October was declared transport month in 2005, during the transport lekgotla. Its prime focus was to create awareness on the important role of transport in the economy and to encourage society to partake in the business.
The taxi industry is painted with the narrative that, it’s violent and has conflicts that have cost many people their lives and left many families without breadwinners. In its inception, October Transport Month(OTM), was a call to change this narrative.
In his speech, the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said “This industry has the potential to become a model for real empowerment. This is an industry that generates revenue of more than R40 billion per annum.”
The lekgotla was scheduled to take place in April, however, due to South Africa being put under lockdown, it was postponed to October when the country observes Transport month. The prime focus is on unity within the industry, empowerment, and leadership.
MEC Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya was also put on record saying “the lekgotla will focus primarily around the professionalization of the taxi industry and improving customer care. Minibus taxis are the backbone of public transport and the preferred method of commuting in most rural areas”
She pleaded with taxi association leaders to always try to find common ground in resolving their issues.
The district lekgotla in Mopani this week, where the executive Mayor Cllr Pule Shayi, the mayor of Greater Giyani Municipality Cllr Basani Shivambu, and Transport MMC Japisa Mathonsi were also in attendance, was in preparation for the actual event that will take place next week. The lekgotla was scheduled under the theme “Together shaping the future of transport”