Confusion over regulations requiring special licences for World Cup transport
NEW REGULATIONS which insist on special licences for anyone providing transport for a fee during the Fifa World Cup are a concern for people in the transport and hospitality industries.
The Department of Transport recently published the National Land Transport Regulation for the World Cup. They say special temporary licences must be applied for by the end of February.
Vehicles will also need a spe- cial roadworthy certificate after being inspected.
While industry leaders welcome the “much needed quality control”, they fear the authorities will be unable to process the applications in time. There is confusion over the licences.
The application must be submitted along with a R100 levy per vehicle.
The regulations affect anyone who provides transport for a fee as well as hotels and guest houses with more than three vehicles who transport guests to a World Cup-related event.
The head of the SA Bus Operators Association, Eric Cornelius, said thousands of buses, taxis and metered taxis would have to apply. “There will be masses of applications. We are concer ned that the provinces don’t have the capacity to issue these licences in time. They will have three months to wade through the applications.”
The authorities will have to check if transport operators have a criminal record and tax clearance, in addition to arranging for a roadworthy inspection and certificate.
The Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) has also raised concerns.
The organisation’s Western Cape deputy chairman, Rey Franco, said: “As matters stand, it is exceptionally confusing. We are not taking this lying down. A letter to the Minister of Transport’s secretary has been sent to clarify whether those with existing licences are now obliged to obtain a temporary licence as well.
“If so, we would like to know how the traffic authorities will differentiate between the temporary licence holders and those already complying with the national licensing requirements.”
The chairman of the Cape Town Metered Taxi Association, Abu Samodien, said they would be meeting provincial authorities this week.
Michael Tatalias, chief executive officer of South African Tourism Services Association, said the industry welcomed the regulations so that not any “old S’korokoro or rust bucket” could transport fans.
“The transport service we deliver is part of the legacy that will be left.”
However, he said, there was a lot of confusion over the regulations and members were becoming increasingly frustrated. He advised owners of guest houses with fewer than three vehicles, who are not technically obliged to have a licence, to apply anyway to avoid problems with overzealous traffic officials.
Thabisho Molelekwa, spokesman for the South African National Taxi Council, said the industry was prepared to do whatever necessary to work with the government to ensure its successful involvement in the World Cup.
Department of Transport spokesman Sam Monareng said the department would make arrangements to ensure that the licensing boards could process the applications in time.
Operators who already hold operating licences or permits for the services provided for specific routes or areas in question did not need to apply.
But operators who held licences or permits, but not for the routes or areas involved, did need to apply for a temporary operating licence and an inspection of the fleet, rather than full roadworthy tests, because the vehicles would have been inspected fairly recently.
Those who do not hold operating licences or permits at all would have to apply for licences and undergo full roadworthy tests.