The Taxi Recapitalization Programme (TRP) is an intervention by Government to bring about safe, effective, reliable, affordable and accessible taxi operations by introducing New Taxi Vehicles (NTVs) designed to undertake public transport functions in the taxi industry. The programme is not only about scrapping old taxi vehicles but also about how best operators can be assisted to benefit constructively in the industry through empowerment. In addition, it is also about extending subsidized contract by exploring mechanisms on how the industry can benefit from the subsidy system. All legal taxi operators in possession of Valid Operating Licenses linked to a legally registered taxi issued by an authorized Operating Licensing Board qualify to take part in the TRP.
Compulsory safety and other requirements on New Taxi Vehicles (NTVs)
Government has for the first time prescribed “compulsory safety and other requirements” to protect passengers, operators, pedestrians, motorists and other road users. The compulsory requirements are also meant to ensure passenger comfort.Compulsory safety and other requirements for NVTs are as follows:
- Type II A Brake system
- Rollover bars
- Seatbelts for all passengers in the taxi
- Maximum speed of 100km per hour
- Commercial 8 ply rated tyre of 14/185 or 14/195 for minibus taxis
- Reflective warning markings on the sides of the taxi
- Minimum seat size of 400mm
- No jockey or fold up seats
- One passenger on the front seat of the taxi (to make provision for electronic ticketing system)
- An interior notice indicating how many passengers should be carried by the taxi; and
- Dimensions for the provision of the wheelchair in the taxi, should the operator opt to purchase a taxi that is special–needs-people–accessible
The national launch of the new taxi vehicles took place on 28 October 2006 at the Botshabelo Stadium in the Free State Province.The NTVs come in three categories, namely:
- M1 Minibus to carry: 9 – 16 people including the driver;
- M2 Minibus to carry: 17 – 28 people including the driver; and
- M3 Minibus to carry: 29 – 35 people including the driver.
Status of Programme
- The TRP current contract is in its penultimate year with regard to the contract period and so far about 45 000 old taxi vehicles have been scrapped nationally at a cost of R2.3bn out of an initial target of 12 000 old minibus taxis.