By Roane Swindon
When it comes to South Africa’s taxi industry, it is the black sheep of the public transport family. But the broader issue in public transport is how poorly aligned all public transport operators are with each other. Following a slew of complaints, the Competition Commission of South Africa will begin an investigation into the state of competition in the land-based public passenger transport industry. The Commission also has cause to believe that there are factors negatively affecting competition within the sector, between different taxi associations, different taxi routes, and different taxi owners, for example.
As a start to its inquiry, it has called for stakeholders in the taxi industry, members working in the sector, and members of the public to provide information about their view of competition between both different public transport sectors and within the sectors of taxis, buses, and rail transport.
If you as a taxi driver or commuter would like to contribute to the inquiry, you have until August 24, 2017, to submit your information and comments so the Commission can make good recommendations on improving competition in the sector.
You can comment on the following:
- How the prices of goods and services affect the supply and demand of those goods and services;
- The effect of price setting by government agencies, legal statutes, or regulatory authorities;
- Regulation, in terms of allocating routes, licencing of routes and drivers, and what is required to enter the sector;
- The effect of subsidies (given to buses, Metrorail, and Gautrain providers) on entry points and competition in and between sectors;
- Government’s plans for public transport, and how it will affect competition, efficiency, and efficacy; and
- Transformation in terms of ownership patterns and other issues.
You are not limited to the above scope of the inquiry and can detail other relevant issues that have a bearing on competition in the sector.It is important to note that the inquiry will not focus on a particular company or sector, but is rather taking a broad view of the entire public transport market and attempting to understand the activities parties in the industry undertake to provide a service and how these activities affect competition.
As a commentator, you must follow certain guidelines, accessible on the Commission’s website. They apply to everyone making a submission and are in the interest of allowing everyone to have their say in a transparent process. The guidelines include details about how submissions must be made, how the inquiry will be carried out, and what powers the Commission has during its investigation. The latest version of the guidelines, which may be updated, are accessible on the website.
The following points are important in compiling your commission:– Your submission must be typed or handwritten and you should try provide an electronic copy. If you are unable to write or type, or to access the necessary documents, the Competition Commission’s technical services are on hand to aid you. – Your submission must be easy to read and to the point.- Your submission should include as much information as possible – there will be no second chance to add to your argument – and must be supported by sufficient evidence. The Commission has compiled a list of helpful questions you may answer (available in the ‘Call for Submissions’ document). You may deviate from these examples, as long as your submission is relevant to the scope of the inquiry and includes examples.
If your submission is over 10 pages, include a short summary outlining the most important points. It must also be bound.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you need to indicate your wish on the PPT1 form and attach a reason for your request with this form.
Submissions must be delivered between 8.30am and 3.30pm on weekdays only.
A submission must be accompanied by a signed PPT1 form, which is the last two pages of the official guidelines document on the commission’s website.
The Public Passenger Transport Market Inquiry is expected to complete in May 2019 and to include, aside from the stakeholder submissions, requests for information from targeted stakeholders, questionnaires and surveys, direct and public consultations, and formal public hearings, among other research.
For more detailed information, the guidelines for participation in the study, the outline of the study’s scope, and the call for submissions document can be accessed on the Competition Commission’s website.
Submissions to the inquiry can be made through the following channels:
Public Passenger Transport Market Inquiry,
Private Bag x23,
Public Passenger Transport Market Inquiry,
The DTI Campus,
Mulayo (Block C), 3rd Floor
77 Meintjies Street,
- There is no charge for making a submission, giving a presentation, or attending a public hearing.
- If you’d like to make an oral presentation at public hearings in conjunction with your written submission, include the request on your PPT1 form, along with the estimated length of your presentation. Note however that your participation at a public hearing will be at the Commission’s discretion.
- Your submission must have page numbers and a table of contents.
- Your submission can be made in any of South Africa’s official languages.
- If you are a member of the public, you should make a submission as a community group.