28 June 2021 - NW1436
Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Transport
(1)Whether, with reference to the reply of the Minister of Tourism to question 205 on 24 February 2021 regarding the unsubsidised charter and tourism bus industry that have not been able to work for a single day to utilise their tourism and charter permits since 26 March 2020, whereas many operators have paid their prepaid licence fees for the year March 2020 to March 2021, permit holders will be required to pay for the 2021-22 financial year even if they paid for the 2020-21 financial year whereas they did not operate at all; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what engagements has his department undertaken to discuss and resolve the issue to reimburse the prepaid license fee; (2) whether his department has engaged in any discussion and/or meeting to resolve and/or plan a way forward to assist the charter and tourism bus industry with their query on prepaid licensing fees; if not, on what date is it envisaged that (a) his department will meet with any other department and (b) the issue of the license fees will be addressed; if so, what are the further relevant details?
1. Matters related to vehicle licensing falls under Schedule 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and are therefore within the purview of provinces. The Department must first seek concurrence of the respective provinces on this matter and only then can a decision be taken accordingly.
2. In view of the above, the Department recently held a meeting with the Committee of Provincial Heads of Departments of Transport and the Private Charter Passenger Association (PCPA). The latter made a broad representation regarding the impact of Covid19 on the Charter and Coach operators due to lockdowns and subsequent travel restrictions. As part of their submissions, they alleged their members were unable to generate any income during lockdown level 5 and 4, since all borders were closed and tourism activities suspended. The Department sought concurrence of the respective provinces, since vehicle licensing matters are provincial in scope. Once concurrence has been received from provinces, if at all, the Department will only then proceed to issue a Direction under regulations 4(7) made under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002).