South Africa is a developing country and many citizens depend on public transport to get around every day. South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) confirmed in 2013 that approximately 15-million people rely on taxis for daily transport.
It can be safely said that transportation plays a huge role in our everyday lives and whether you do have your own car or you do not, you still need transport because most of our daily activities need to take place outside our homes and thus; you need to use transport. In the Eastern Cape alone transportation affects private businesses, educational institutions, and health care services. Unfortunately, not everyone has a car of their own, so public transport is the only way to go.
It is impossible to walk from Mdantsane and go to work to Beacon Bay, East London; you’re expected to make it on time at work and without transportation that will never be possible. However, like any other existing thing, public transport also has its own advantages and disadvantages; BEATMagazineSA researches.
According to street interviews conducted by the BEATMagazineSA, 3 out of 10 commuters think public transport is efficient; they place emphasis on the low costs they pay, saying that it is cheaper than owning your own vehicle. People explain that you can go to town and back with only R20 around East London; they say it is helpful because it wouldn’t be possible to get to work, school or even run their businesses without the help of public transport.
“I think public transport is efficient, I get to pay less costs”, said one of the interviewees. Meanwhile the other 7 individuals believe public transport is not efficient, arguing that it is time consuming and there are many road deaths reported that include reckless driving by public transport drivers. These individuals also stress the issue of amaphela (meter taxis), saying they don’t respect passengers’ time; they go round and round before they take you to our destination.
It is argued that public transport is not good when you’re in a hurry because you might just spend the whole day touring the city while sitting in a taxi. “Public transport uses its own pace, you can sit in a taxi the whole day waiting for it to get full”, another interviewee said.
An article by Mail & Gurdian published in 2013 highlights that, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations report released in 2012, the minibus taxi death rate was 27 deaths per 10 000 vehicles and three times higher than the nine deaths per 10 000 for motor cars. It continued and said 59% of drivers killed in road accidents were under the influence of alcohol.
“Public transport makes it difficult to get to school, work on time and many road accidents are caused by reckless taxi drivers”, another source expressed.