Introduction and Background Information
The biggest challenge for the Department of Transport is the restructuring of the public transportation system. In South Africa public transportation for the poor is often depicted through gory pictures of minibus crashes, bodies of loved ones scattered on our roads. The South Africa public transportation system however also represents a model of successful black economic self-empowerment. It is the only sector where blacks control an entire sector through their ownership of the Taxi mode of transportation.
The minibus taxi industry is today the most critical pillar of our public transport sector. Not only is it the most available mode of transport, it is also the most affordable to the public. The minibus taxi industry emerged in the wake of the apartheid government’s policy of economic deregulation, initiated in 1987. From the early 1980s onwards, taxi operators began using larger ‘kombi’ minibuses that could carry up to 15 passengers. Until formal deregulation in 1987, such taxis were illegal.