According to the Gauteng Department of Community Safety, the taxi industry – stretching 42 associations – owes the government R4.5 billion in fines.
The SABC reported chief operating officer of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, Thabo Tsholetsane, as saying that some operators owed R4.2 million in fines.
The revelation was made at a meeting between Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi–Malobane, Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, and taxi bosses, at the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Headquarters in Martindale.
It follows a spate of fatal accidents involving taxis. Vadi pointed out that in the last six months 100 fatal accidents and 156 deaths have occurred in Gauteng.
“We are here today to form partnerships with taxi owners to address the behaviour of taxi drivers,” Vadi said.
“A travel survey conducted recently in Gauteng revealed that commuters are extremely unhappy about the behaviour of taxi drivers, ” the MEC said. “According to the travel survey taxi drivers are rude and unsafe we need to clean up the industry.”
“If this behaviour continues talking will come to an end and aggressive enforcement will be the order of the day unless they (taxi drivers) comply with the rules of the road,” MEC Vadi said.
Read: SA taxis are better at driving than you: expert
Nkosi-Malobane said it is the responsibility of taxi owners to ensure that vehicles are fit to be on the road.
The MEC stressed that taxis are only allowed to drive 100km in a 120km zone.
The department has proposed several ways to try to find a resolution to the high accident rate including:
- Road shows to engage taxi drivers;
- All taxi drivers must be vetted;
- Establish a school of excellence to train taxi drivers.
The department said that the Road Traffic Management Corporation offers various programs including defensive driving training and they will engage taxi associations to get drivers to take the course.
source: Business Tech