Recapitalizing Mini-bus Taxis For Effective Public Transportation In South Africa: The Urban Rural Transport Connection Problem
Free (open access)
M. P. Sebola
This paper argues that the recapitalization of mini-bus taxis in South Africa as a solution to the public transport challenge is not fairly achievable as a public transport policy objective. The Taxi Recapitalization Programme (TRP) of the mini-bus taxi industry in South Africa was adopted to improve commuter safety, end violence in the industry and to professionalize the business in order to improve its economic viability. The intended benefits of the policy have thus far produced contradictory results with the resultant effects such as impossible policy implementation problems, retention of status quo of the old taxi business after policy due dates and the collapse of mini-bus taxi businesses of intended beneficiaries of the policy. The mini-bus taxi industry in South Africa was historically operated on a self-imposed specific context suitable for an environment of business operation. The environmental context (urban or rural) is very important as it determines the success of a public policy in benefiting citizens concerned. The paper further argues that had the application of the TRP been applied with the consideration of differing geographical contexts of South Africa, success could have been fairly achieved. This paper therefore conclude that the application of a one-size-fits-all approach of the TRP to all mini-bus taxi owners irrespective of consideration of environmental contexts (rural or urban) is a cause of the failure of the implementation of the programme in South Africa.
mini-bus taxi, taxi operator, environmental contexts, urban transport,recapitalization, public transport.