Moja Cruise, is a Taxi Incentives Program that was officially launched in October 2018 by embattled former eThekwini Mayor, Zandile Gumede.

Moja Cruise’s aim was to reward taxi drivers who didn’t blare music, respected the rules of the road, had trackers installed to ensure compliance with speed limits and maintained their vehicles.

MOJA CRUISE COSTS ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY R800 000 – R1MILLION A MONTH

Currently, there is no system in place for commuters to rate, report and give feedback on taxis and drivers, despite this being sold as a cornerstone of the system and a meaningful way for passengers to be assured of quality service.

Responses to Council questions posed by the DA revealed that the program costs between R800 000 and R1 000 000 per month. This is aside from the initial establishment cost, which shot up from R131 million to R202 million in 2017.

DA KZN CONCERNED ABOUT NO PROGRESS ON TAXI INCENTIVE PROGRAM

According to the DA in KZN, the 2017 launch frequently mentioned the empowerment of consumers, who could rate good or bad service from taxi drivers and operators via the use of a mobile application.

Vehicles were fitted with tracking devices and branded with Moja Cruise’s orange and purple logos. 450 vehicles currently participate, with incentives being paid to owners, operators and drivers.

DA eThekwini Caucus Leader, Cllr Nicole Graham said that as of October 2020, the app was still not live and there is effectively no way for members or consumers of the public to lay complaints. “There is no way for taxi commuters to lay complaints against taxis who may be providing poor service or breaking the law, despite the taxis participating in a public program funded by the municipality.

“The municipality has also conceded that no single taxi has been removed from the program for non-compliance. It is highly unlikely that over four years, nobody has violated the rules to an extent that they should no longer be paid to participate.”

Graham also said that improving the mini-bus taxi industry, on which millions rely daily, is a key priority. “It has become clear that the eThekwini Municipality prefer to cosy up to the industry rather than have an accountable and professional relationship with it.”

The South African contacted eThekwini Municipality spokesperson on Friday, to give the municipality a right of reply. At the time of publication, he had not responded to the questions emailed to him.

READ: Corruption Latest: eThekwini Municipality welcomes SIU investigation

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Presh JM Reporter

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