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Amendments to the National Land Transport Act have been signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The amendments will allow e-haling drivers, including those working for apps like Uber and Bolt, to apply for operating licences like any other form of public transport service in South Africa.

From now on, e-haling apps won’t be required to use charter permits and meter taxi operating licences.

The changes weren’t made overnight, and the matter has been on the cards for almost 14 years. In 2020, former Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula submitted the amended act to the National Assembly for consideration.

According to Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga, the law has been updated to keep up with the times.

“This Bill amends the National Land Transport Act of 2009 to bring it up to date with developments since the implementation and simplifies various provisions or solves problems that have arisen since the implementation.”

Chikunga also said the amendments “make provisions for non-motorised and accessible transport”.

Obtaining the correct permits has been a massive challenge for e-hailing drivers. This often led to several of these drivers operating illegally.

Top Auto reports that in February 2020, a provincial report published by the Competition Commission revealed that 79% of ride-hailing operators in South Africa were providing the service without valid operating licences.

Image credit: News24

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