E-hailing company Bolt has expressed uncertainty over the impounding of Bajaj Qute vehicles operated by their Bolt Lite drivers in various areas of Johannesburg, including the CBD, Braamfontein, Westbury, and Noordgesig. Due to drivers working without operating licenses, the impounding saw 29 vehicles seized between August 18 and August 22, as per City Press.
Takura Malaba, Bolt’s regional manager for East and Southern Africa, stated that the company’s drivers did not receive an official reason for the impounding. He mentioned that Bolt is actively engaging with local authorities to seek a resolution on this matter. Malaba also emphasised that the Bajaj Qute vehicles are licensed to operate on South African roads, countering claims that they lacked necessary permits for public transportation.
Addressing the argument put forth by Gauteng Traffic Police, Malaba explained that the Bajaj vehicles are officially designated as compact quadricycles. They are for intra-city transportation and last-mile travel. Moreover, these vehicles are National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS)-approved, a status they obtained in 2017, making them eligible to operate on all South African roads.
The Gauteng Traffic Police, on the other hand, cited the National Land Transport Act, stating that operating a public transport service without the requisite operating license or permit is prohibited. Sello Maremane, the spokesperson for Gauteng Traffic Police, urged operators to ensure they possess valid active licenses while conducting their services.
Maremane underscored the commitment of Gauteng Traffic Police to enforce road rules and regulations without bias. Those found engaging in illegal practices will face legal consequences.
As Bolt and Gauteng Traffic Police navigate these regulatory issues, the impounding incident brings to the fore the complexities surrounding e-hailing services and the evolving regulatory landscape in the transportation sector.
Picture: X / SpheDludla
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