Last Saturday morning our ever roving cartoonist, Lesole Ntshole, boarded a taxi in Molepolole where he eavesdropped on a conversation between passengers, on illegal public transport operators.
MAN IN BLUE SHIRT: I still fail to understand why all of a sudden most of the taxis are written “Taxi Service” at the back.
To me, it doesn’t make sense because everyone already knows that every vehicle with blue numbers is a taxi.
DRIVER: Well, it’s a new way that the Department of Public Road Transport will be able to identify and combat illegal public transport operators.
MAN IN GRAY TROUSERS: I just wonder if they’ll succeed. A human being is a difficult creature. When you plan for them, they always plan ahead of you.
MAN IN BLUE SHIRT: The road transport department left the illegal operation to go on for too long.
Most of the time when we talk of illegal operators, we focus on those driving cars with private number plates.
If you go to the rank most of the taxis with blue number plates don’t have permits.
MAN IN GRAY TROUSER: The department made an error by outsourcing the number plates cutting to private companies.
They gave room for these corrupt practices. The department should provide the number plates, watermarked with their own logo.
DRIVER: I guess the new system will improve the situation.
You go to the office with your permit, and then they give you a numbered sticker that you paste on your taxi.
If you have two taxis they share the same number. Transport officers and taxi drivers will be both able to identify an illegal operator.
MAN IN GRAY TROUSER: Some months ago, a taxi driver told me about a certain illegal lady operator. When taxi drivers tried to approach her, she’d just drive off at full speed.
DRIVER: Yeah, she has since stopped the illegal operation after police impounded the car and charged her a lot of money.
The conversation ends as a man in gray trouser disembarks at a stop near Choppies.