Eastern Cape taxi operators are ready to embrace the taxi recapitalisation programme.
This statement, by the president of the Eastern Cape Taxi Council, Zanemvula Gaya, comes at a time when taxi operators in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape vehemently oppose the move and have already held several protest marches.
Gaya said the Eastern Cape taxi operators were surprised that some other provinces were so against the programme.
He said everything involved with its implementation was "unanimously adopted at a meeting held in Pretoria some years ago".
"I think some provinces became disgruntled when things were moving too slowly, despite certain procedures and guidelines encompassing the programme being agreed upon," Gaya said.
The new system stands to benefit everyone - from taxi owners to commuters, he said.
With everything regulated, the industry would not be "overpopulated". There were cases where one person sometimes owned as many as 10 taxis, he said.
Commuters, after recapitalisation would be more comfortable and would not have to be squeezed into "those old coffins- on-wheels", he said.
Asked if the new system would see the eradication of taxi-related violence, Gaya said he had long advocated that municipal authorities should take charge of the taxi ranks and lay down strict by-laws.
Gaya said about 2000 old taxis in the Eastern Cape were now ready to be phased out in the first stage of the recapitalisation programme.