Editorials

EDITORIAL: Matatu jobs audit welcome

matatu

Public service vehicles at a terminus in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Under the 2012 Traffic Amendment Acts 37 and 38, matatu cooperatives and companies were required to sign written contracts with their employees in compliance with labour laws and regulations.
  • Written contracts were seen as a way of discouraging recklessness by crews chasing unrealistic targets.
  • But compliance among matatu owners is visibly declining.

The planned audit of companies operating matatus to weed out those that have not formalised employment of their workers is a welcome move.

Under the 2012 Traffic Amendment Acts 37 and 38, matatu cooperatives and companies were required to sign written contracts with their employees in compliance with labour laws and regulations.

Written contracts were seen as a way of discouraging recklessness by crews chasing unrealistic targets. But compliance among matatu owners is visibly declining.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) should carry out the audit to weed out those who are not complying.

The regulator should, however, carry out the audit in a careful manner, giving a window for compliance, given the challenges brought about by Covid-19.

The NTSA should ensure the audit does not lead to fare increases or an abrupt reduction in matatus plying various routes. This will only make it difficult for the remaining matatus to effectively serve passengers, including ensuring observance of social distancing rules.