MAKING A PLAN: The bus rapid transport station at Thokoza Park, Soweto, where scores of commuters queued for alternative transport as local taxi operators joined in the National Taxi Alliance strike in Pretoria yesterday. Picture: Matthews Baloyi / ANA
JOHANNESBURG - The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) has warned that yesterday’s protests in Pretoria would be followed-up with other marches if Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi does not give a satisfactory responses in 21 days.

“We have granted the minister (Maswanganyi) 21 days within which to respond to our grievances, and to engage us, failing which we are going to go into the second phase. This march today was an introduction,” NTA president Francis Matsitsa told journalists at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

“The second and subsequent phases will be following, and finally, if all else fails, we are going to end up in the highest court in this land - the Constitutional Court.”

A large crowd of taxi industry role players gathered at the Union Buildings, demanding that President Jacob Zuma fire Maswanganyi.

“Without a doubt, we are calling on the president to fire this minister (Maswanganyi). Not only is the minister useless, he is also hopeless. Therefore, we are not deserving of such a minister,” said Matsitsa.

The NTA members handed a memorandum to Mandla Feni, a chief director in the Presidency.

Earlier, the NTA accused Maswanganyi of “playing games” with the lives of millions of South Africans who were impacted directly by the taxi industry in the country.

Matsitsa told more than a thousand taxi drivers and operators gathered at the Department of Transport in Pretoria central that Maswanganyi’s days are numbered - just like several individuals who preceded him.

“You need to stop playing games with the taxi industry. We are the taxi industry, and we are not going anywhere. You can hope and wish the taxi industry will disappear, but it will never disappear. We have seen several ministers serve in your position,” said Matsitsa.