fikilembalulaBusinessLive reports that SA’s taxi industry still expects the government to implement a subsidy for the sector, in line with transport minister Fikile Mbalula’s promises during the national taxi indaba last year.

Mbalula gave an undertaking during the summit in October that a subsidy for the industry would be introduced by April 2021. The government already subsidises rail and bus transport, including private bus operators. The transport department said at the time that it would reprioritise its budget to accommodate a subsidy for the industry. While it was remained unclear what form the subsidy would take, the department said frameworks had been proposed and that the best possible model would be selected. However, critics say the cash-strapped government cannot afford the subsidy, given SA’s dire financial situation spawned by Covid-19. Thabiso Molelekwa of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) said: “The government has not communicated with us to say they might not be able to implement the subsidy. We remain confident that the outcomes of the lekgotla will be implemented.” Molelekwa indicated that they would have formal engagements with the government soon on plans to implement the subsidy. Theo Malele of the National Taxi Alliance, which pulled out of the taxi summit at the eleventh hour due to differences with Mbalula over the Covid-19 relief fund for the sector, said they would hold Mbalula to account if he failed to implement the subsidy.

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