society at large to contribute to the solutions that will place us on a sustainable footing to deliver an industry of the future, able to sustain itself,” he said.
The minister pointed out that unity of the taxi industry “remains a pervasive challenge, as violence and conflict driven by turf wars and leadership contestations continues unabated”.
He added that associations remain unregulated and operators are not held accountable for their conduct through an enforceable Code of Conduct, leadership of the South African National Taxi Council as a recognised industry representative body is contested, the taxi industry remains an informal sector on the fringes of the formal economy, many operators do not pay corporate tax or comply with labour laws and the regulatory framework remains weak and ineffective due to a fragmented approach in law enforcement.
The minister declared that the launch will be followed by a staggered release of discussion documents and debates across all digital platforms on all identified themes of the National Taxi Indaba.
He added that the Task Team will engage with various stakeholders on proposals and other themes and webinars targeting thought leaders, opinion makers and other stakeholders will be organized.
Provincial Makgotla will be held between 20 September 2020 and 20 October 2020 on virtual platforms and a National Taxi Lekgotla is planned for 29 – 30 October 2020.
The minister described the National Taxi Lekgotla as a platform to consolidate consensus on sustainable ways to formalise and regulate the industry underpinned by an economic empowerment model designed to benefit all taxi operators.
The minister declared that the “launch of this public discourse platform is an invitation to the taxi industry, workers, commuters and the rest of civil society to engage with the discussion documents and take the opportunity to participate in formulating the blueprint for a taxi industry of the future”.
Themes covered in the discussion documents include unity and leadership, industry regulation, industry empowerment model, professionalism, road safety, customer care and commuter safety and gender based violence.