The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has announced that they have cleared SWVL Kenya to resume operations.
The technology start-up faced a snag late last year when they, alongside Little, were blocked from operating due to flouting regulations and running on the wrong license, according to NTSA. Operations were further slowed down due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Dip Patel, the General Manager for SWVL in Kenya, said the green light on compliance from the NTSA will be a major boost to the company. “We are pleased that we have resolved all issues with the NTSA and that’s extremely important for us. Once we exit the lockdown, we will be able to steadily bring back our operations and we can now show our corporate customers that we have met all the regulatory requirements”, said Mr Patel.
The company has currently paused all its rides due to the pandemic situation, however it is very ready to resume operations again once an exit date is confirmed for the current pandemic lockdown. Post lockdown, SWVL will begin onboarding existing bus owners and public transport saccos, in their bid to benefit the entire ecosystem with a more inclusive approach.
In light of the confusion surrounding existing compliance requirements, the NTSA is willing to look into developing the regulatory framework in place to encompass user and industry-driven technological advancements. This will help to fill the gap that exists in regards to regulating technology platforms in the transport industry.
“We have continued to engage with the NTSA to arrive at a framework that will support technology enabled transport solutions and take Kenya to the next level. This is because, at the end of the day, our goals are the same. We both endeavour to develop an efficient transportation system for commuters that is safe, reliable, convenient and affordable. We are excited to be able to continue our operations and we are very pleased about the consideration of the regulatory framework to incorporate technological developments coming up in the industry”, said SWVL Kenya General Manager, Dip Patel.
The NTSA, on its part, has stated that subject to SWVL’s compliance with certain guidelines, “the Authority has no objection to SWVL providing digital vehicle hailing services.”
The company has also pledged to continue the implementation of government directives, regarding capacity and hygiene, as the country transitions into the ‘new normal’ way of life.