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The Eastern Cape is ahead of all the other provinces in scrapping old taxi vehicles as part of the taxi recapitalisation plan.
Ncedo Kumbaca, provincial roads and Transport Department spokesman, said yesterday that since the official launch of the scrapping process in the province on December 14, 828 taxis had been submitted to the main scrapping site in Zwelitsha, near King William's Town.
A total of 730 operators had already received the R50000 paid as an incentive to those who submitted their vehicles for scrapping, he said. This translates into a total of more than R36million that had been paid out to taxi operators.
Kumbaca said his department was very impressed by the enthusiasm for the recapitalisation process shown by the taxi industry in the province.
He said more operators were still applying to have their vehicles scrapped and about 180 new applications for verification would be processed, whereby taxi operators bring their vehicles and receive their money within three days.
Kumbaca commended those operators who had responded positively to the recapitalisation programme and applauded the leadership of the taxi industry in the province, which had helped the department in encouraging taxi operators to come forward.
"We are determined to accelerate the scrapping process due to the number of operators, who have shown interest," Kumbaca said.
He said the department had allocated R4million to help the provincial structure of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) since last year.
An agreement for reporting and accounting purposes had been signed between the provincial Santaco structure and the department. This would improve communication between the department, the taxi industry leadership and operators at grass roots level, he said.
But Ntsikelelo Goniwe, spokesman for the Eastern Cape Taxi Council, said there had been delays in the issuing of payments and operating licences.