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South Africa Introduces Law to Regulate Ride-Hailing Services

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Finally! South Africa Ride-hailing Regulation: President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the amended National Land Transport Act (NTLA) into law. This milestone paves the way for ride-hailing services like Uber and Bolt to apply for operating licenses.

This development will officially recognise the ride-hailing apps as legitimate public transport operators in South Africa.

South Africa Ride-hailing Regulation

South Africa Ride-hailing Regulation

The amended Act eliminates the requirement for ride-hailing companies to obtain charter permits and meter taxi operating licenses, which had previously hindered their operations. 

It comes after a 13-year struggle to update the existing act, which did not account for the rise of ride-hailing services. 

Previously, these companies operated in a legal grey area, relying on charter permits and metre taxi operating licences that needed to be better  fit for their business model.

Also Read: Uber Teen Accounts Launches in South Africa: Teenagers can Now Hail their Own Rides.

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga welcomed the development, stating that after signing, the regulations will undergo certification by the Office of the State Law Advisor before being submitted to the Minister for final approval.

He said, “Now that the President has signed the Amendment Bill, regulations will be submitted to the Office of the State Law Advisor for certification and submitted to the Minister for approval.”

South Africa Ride-hailing Regulation Streamlines Licensing Process

The former Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula also highlighted the significance of these amendments. He stated that it not only creates a new category of operating licences but also impose obligations on technology providers to prevent illegal operators. 

“The bill also seeks to strengthen regulations and empower Provincial Regulatory Entities to withdraw or suspend operating licences where an operator has contravened the National Land and Transport or the Roads Act,” said Mbalula.

“It further deals with issues of handling of public complaints and treatment of passengers; colour coding as well as ensuring that SAPS, metro police have no business interest in the operations of public transport.”

This move recognizes the unique nature of their business model and streamlines the licensing process. It is expected to reduce conflict between metered taxi drivers and ride-hailing drivers, who have previously clashed due to a lack of clear regulations governing both sectors. 

Conclusion

The Bill also incorporates provisions for non-motorized and accessible transport, reflecting the government’s commitment to a modern, inclusive, and efficient transport system.

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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