| Competition watchdog casts eye over public transport

Public hearings to be conducted by the Competition Commission for the public passenger transport market inquiry are scheduled to kick off in June.

In a statement issued on Monday, the commission said the inquiry seeks to address inefficiencies in the provision of public transport and understand market dynamics of the entire value chain.

“This market inquiry seeks to address concerns that there may be features that prevent, distort or restrict competition in a sector that caters for the transport needs of between 70% to 80% of the population,” the commission said.

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“This is a very significant market inquiry given the enormous challenges our country has with regards to the public transport system. It is, therefore, critical that all relevant stakeholders participate fully in the process.

“Our aim is to come up with solutions that will eliminate unnecessary blockages and inefficiencies in the public transport. We encourage people to take part in these hearings,” said Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.   

Members of the public have until Friday May 18 to apply to appear before the hearings.

The commission will focus on minibus taxis, metered taxis, app-based taxi services, Metrorail, Gautrain, buses and 4+1s (a car that operates like a taxi service).

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The terms of reference of the inquiry include considering the impact of competition by existing price setting mechanisms, price regulation, route allocation, licensing and entry regulations and allocation of subsidies.

The terms of reference also cover transport planning to evaluate government’s transport plans and transformation in the industry.

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