This article focuses on the management of the taxi industry in the eThekwini Municipality. It examines how the financing of the taxi industry influences the provision of transport for people with disabilities highlighting the experiences of a variety of stakeholders of the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) and other interim measures to improve public transport provision. The research derives from a larger study on the factors that influence public transport service provision for people with disabilities in the eThekwini Municipality using data which was produced through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with a range of stakeholders. Whilst government and policy makers are desperately seeking to improve the transportation landscape, there seems to be little cognisance of the subversive power of the taxi industry as long as its interests are not acknowledged. Furthermore, the state’s constitutional mandate to provide access for people with disabilities appears to be subverted by the taxi industry, which does not seem to regard people with disabilities as economically valuable, resulting in their marginalisation, potentially compromising the successful implementation of the IRPTN. The authors also highlight concerns relating to the lack of effective interim measures and contradictory suggestions by the participants, signalling that any solution needs to acknowledge the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the problem, and that no ‘perfect’ and simplistic solution is on the horizon. The authors contend that unless sufficient consensus is reached among all stakeholders, the future of public transport service provision for people with disabilities in the eThekwini Municipality remains uncertain.


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pp. 28-48
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