Con­fu­sion over reg­u­la­tions re­quir­ing spe­cial li­cences for World Cup trans­port

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - ME­LANIE PETERS

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.

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