a) The issuance of the operating license function does not rest with the Minister of Transport. It is a function that falls within the competencies of the Provincial Regulatory Entities (PREs) and Planning Authorities, that is municipalities. Section 36(1) of the National Land Transport Act No. 5 of 2009 (the Act) requires all municipalities to prepare Integrated Transport Plans (ITP). Furthermore, the Act requires all applications for operating licences to be referred to municipalities for their comments and inputs as planning authorities. Municipalities must indicate whether there is a need for service on the route or routes or in the area or areas in terms of its integrated transport plans. If there is a need for such a service, the municipality can direct a PRE to proceed with granting an operating licence.
If a PRE based on the response from the planning authority does not support the issuance of an operating license, in most instances, it is as a result of oversaturation in a route, as determined through the ITP.
b) As indicated above, all applications for operating licences must be based on an ITP developed by a planning authorities. Integrated Transport Plans are data driven and evidence based and hence critical in informing the supply and demand model. An operator who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the application process for an operating license, they can appeal the decision of the PRE with the Transport Appeals Tribunal.