The National Land Transport Amendment Bill is now just a small step away from being signed into law, after Parliament officially passed it earlier this week.
The bill was originally opened for public commentary in 2013 and sets out regulations for ride-sharing or “e-hailing” services, such as Uber and Taxify in South Africa.
Essentially, it means that e-hailing drivers will have to conform to the same laws as meter taxi drivers in that they will have to obtain their own operating licence.
What’s more, it opens the door for the Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, to institute more rules, including revisions to the Uber and Taxify smartphone apps so that users have a better idea of who their driver will be, which exact route will be taken to their destination and how much the trip will cost.
The exact details of just how much more info will legally need to be given to users have yet to be confirmed.
In addition to regulating e-hailing services, the bill also allows provinces to create new contracts for public transport services in areas where municipalities do not meet the proposed requirements. Minister Nzimande also pointed out that the National Government will also be given the power to enter into contracts in “extreme circumstances where there are gaps in the public transport system”.
The bill will now head to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for final approval and then signed into law by president Cyril Ramaphosa.