The taxi recapitalisation plan that Transport Minister Jeff Radebe launched way back in 2005 is still not achieving the government's stated aim of making the problem-prone industry any safer.
An amount of R7,7billion was allocated and approved to make taxis safer and to formalise the multi-million rand industry. Owners were also required to convert old permits into new operating licences. The owners of old and worn-out taxis would receive a R50000 allowance for each taxi scrapped. The plan was to have at least 80percent of the ageing fleet replaced by 2010. According to the department, 13415 vehicles have been scrapped so far.
Department spokesman Collen Msibi said R668million had already been paid out to individual operators as replacement costs.
The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) is reported to have certified 26 types of new taxis that comply with the compulsory safety requirements. More vehicle models are allegedly undergoing certification at the SABS.