JANUARY 31 2013, Via BdLive
THE two articles on tuk-tuk services in Johannesburg (Trust a tuk-tuk taxi to get you there in Joburg, January 22, and Urban runaround zippier than a tuk-tuk, January 23) made interesting reading.
The Gauteng department of roads and transport shares the view that tuk- tuk services are a feasible and cost- effective mode of public transport. They contribute to job creation and commuter mobility.
It is for these reasons that the National Land Transport Act (2009) included tuk-tuk services as a credible form of public transport. It defines a tuk-tuk as a three-wheeled motor vehicle designed solely for conveying not more than three seated persons, including the driver.
However, tuk-tuks must operate within a regulated environment.
The routes on which tuk-tuks travel must be in line with the transport plans of city authorities. Tuk-tuk services must have precise points of origin and destination, including adequate parking facilities.
For tuk-tuk services to operate lawfully, they must apply to the Gauteng Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE) for an operating licence, which must satisfy, inter alia, the following requirements: (a) Submission of a valid South African identity document. In the event that the applicant is a noncitizen of South Africa, a valid work permit must be submitted; (b) A certificate of compliance from the South African Bureau of Standards; (c) A valid tax clearance certificate; (d) The driver must be in possession of a valid driver’s licence of appropriate class, eg motorcycle driver’s licence; (e) Fire extinguishers and first aid kits to be in the vehicles at all times; (f) Safety belts (driver and passengers) to be in proper working condition ; (g) The tuk-tuk must be roadworthy and serviced at regular intervals.
These measures are necessary for proper administrative and safety controls in relation to this form of public transport.
At the same time, PRE must ensure that tuk-tuk routes do not encroach on the legal routes of other public transport operators such as minibus taxis, metered taxis and buses, so as to avoid unhealthy competition and conflict.
Gauteng MEC for roads and transport