KwaZulu-Natal taxi owners are now eligible to be bus owners following the signing, this week, of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport and the Ithala Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) under the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environment.
The initiative forms part of the Bus Industry Transformation Programme.
As part of this strategic collaboration, the IDFC has provided R71.5-million in financial support for the purchase of 32 buses, four quantum minibuses, nine ticketing machines, and land and buildings for the construction of a depot for Mthonjaneni Bus Services.
“The MoU between the IDFC and the Department of Transport provides the clearest indication of the provincial government’s commitment to bringing more African players into the public transport system, especially the bus transport sector,” said Premier Sihle Zikalala.
Through this collaboration, at least 72 permanent jobs have been created.
The move is in line with the provincial government’s economic transformation goal to have at least 70% of the subsidised bus transport industry being in the hands of the previously disadvantaged individuals or groups.
All the beneficiaries underwent a compulsory incubation programme which covered, besides other aspects, understanding the clauses contained by the contract document, financial management and the management of a bus operation.
It also included information on fleet acquisition, management and maintenance and how to manage a bus business in an effective and sustainable way.