‘We are ready for them’: Fikile Mbalula warns taxi relief fund scammers
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says the department is “ready” and will keep a watchful eye on scammers who apply for relief funding meant for qualifying taxi operators.
On Tuesday Mbalula outlined the implementation of the relief fund for taxi and e-hailing operators meant to ease the impact of lost income during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Requirements for funding include that applicants must be SA citizens or permanent citizens, must produce valid operating licences and must be registered taxpayers with the SA Revenue Service.
Mbalula said he wanted the money to reach the right people.
“I know there are a lot of scammers out there. We are ready for them. I hope when we conclude this process, we will not be scammed. Taxi operators, please don’t fall for scammers. Help us get this money to the right people,” said the minister.
He said each applicant will receive about R5,000 and said he was aware this was not enough to solve challenges faced by the industry at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mbalula said the taxi industry was the backbone of the public transportation system and the only industry that did not receive government business relief.
“The bus industry is benefiting from the government in terms of financial support. We give them money to transport people in and around the country. This is why, as minister of transport, I am reviewing the subsidy for public transport. Part of the relief will focus on supporting the industry.”
He said subsidising the taxi industry would relieve the working class who use taxis daily to commute to and from work and other destinations.