An historical overview of problems associated with the formalization of the South African minibus taxi industry

The ascendancy of the minibus taxi industry in South Africa was a consequence of the apartheid policy of situating poorly serviced black settlements on the periphery of the urban conurbations. This article outlines the structure, size and importance of South Africa’s minibus taxi industry, employment conditions in the industry, taxi violence, transport needs, minimum wages, and the government’s taxi recapitalization programme, which was introduced in 2005 to formalize the sector by regulating taxi fares, the labour conditions of drivers, and more stringent safety specifications. The author argues that little has changed in the industry and this is largely due to self-appointed ‘strongmen’ having opportunistically usurped the enforcement of certain of the State’s regulatory strictures. Furthermore, while the State is trying to formalize the industry by means of a raft of regulations, it continues to neglect to enforce basic ‘rules’ which could serve to rehabilitate the sector. Notes, ref., sum. in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Title: An historical overview of problems associated with the formalization of the South African minibus taxi industry
Author: Ingle, Mark
Year: 2009
Periodical: New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Issue: 57
Pages: 71-87
Language: English
Geographic term: South Africa
Abstract: The ascendancy of the minibus taxi industry in South Africa was a consequence of the apartheid policy of situating poorly serviced black settlements on the periphery of the urban conurbations. This article outlines the structure, size and importance of South Africa’s minibus taxi industry, employment conditions in the industry, taxi violence, transport needs, minimum wages, and the government’s taxi recapitalization programme, which was introduced in 2005 to formalize the sector by regulating taxi fares, the labour conditions of drivers, and more stringent safety specifications. The author argues that little has changed in the industry and this is largely due to self-appointed ‘strongmen’ having opportunistically usurped the enforcement of certain of the State’s regulatory strictures. Furthermore, while the State is trying to formalize the industry by means of a raft of regulations, it continues to neglect to enforce basic ‘rules’ which could serve to rehabilitate the sector. Notes, ref., sum. in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]