root - December 12, 2023

More than 1,000 people fed in celebration of new operating permits being awarded

Peter Luhanga 

More than 1,000 people from Dunoon feasted as 22 animals were slaughtered and roasted in a feast organised by the Dunoon Taxi Association (DTA) on 25 November. 

The occasion was a celebration of the DTA’s 23rd anniversary and their being granted 52 new operating permits by the Western Cape Provincial Regulatory Entity after petitioning for eight years to obtain them.

Joining in the celebrations, and in a show of unity, were top ranking members of rival taxi associations CATA and Codeta.

The festive bash took place at the newly upgraded Dunoon taxi rank, involving the slaughter of four cows, ten sheep, and eight pigs, not only celebrated the 52 new operating permits covering 29 routes, but also the completion of the taxi rank upgrades which cost R40-million. 

Dunoon taxi rank manager Nkosivumile ‘Tandix’ Ndikandika lauded the city of Cape Town for its support.

“We say thanks to our municipality for building for us a beautiful and expensive rank. And also for granting us permits for our 29 routes. Let us give a round of applause to our municipality,” said Ndikandika.

The new operating permits came after the DTA had to surrender 93 taxis prior to 2018 as part of the City’s MyCiTi compensation scheme, as the MyCiTi route from Blauwberg to the city was in competition with the DTA.

Former transport mayco member Brett Herron in 2018 said R79.1 million was paid to compensate minibus-taxi operators for surrendering their operating licences, and R5.2 million was paid for the vehicles running under those permits that were surrendered. 

Herron said the DTA had surrendered 93 minibuses, with 16 vehicles exempted at the time. 

Ndikandika said while the 52 operating permits they had now received were handed out by the provincial authority, they required the City of Cape Town’s approval. “Without them we cannot be taxi owners,” he said.

Currently mayco member for what is now called urban mobility, Rob Quintas, confirmed the City this year granted 52 new operating licences to the DTA, but these were for routes on which the MyCiTi buses do not operate.  The issuing of the permits was based on the current demand for the minibus taxi services, he said. 

Quintas was quick to clarify that no new licences were issued to the industry, including to the DTA, on current MyCiTi routes, as compensation had been paid for these routes.

“The restriction is currently still in place: where routes have been rationalised by [a MyCiTi bus] service, no new operating licences will be supported unless the [MyCiTi] service is fully subscribed,” said Quintas.

He said under the City’s current transport plan, minibus-taxis were part of an integrated solution in what is referred to as a “hybrid model”. In this plan, MyCiTi buses and minibus-taxis complemented each other, with minibus taxis acting as a feeder service to MyCiTi stations which operated on trunk routes.  

He said the City intends to engage the minibus-taxi industry to provide feeder services in all its future roll-outs of the MyCiTi bus service.

The approval and granting of the new operating permits was a result of Phase 1 of the Minibus Taxi Special Regulatory Project (SRP) which is yet to be completed, but so far 3,780 new minibus-taxi service operating licences have been granted in this phase from 2020 until 2023. The 52 operating permits granted to the DTA were part of the SRP.

He said the DTA has been granted operating permits for the following routes: Bellville;  Durbanville; Malmesbury;  Nyanga;  Morningstar; Wolwerivier;  Claremont – Wynberg; Claremont; Bothasig; and Frankdale.

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