Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 8-11 July 2013 "Transport and Sustainable Infrastructure", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
In order to address aged and un-roadworthy vehicles that had become one of the major contributory factors to many public transport vehicle accidents, government through the National Department of Transport (NDoT), initiated and eventually implemented the Taxi Recapitalization Project after many years of planning and stakeholder consultation. The R7.7 billion project rollout began in October 2006 and is still under implementation.
Whilst the taxi recapitalization project has helped to replace most of the aged and unroadworthy minibus taxis with new taxi vehicles, there are many interventions that were to
be implemented as part of the taxi recapitalization project that have not been implemented,
thus limiting the potential success impact of the project from meeting the strategic objectives set at the project conceptualization. One of the key questions regarding the taxi
recapitalization project is to what extent is the taxi recapitalization project effective as a solution to the taxi industry problems.
Furthermore, vehicle replacement alone has proven to be not a panacea to the taxi industry challenges. Skills development of the drivers as well as customer care issues remain a key challenge for the taxi recapitalization project, clearly indicating a need for a much more comprehensive intervention to transform the taxi industry.
Affordability of the new taxi recapitalization vehicles coupled with vehicle finance constraints, are other key issues and current challenges to the taxi operators. The high prices of the new vehicles in relation to the small scrapping allowance which operators argue is insufficient to pay a deposit for a new taxi recapitalization vehicle has become a barrier to many existing operators from migrating from the old and unsafe vehicles to new “safer” recapitalized vehicles.
Drawing from the research conducted in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg taxi industry, the
proposed paper seeks to evaluate as to what extent the taxi recapitalization project has been a success or failure. The paper also seeks to recommend the necessary interventions to government (National Department of Transport) on how the implementation of the project can be improved going forth.
This paper was transferred from the original CD ROM created for this conference. The material was published using Adobe Acrobat 10.1.0 Technology.
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