The World Health Organization (WHO) contends that road safety must be appreciated from the basis of it being a shared responsibility; and has to be based on cooperation and coordination by all the state agencies, general public and private sector, working together at every sphere to establish initiatives geared towards improved traffic safety outcomes. In South Africa’s informal transport industry, the minibus taxi industry has critiqued that public administrators do not sufficiently prioritize economic, human behavior and lifestyle related issues in the regulation of the market until it is too late. Perceptively, driver behavior of minibus taxi operators and other road safety concerns continue to plague South Africa’s road network and contribute negatively to the country’s road safety record. Government had responded to these challenges by establishing an enabling policy, institutional and regulatory framework that aims to encourage authorities to maintain control of industry governance and eradicate violent conflicts between minibus associations emanating from a myriad of activities including corruption in route and license allocation, route infringement, operating unlicensed vehicle etc. Contribution: In this paper, we explore the regulatory environment that governs the minibus taxi industry, and describe the current government approach towards regulation. Further, we build on the knowledge advanced by researchers regarding the need for targeted and coordinated public transport reform initiatives through the introduction of governance i.e. self-regulation. Based on the assessment of the interaction between regulation, and industry governance; it is argued that newer forms of management and control must be explored, embraced and appreciated as potential critical contributors to sustainable business practices. Most importantly, self-regulation mechanisms are suggested as having significant potential to assist in addressing the need to a) re-orientate relationships between stakeholders that interface with the minibus taxi industry at various levels through streamlining, coordinating, monitoring and evaluation of industry initiatives, and b) help escalate human behavior facets when resolving road traffic problems through targeted improvement in user knowledge, vehicle quality, operational efficiency, employment conditions, skills development and attitudes.
Papers presented at the 36th Southern African Transport Conference, CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa on 10-13 July 2017.