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Institutional and Organisational Characteristics

Within this section of the report we look in more detail at organisational aspects of the relationship between public authorities and the IPT sector, from the regulatory mechanisms that typically apply, through to the structuring of IPT operators within unions and associations. This section concludes by looking at the extent of engagement between government and the IPT industry.


Although the term ‘informal transport’ is in common use, these forms of transport are often subject to several forms of regulation, including highly consequential practices such as fare setting. 

In most African cities Informal Public Transport services are offered next to or in competition with other (types) of informal or formal operators including those offering bus and rail services. Sometimes they share official public transport (interchange) facilities.

While to the observer, the on-road bustle of Informal Public Transport vehicles may appear chaotic, underlying these operations are complex hierarchical structures of self-organisation and varying business models.

Regrettably, employment conditions in the IPT sector are characterised by low and uncertain levels of income, as well limited long-term welfare options.

It is rare to see a trouble-free relationship between the IPT sector and the government. In nature, informal transport developed in reaction to a lack of action from the government’s side, or an inefficient or insufficient institutional public transport service.

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