City will keep on enforcing the law to ensure safe and legal public transport

Claims by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) that the City of Cape Town is ‘targeting’ minibus-taxi operators by issuing fines for transgressions and impounding illegal operators’ vehicles are dishonest to say the least. This is an attempt by some of those in the industry to establish a regime where they can operate with impunity. Of great concern also are attempts to undermine, threaten, and prevent other public transport service providers from operating in certain areas in Cape Town.

I want to make it very clear to Santaco: No single stakeholder has a monopoly over public transport in Cape Town.

Further: We will not be intimidated or discouraged from acting against those who are driving around without driver’s licences and transporting commuters in vehicles that are unlicensed and not roadworthy.

The National Land Transport Act (NLTA), signed into law by Parliament, applies to all public transport operators in South Africa. The act requires that operators who are providing a public transport service must be in possession of a legal public transport operating licence; and that the holder of this licence must comply with the conditions of the said operating licence.

Those operating without a legal public transport operating licence are liable for a fine, and are at risk of having their vehicles impounded – whether they are operating illegally in Cape Town, Joburg, Tshwane, or any other town or city in the country.

The City of Cape Town enforces the provisions of the NLTA without fear or favour.

Our Traffic By-law of 2021 makes provision for the impoundment of vehicles and we will keep on doing what we have to do to ensure that commuters are transported in roadworthy vehicles, by operators who have legal operating licences – be the operator a minibus-taxi, a metered-taxi, or any other public transport service provider.

The City’s Law Enforcement conducted a minibus-taxi operation in Hout Bay in the last week of January 2023. Over a period of five days alone, up to 881 fines to the value of R753 610 were issued. This is a staggering number of transgressions, among which:

• 10 arrests for outstanding warrants

• 85 warrants executed to the value of R191 210

• 40 minibus-taxis impounded, and drivers fined for operating without an operating licence or contravening the conditions of the operating licence

• 7 fines issued for using a cellphone while driving

• 20 fines for overloading

• 14 fines for driving without a number plate

• 54 fines issued for defective tyres

• 65 fines issued for operating an unlicensed motor vehicle

• 94 fines issued for operating without a valid driver’s licence

• 173 fines issued for driving without a seatbelt

• 319 fines were issued for other traffic related offences

Those operators who are operating legally, and comply with the rules of the road do not have to fear fines or impoundments, but those who are violating the law will be caught and fined.

The best solution is for Santaco to get its house in order, and to ensure its members comply with the traffic rules and the NLTA. It is in the interest of the safety of commuters and drivers that the City keeps on enforcing the Traffic By-law without fear or favour.

Furthermore, the City is committed to creating a fully integrated public transport system in Cape Town where commuters have a wide variety of public transport services to choose from, be it passenger rail, minibus-taxis, metered-taxis, the Golden Arrow Bus Service, or MyCiTi bus service.

The lifting of the moratorium on new applications for metered-taxi services is based on a demand method that confirmed that there is a need for this specific service – namely, metered-taxi services and that more operating licences should be made available to operate. As such, the City advised the Western Cape Provincial Regulatory Entity that the moratorium may be lifted.

Santaco has no right to prevent others from entering the public transport sector.

The minibus-taxi industry is represented on the City’s Minibus-taxi Inter-modal Planning Committee (IPC) subcommittee by way of the Santaco regions and the Santaco Chairperson represents the minibus-taxi industry, as well as at the Land Transport Advisory Board (LTAB). The IPC and LTAB serve as umbrella bodies or forums for engagement between government and the minibus-taxi industry. The IPC and LTAB are the appropriate forums to raise concerns and I encourage Santaco to use this forum to do so.

Source: City Of Cape Town