Noord Street taxi rank in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ERIC MALEMA
Noord Street taxi rank in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ERIC MALEMA

The Competition Commission has given members of the public just more than a month to make submissions to its inquiry into the state of passenger transport in SA.

The chairwoman of Parliament’s portfolio committee on transport, Dikeledi Magadzi, has encouraged South Africans to use the opportunity to detail all their frustrations with passenger transport in SA.

The commission is seeking assistance in identifying challenges or impediments in the public transport sector. Whether it is the largely unregulated taxi industry or the relatively small number of air passenger and coach bus operators, the commission wants SA’s views.

In its request for submissions, issued on Monday, the commission said it would look into matters including price, price setting, and transport planning, as well as licensing of operators and regulation of practice.

The public has until August 24 to make submissions.

"The inquiry will analyse different price-setting mechanisms used in different markets within the land-based public passenger transport industry to understand their impact on competition," the call for submissions said.

It would also analyse "price regulations applicable in different markets" within the sector to "understand their impact on competition".

Members of the public are asked to submit their views on the state of transformation as well as the distribution of market share in the various sub-sectors of the passenger transport industry.

"It’s a brilliant thing the commission is intending to do," Magadzi, told Business Day. "Whether it’s rail or road or air, you don’t know if we are getting a fair price or quality service for that price. At least the people of the republic will be able to know if there is value for money."

Another outcome she hoped would emerge from the commission’s inquiry was a reliable and affordable solution for passenger transport in rural areas. "The department’s recent policy document spoke to public transport that is accessible safe and affordable. You also need public transport in rural areas and that needs to be urgently addressed to say if it is fair for rural areas to struggling for transport the way in which they are."

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