By OLIVER SAMBOKO
The Road Transport and Safety Agency (RATSA) has been directed to allow online car-hailing services to continue operating normally, as a lasting solution to the issue is found.
Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali said in Parliament yesterday that the directive by RTSA for online car hailing to comply to Public Service Vehicle licensing regulations was going to negatively impact the online car hailing operators.
He was responding to Kantanshi Member of Parliament Anthony Mumba who wanted to know whether the government is aware that compelling online car-hailing services to register with RTSA is stifling youth innovation and hindering the growth of small and medium businesses.
Mr Mumba also wanted to know what measures are being taken to ensure that online car-hailing services are not adversely affected by the registration process.
And in responding to the question, the Transport Minister said RTSA has been advised to engage all stakeholders involved so as to come up with a solution that will benefit both Online and Traditional taxi companies amid complaints of unfair trading practices.
He said government has no intention to stifle youth innovation and hinder the growth of small and medium businesses but that government wants to ensure that online car hailing operators operate under a well defined regulatory framework backed by law.
Mr Tayali explained that the existing legal framework was designed for conventional taxi operators and not for online hailing operators hence applying the old regulation to online car hailers will prove challenging.
He said as a listening administration, the new dawn government has asked RATSA to allow the status quo to continue until a lasting solution is found.
He said the issue surrounding the misunderstanding is as a result of competition between ordinary registered taxes and online car hailers.