Taxi drivers

eThekwini taxi drivers deny benefiting from multi-million rand scheme

eThekwini taxi drivers say they haven’t benefited from the city’s Moja Cruise incentive program.

Initially, the program was officially launched in October 2018 by embattled former mayor Zandile Gumede. The aim was to reward taxi drivers who didn’t turn on the music, obeyed traffic laws, had trackers installed to ensure speed limits were observed and maintained their vehicles.

MOJA CRUISE TAXI DRIVERS DENY BENEFIT

Following a surveillance inspection, the Democratic Alliance (DA) at eThekwini has written to the City Manager, Musa Mbhele, asking for an investigation into the R200 million taxi incentive scheme.

According to the party, Moja Cruise Taxis should have benefited from the more than R200 million public transport service improvement incentive scheme recently approved by the city to incentivize minibus taxi (MBT) operators in the city.

DA eThekwini caucus leader Thabani Mthethwa said the monitoring contradicted the evidence on the issue of drivers receiving decent work contracts. From the many Moja Cruise taxi drivers they spoke to on Monday, October 10, it is explicitly clear that many are not benefiting from this initiative.

The taxi drivers claim they have not benefited from eThekwini Municipality’s Moja Cruise incentive scheme. Image: TMPD/Facebook

The drivers were said to have last been hired in 2018 during a training and their driving licenses were taken to make copies and that was the last they had heard of the scheme.

“The Moja Cruise taxi in which we were able to board was in very poor condition. The clutch and brake system is in poor condition and the owner would not be keen to service them. The taxi poses a serious danger to the driver and passengers. One of the main requirements is to have a maintenance plan for the benefit of the taxi. »

In 2021, The South African reported that there was no system in place for commuters to rate, report and give feedback on taxis and drivers, despite this being sold as the cornerstone of the system and a significant means for passengers to be assured of a quality service. .

Responses to Board questions from the DA revealed that the program costs between R800,000 and R1,000,000 per month. That aside from the initial establishment cost, which rose from R131 million to R202 million in 2017.

ALSO READ: Moja Cruise: eThekwini Municipality’s R1m Per Month Scheme Fails