Master’s Study Investigates Hindrances in the Granting of Taxi Operating Permits
Hindrances in the granting of operating permits have resulted in many clashes between the South African taxi industry and law enforcement.
This is what motivated Ms Nontobeko Dambuza, KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department’s former employee, to embark on a research journey which culminated in the awarding of a Master of Commerce in Management at UKZN in May.
Through a dissertation titled: Hindrances in granting of operating permits and associated management processes: A case study of KwaZulu-Natal Taxi Associations, the study seeks to shed light on the processes followed by taxi operators when applying for operating licenses and the role played by both the Department of Transport and the Taxi Association. The findings revealed that the application process lacked a tracking system from both parties, there was no document mapping from the start of the application to completion, the lack of stakeholder commitment to process completeness, and many inefficient processes when submitting application forms.
The study recommends that both entities should adopt an electronic-based system that will link both offices to enable document sharing, linking, and reporting to accelerate the process and eliminate the waiting period. The electronic-based system will streamline the process, thus benefiting all stakeholders.
Dambuza acknowledged her late father for sparking an interest in the taxi industry while she was young. She said: ‘He had a passion for his job as a deputy secretary in his region. Engagements with him assisted with a clear picture of the industry in terms of operations, management, and community outreach programmes within their respective communities.’
The mother of two is indebted to her family for their undying love and support. ‘They assisted with proofreading my documents and sometimes stayed with me during late nights for moral support,’ she said.
Next on Dambuza’s agenda is the sharing of her research findings with the Department of Transport and the South African National Taxi Council provincial office for dissemination to regional offices.
Commenting on Dambuza’s academic achievement, her supervisor, Professor Maxwell Phiri, said: ‘A congratulatory message is in order for interesting and empirical research done by Nontobeko on a very interesting and informative subject on the Minibus Taxis Industry in uMgungundlovu District, South Africa. Her study was enlightening on the industry and its role in the community as a people mover.’
Words: Hazel Langa
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan