Advertisement

Gauteng: Paratransit—Perpetual Pain or Potent Potential?

  • Johan W. Joubert
Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mobility book series (LNMOB)

Abstract

South Africa is nearly 20 years into its democracy, yet the legacy of apartheid remains evident and the level of inequality steadily rising. Gauteng province, the economic heart of the country that includes Johannesburg and Tshwane, the capital, carries the burden of many of its formerly relocated citizens still living in poverty on the periphery of the large metropolitan areas. Whereas sprawl is commonly associated with low-density, more affluent development on the periphery, Gauteng finds itself with having to provide basic services and mobility to high density, low-income people on its outskirts. The mobility culture in Gauteng is heavily influenced by the socioeconomic disparity. In this chapter we revisit the legislative context that gave rise to racial segregation, and concern ourselves with the impact it had in the evolution of the now-dominant paratransit mode that accounts for more than two thirds of all commuter trips in Gauteng. Although often cited in literature and the media for its violent sectarian conflicts, the minibus taxis, as it is commonly referred to, is much more than a mere mode of transport. Outsiders often perceive the taxi industry to be a chaotic system, but it has evolved into a powerful economic industry with a unique mobility culture, most notably the hand signals—a silent gestural semiotic language in its own right—used by commuters to communicate their desired destinations to passing taxis. Aware of the rising inequality, and not fully understanding or appreciating the exibility it provides, government often perceives paratransit as a necessary nuisance that should be formalised. Improving mobility and accessibility, however, requires both settlement location and transport to be revisited. As such, paratransit may prove to a valuable solution, and not the mere nuisance it is often made out to be.

Keywords

Public Transport Taxi Driver African National Congress Operating Licence Hand Signal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. 1.
    Blais P (2010) Perverse cities: hidden subsidies, wonky policy, and urban sprawl. UBC Press, VancouverGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cervero R, Golub A (2007) Informal transport: a global perspective. Trans Policy 14(6):445–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    City of Johannesburg (2004). Integrated transport plan: 2003/2008Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    CSIR Built Environment (2011). Geospatial analysis platform and NSDP spatial profiles. http://www.gap.csir.co.za/
  5. 5.
    Department of Transport (2003). National household travel survey: Republic of South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Development Policy Research Unit (2008). Poverty and the ‘second economy’ in South Africa: an attempt to clarify applicable concepts and quantify the extent of relevant challenges (DPRU policy brief series PB 08–20). Cape TownGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dugard J (1996) Drive-on? An analysis of the deregulation of the South African taxi industry and the emergence of the subsequent “taxi-wars”. Master Thesis. University of Cambridge, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fletterman M (2008) Designing multimodal public transport networks using metaheuristics: industrial and systems engineering. Master Thesis. University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fourie PJ, Joubert JW (2009). The first agent steps in agent-based transport planning. In: Proceedings of the 28th Southern African Transport Conference (SATC 2009), Pretoria, pp 43–52Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Holland H (2011). Let’s dump anti-taxi attitude. Daily News, 10 October 2011Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Imperial (2012) I-Pledge campaign. http://www.ipledge.co.za
  12. 12.
    Joubert JW, Fourie PJ (2010) Growing better transport solutions: let the commuters do the thinking! Innovate 4:70–71Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Litman T (2010) Transportation affordability: evaluation and improvement strategies. Victoria Transport Policy Institute, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    McCaul C (1990) No easy ride: the rise and future of the black taxi industry: South African Institute of Race Relations, JohannesburgGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McCaul C, Ntuli S (2011). Negotiating the deal to enable the first Rea Vaya bus operating company. In: Proceedings of the 30th Southern African Transport Conference (SATC 2011), PretoriaGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Neumann A, Nagel K (2011) A paratransit-inspired evolutionary process for public transit network design: working chapter 11–15, transport systems planning and transport telematics, Technical University of Berlin. http://www.vsp.tu-berlin.de/
  17. 17.
    Orski C (1975) Paratransit: the coming of age of a transportation concept. Transportation 4(4):329–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Quantum GIS Development Team (2011). Quantum GIS geographic information system. Open source geospatial foundation project. http://qgis.osgeo.org
  19. 19.
    R Core Team (2011). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org
  20. 20.
    Republic of South Africa (1994). White chapter on reconstruction and development. General Notice 1954 of 1994Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Roos D, Alschuler D (1975) Paratransit—existing issues and future directions. Transportation 4(4):335–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schalekamp H, Behrens R (2010) Engaging paratransit on public transport reform initiatives in South Africa: a critique of policy and an investigation of appropriate engagement approaches. Res Transp Econ 29(1):371–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Smillie S, Eliseev A, Mbongwa L, Sapa (2007) This is not like war—it is war. The Star Newspaper, 29 May 2007Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Statistics South Africa (2007) The RDP commitment: what South Africans sayGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Statistics South Africa (2011). Quarterly labour force survey, quarter 1, 2012Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Terblanche B (2006). Roaring taxi industry beat its own path. Business Day, 19 April 2006Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Venter C (2011) The lurch towards formalization: lessons from the implementation of BRT in Johannesburg, South Africa: Thredbo 12. In: International conference series on competition and ownership in land passenger transportGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Venter C (2011) Transport expenditure and affordability: the cost of being mobile. Devel South Afr 28(1):121–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Woolf S (2007) Taxi hand signs: documenting South African taxi and signs for the blind and sighted, JohannesburgGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Woolf S, Joubert JW (2011) When paratransit evolves to become the answer, taxi hand signs point the way! working chapter 019 Centre of Transport DevelopmentGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan W. Joubert
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PretoriaHatfieldSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations