Being Taken for a Ride: Privatisation of the Dar es Salaam Transport System, 1983-1998

This paper analyses the dynamics and effects of privatization for the deregulation of the transport system in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in particular the operation of the city’s buses, or ‘daladala’. It first describes the initial regulatory framework of the system under the monopoly regime up to 1983 and the dismal performance of the public transport system up to that date. Then it analyses the progressive deregulation of the sector and its impact on the supply side. The third section evaluates the performance of the private sector. Increased competition, resulting from the oversupply of the market, is suggested as the most distinctive feature of the transition, to be seen in the deepening exploitation of casual workers, increasingly pervasive non-compliance with safety rules, and continued conflict between tariff-protected student travellers and bus workers. The results of a questionnaire answered by 668 workers suggest that the reaction of casual workers to exploitative conditions of employment characterizes many aspects of the operation of the transport system. In the final section, the activities and role of the association of bus owners is outlined for this period of transition. The paper concludes that there is a need for State regulation to monitor and enforce conditions of employment within the private sector if service provision is to be improved. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.

Title: Being Taken for a Ride: Privatisation of the Dar es Salaam Transport System, 1983-1998
Author: Rizzo, Matteo
Year: 2002
Periodical: Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume: 40
Issue: 1
Period: March
Pages: 133-157
Language: English
Geographic term: Tanzania
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876084
Abstract: This paper analyses the dynamics and effects of privatization for the deregulation of the transport system in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in particular the operation of the city’s buses, or ‘daladala’. It first describes the initial regulatory framework of the system under the monopoly regime up to 1983 and the dismal performance of the public transport system up to that date. Then it analyses the progressive deregulation of the sector and its impact on the supply side. The third section evaluates the performance of the private sector. Increased competition, resulting from the oversupply of the market, is suggested as the most distinctive feature of the transition, to be seen in the deepening exploitation of casual workers, increasingly pervasive non-compliance with safety rules, and continued conflict between tariff-protected student travellers and bus workers. The results of a questionnaire answered by 668 workers suggest that the reaction of casual workers to exploitative conditions of employment characterizes many aspects of the operation of the transport system. In the final section, the activities and role of the association of bus owners is outlined for this period of transition. The paper concludes that there is a need for State regulation to monitor and enforce conditions of employment within the private sector if service provision is to be improved. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.