RECAP FEE TORMENT
A Mpumalanga taxi operator has turned to the courts to force the department of transport to pay him R50000 for his scrapped vehicle after he has waited a year for the money.
Themba Skosana told Sowetan that his unroadworthy minibus taxi was scrapped in line with the taxi recapitalisation programme and he has been waiting since April last year to be paid the R50000 he is owed.
"Now I don't have the old vehicle or the promised scrapping fee," Skosana said.
"The state removed my taxi from the road more than a year ago and it was my only source of income.
"I haven't been able to put bread on the table. My family and I now depend on the goodwill of our extended family and friends to survive."
He said he regretted taking part in the government's taxi recapitalisation programme, which is aimed at ridding South Africa's roads of unsafe minibus taxis and introducing new and more reliable vehicles.
Skosana said he took his minibus taxi to be scrapped in White River in April last year after being told that he qualified for the once-off allowance of R50000. His unroadworthy taxi was registered.
The scrapping allowance is paid out over seven years to ensure that the national fiscus can afford it.
Skosana said officials told him he would be paid within days.
"I went back to White River and they said they required more information," he said.
"After providing the information I expected to get the money within days but it is more than a year now and my family is starving because my minibus was all I had."
Mpumalanga department of roads and transport spokesman David Nkambule said the department would investigate.
In January this year another man, who waited for nearly a year without earning an income because his minibus taxi was scrapped, was paid the R50000 after battling for a long time to extract it from the department.
Nicolas Magagula complained that his decision to heed the government's call to bring his old minibus taxi to be scrapped had turned into a nightmare.
More than 400 taxis have been scrapped in Mpumalanga so far.