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Uber, Bolt face R100K fines for illegal drivers

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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula says the department will submit a Bill that will see e-hailing service providers like Uber and Bolt being fined up to R100 000 for allowing illegal operators to get on the roads without being licensed.

The minister made this announcement when he briefed the media on the National Land Transport Amendment Bill ahead of the piece of legislation being considered by the National Assembly in the afternoon.

“This afternoon, the National Assembly will consider the National Land Transport Amendment Bill, a critical piece of legislation in our ongoing efforts to make public transport responsive to the needs of our people. The most important provisions of this Bill include the regulation of e-hailing services.

“It not only creates a new category of operating licences, but it also imposes certain obligations on the technology providers not to allow illegal operators on their technology platforms. Such conduct will be punishable by a penalty of up to R100 000,” he said.

Mbalula said the Bill is aimed at strengthening regulations and will empower provincial regulatory entities to withdraw or suspend an operating licence where an operator has contravened the National Land Transport Act or the Road Traffic Act.

“These powers strengthen the existing provisions that allow government to suspend operations where there are instances of violence of the lives of innocent people are placed at risk as a result of the conduct of the operator.”

He said the Bill will further deal with issues of handling public complaints and treatment of passengers, colour coding as well as ensuring members of the SAPS and metro police have no business interests in the operations of public transport.

“This Bill is part of a package of laws that we have placed before Parliament to enable us to move swiftly in creating a transport sector that plays its rightful role as a driver of the economy and an enabler of social emancipation.”

Mbalula said this and other Bills currently before Parliament will go a long way in helping the department meet its objectives to accelerate service delivery in its five priority areas:

* Safety as an enabler of service delivery;

* Public transport that enables social emancipation and an economy that works;

* Infrastructure build that grows the economy;

* Building a maritime nation, elevating the oceans economy; and

* Accelerated transformation towards greater economic participation.

“These priorities constitute our roadmap towards a transport sector that is truly responsive to the aspirations of our people and a transport system that will enable greater economic participation and access to social amenities.”

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