Department of Transport launches workshop to educate the minibus taxi industry
17 Aug 2010
Today marks the launch of a series of workshops organised by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works to educate the minibus taxi industry and metered taxi operators in the province about changes in the public transport legislation.
Accordingly, the department will over the next five months conduct workshops throughout the province to train the industry about the implications of the recently promulgated National Land Transport Act (Act 5 of 2009) and the National Land Transport Regulations to operators.
Minister Carlisle emphasised that the workshops are part of the departments goal to ensure that the minibus taxi industry has a clear understanding of its responsibilities, obligations and rights in terms of national public transport legislation. Some of the major changes heralded by the new legislation include the reduction of the waiting period for the adjudication of an application for an operating license from 90 to 60 days. The issuing of renewal notices for operating licenses by the issuing authority (Provincial Operating Licensing Board) alerting operators to renew their licenses in time.
"These workshops are long overdue. The Western Cape Provincial Taxi Council approached me with a request to educate its members about all public transport legislation to ensure that they fully understand their responsibilities, obligations, and rights in terms of the laws that govern their industry. The industry's request for these workshops is a testament of its commitment to do the right things to grow the industry and empower its members. For my department, this is part of an ongoing general programme to empower the taxi operators and drivers and further consolidate our harmonious relationship with the minibus taxi industry". says the Minister.
The Minister highlighted that the lack of effective communication between the government and minibus taxi industry on the changes in public transport legislation in the past often left operators unaware of these changes.
It is clear to me that government hasn't been effective enough in communicating with the industry regarding new legislation and policy. For instance, there was no communication to the industry on the transition from indefinite to definite period operating licenses. Consequently, more than 2 000 definite period operating licenses had to be cancelled and many operators are still unaware that they have to renew such licenses.
We want to change this with the workshops. We will conduct these workshops for all 153 taxi associations in the province to give every single operator the opportunity to attend a training session in his or her area of operation. The industry has, in turn, assured me that it will support the government in taking action against operators who flagrantly break the law added the Minister.
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Issued by: Western Cape Transport and Public Works
17 Aug 2010
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