Department of Transport dismisses taxi fund “scam” claims

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The National Department of Transport has dismissed claims that the Taxi Relief Fund is a scam.On 30 March 2021, the government issued the first directive for the provision of relief for taxi operators. This was because, in South Africa, the taxi industry bore the brunt of measures meant to restrict gatherings and general mobility in order to curb the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic.

On January 11, 2022, Government officially launched the Taxi Relief Fund in Sandton, Gauteng. The TRF is a scheme set aside to mitigate the negative impact suffered by taxi operators due to the national lockdown imposed in March 2020 to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The taxi industry is one of the sectors that was heavily affected by the lockdown.

In a statement, the department said “It is against this backdrop that the National Department of Transport has learned with concern, assertions doing the rounds that the Taxi Relief Fund (TRF) is a scam and that legible and qualifying taxi operators are being discouraged from applying for it”.

The Government allocated a once-off ex-gratia fund to the value of R1,135 billion for the operators of minibus taxis and e-hailing services with valid operating licenses as of March 2020.

Taxi operators have until 31st March 2023 to apply for the relief fund, however, the Department encourages operators to apply now and not wait for the last minute.

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