Johannesburg - The Gauteng provincial government and the South African National Taxi Association Council (Santaco) embarked on a "green" partnership on Friday in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.
In terms of the partnership, a R3m pilot project will see minibus taxis in the province operate dually on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and petrol.
Initially, 70 dual-fuel taxis will take part in this project, operating in northern Pretoria and Tembisa.
The project findings show an 11% reduction in the carbon dioxide levels when switching the vehicles to liquefied petroleum gas.
Tests showed a 31% drop in levels of carbon monoxide, the harmful gas that can cause various forms of cancer.
Taxis transport more than 14 million people daily and the projects aims to reduce emissions substantially.Qedani Mahlangu
, Gauteng MEC for economic development, hailed the initiative as a positive development towards achieving the objectives of a green economy
"This project has the potential to significantly advance our objective to create a 'low carbon economy'. SA's most recent Country Report to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development noted with concern our over-reliance on 'dirty energy'," Mahlangu said.
Strategic relationships were established with Santaco and the South African National Energy Research Institute (Saneri).
In addition, Sasol was brought on board due to its liquefied petroleum gas programme in SA.
After a robust vehicle selection process, 70 minibus taxis were converted to operate dually on petrol as well as liquefied petroleum gas over a three-month period.
A liquefied petroleum gas vehicle conversion specialist was appointed to conduct the conversion process, using the latest generation conversion kits, which were imported from Germany.