Cape Town gives limited go-ahead to tuk-tuks

Cape Town has permitted the limited use of three-wheeled motorcycle "tuk-tuk" taxis within certain areas of the city, as part of an amendment to the council's integrated transport plan which is due for completion later this year.

The move is in response to extended lobbying from some 120 prospective tuk-tuk companies seeking operating licences, and comes a month after the city’s only operating tuk-tuk company, Monarch Tuksi, was effectively closed down after the city threatened to impound it fleet of vehicles which it said had been operating illegally.

Under the new measures, the city council said that tuk-tuks would be limited to 3km-trips in the Waterfront, Sea Point, Bantry Bay and parts of the CBD — "as long there is no conflict with sedan taxis" — Kalk Bay, Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek.

In Johannesburg, in the northern region of South Africa, there are about five companies operating mainly in the city's suburbs. The city council and the provincial regulatory authority are studying guidelines currently to assist them with how to proceed in licensing the growing tuk-tuk phenomenon.

The automated rickshaw is an essential form of transport in Asia, as well as several African countries such as Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan, Madagascar, Ethiopia, and more recently in Kenya's Malindi and Tanzania's Dar es Salaam.