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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has said that his department will be setting aside R1.1 billion to give some much-needed relief to drivers and operators of minibus taxis, cabs and e-hailing services.

The aim is to assist the drivers who were affected by the pandemic and the national lockdowns.

Mbalula announced that applications are now open, but that there are certain terms and conditions related to the payouts.

The relief payment will be a total of R5000 and will only be once-off. Only licensed taxi operators that are registered with the South African Revenue Service.

It’s estimated that about 70% of South African households make use of the taxi industry daily. With national lockdowns and Covid protocol, the industry was hit hard. Another factor that had a massive impact on the industry is the work from home approach that many companies have taken since the pandemic and are still continuing to implement.

Mbalula said that the entire taxi industry experienced a loss of income with some even reporting no income at all.

“Almost 20% of more of the taxi industry experienced a total loss of income, particularly the long-distance and cross-border operators as a result of the closure of international borders and the prohibition of inter-provincial travel.”

Image credit: Daily Maverick

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