South African minibus taxi industry


Ingle, M (2009), An historical overview of problems associated with the formalization of the South African minibus taxi industry, New Contree, vol. 57.



The ascendancy of the minibus taxi industry in South Africa was a consequence of the apartheid policy of situating poorly-serviced black settlements on the periphery of the urban conurbations. After deregulation in 1977 the taxi industry experienced exponential growth to the point where it came to be regarded as a shining example of black entrepreneurship in action. Notwithstanding some of the seemingly intractable problems that afflicted the sector, the Minister of Labour, echoing sentiments first articulated by former President PW Botha, warmly referred to it as “a sector that we need to be particularly proud of.”

Before 1977, taxi operation was restricted to sedan motor vehicles equipped with fare meters. Roving taxis that could be waved down were not allowed. Amended legislation passed in 1977 allowed for the use of kombi (minibus) vehicles as taxis and, in time, regulations allowed for the conveyance of 15 passengers by a driver.

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