- Fikile Mbalula announced that the Department of Transport would make R1.1 billion available to provide relief to taxi drivers and e-hailing operators after the pandemic
- Mbalula said that the fund would be able to give R5 000 to 227 000 drivers once-off, but there are certain conditions attached
- These forms of transport are estimated to serve 70% of households in South Africa and have an annual R5 billion earning potential
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JOHANNESBURG - Fikile Mbalula, the Minister of Transport, announced that the department would make R1.1. billion available to create a fund that will provide relief to taxi drivers and e-hailing operators to assist them with the financial losses they incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mbalula said that the fund would be able to give R5 000 to 227 000 drivers once-off. These forms of transport are estimated to serve 70% of households in South Africa, and before 2020 the industry earned about R5 billion in revenue annually.
Driver's licence card printer still broken, traffic departments nationwide experience severe backlog
Since March 2020, Covid-19 policies and protocols have interrupted the regular operation of these transport services, which has reduced their earning potential, News24 reports. These policies include more people working remotely, no international tourists and periods where the services were not operating.
How the transport relief fund will work
Yesterday (11 January), the application process officially opened. However, only licensed taxi -and e-hailing operators who have registered for tax with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) will be eligible to receive money from the fund, according to BusinessTech.
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In addition to needing a tax number and operating license, recipients must be permanent South African residents with the necessary documents to prove it. Applications can be completed online on the department's website.
The Department of Transport first presented the idea of the fund in July 2020, and a spokesperson said they regret that it took 18 months to implement. Applications are expected to close at the end of March.
Driver's licence printer still broken, traffic departments nationwide backed up
In other news about the Department of Transport, Briefly News reported yesterday that the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) conducted an investigation which found that the machine used to print driver's licences cards is not only 20 years old, but has also been broken since November 2021.
This has caused a severe backlog at traffic departments across South Africa as 383 000 people are waiting for their new driver's licence cards to be issued. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that the broken machine is the only one of its kind in South Africa, meaning that there is no other way to get the cards printed until the machine is fixed.
To ensure they are not caught with an expired driver's licence, drivers have to get a temporary driver's licence which costs R90 each. It is estimated that a total of R45 million will be paid by drivers who need temporary licences.
Source: Briefly News