Feb 2022 2nd Edition

Taxi industry gets COVID-19 Relief Fund

Written by: Kgaogelo Letsebe

South African taxi operators and owners are in line to benefit from a once-off Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Relief Fund.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the R1.35 billion relief fund will be shared by 137 000 minibus and 25 000 metered taxis and 63 000 e-hailing operators.

The taxi industry was one of the severely affected sectors during the Level 5 national lockdown in 2020. As travel was limited, citizens were urged to work from home and cut out non-essential travel.

Minister Mbalula says his department partnered with the National Empowerment Fund to manage the distribution of the funds.

“Almost 20% or more of the taxi industry experienced total loss of income.   

 This included long-distance and cross-border operators as a result of the closure of international borders and the prohibition of inter-provincial travel,” says the Minister.

 Thabiso Makhubela, an owner-driver from Ga-Rankuwa in Gauteng, can attest to this.

 “The national lockdown hurt us as owners. Some taxis were repossessed. This relief fund will help to elevate some (financial) pressure,” says Makhubela.

How to apply

Applications for the relief fund can be found on the department’s website. 

 Applications can be completed online by the taxi operator/owner or with the assistance of a call centre agent.

To qualify for the relief, the applicant must:

  • Be a South African citizen or a permanent resident;
  • Be in possession of a valid operating licence or a receipt as proof of renewal issued on or before the date of the declaration of the national state of disaster; 
  • Be registered with the South African Revenue Service as a taxpayer.

The closing date for applications is 28 February 2022. 

For more information, visit: http://transport.gov.za, contact the call centre toll free on 0800 201 971 or SMS: 45864.  

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