The Western Cape government has launched an initiative aimed at reducing illegal taxi operations and the deadly conflict in the industry.
The provincial government’s Blue Dot Taxi was launched in Cape Town, and will initially include over a thousand vehicles. They will participate in an incentive programme aimed at rewarding good behaviour.
Recent incidents of violence around taxi routes and illegal operations have led to the loss of 16 lives so far this year. Provincial Minister of Transport Bonginkozi Madikizela says ensuring the safety of commuters is also of paramount importance.
He says, “We are starting with 1300 taxis and the intention really is to run this full steam. That will only happen if we redeem ourselves as the industry and stop killing each other. Stop these things of route invasions etc, stop breaking the law.This is the commitment that we have shown as government.”
Various taxi organisations have welcomed the initiative. Passengers can provide feedback on the service using their cellphones and this will influence taxi ratings and rewards. The initiative will be operational next month.