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fikilembalulaIOL reports that the Department of Transport’s R1.135 billion Covid-19 taxi relief fund will be distributed by the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) for R40 million and qualifying operators will receive a once-off ex gratia payment of R5,000.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula explained that the fund was to assist operators in alleviating the impact of Covid-19 in the taxi industry. ”The relief fund of an amount of R5,000 per qualifying operator is not intended to compensate for loss of income,” Mbalula indicated in directions dated 2 December as issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act . According to the minister, the taxi industry bore the brunt of the restrictions implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus after it was initially forced to limit vehicle capacity to 50% and later 70%. He said the net effect of the stringent measures was a declining revenue base and increasing costs that have left many taxi operators struggling to stay afloat financially. To qualify, taxi operators will have to be South African citizens or permanent residents, be in possession of a valid operating license or a receipt as proof of renewal of an operational license at the start of the national lockdown. Taxi operators are defined as any person holding an operating license to ferry passengers for reward by either a motorcar, minibus or midi-bus. Operators will also need to have been registered with the SA Revenue Service (Sars) for income tax at the start of the national state of disaster in March last year. The deadline for the submission of applications for the taxi relief fund is 28 February 2022, and payments must be completed by the end of March next year.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Loyiso Sidimba at IOL


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