The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has distanced itself from the Alliance for Transformation for All (ATA) Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has distanced itself from the Alliance for Transformation for All (ATA) Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

#Elections2019: Taxi council distances itself from political party

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Apr 3, 2019

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Cape Town - The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has distanced itself from the Alliance for Transformation for All (ATA), a political party advocating for South Africa’s minibus taxi industry, which recently launched its election manifesto in Khayelitsha.

Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa said the industry did not have a political party. He said it remained focused on its core business, which was “ferrying commuters”.

Molelekwa said Santaco was established in 2001 after broad consultations with all taxi industry leaders, federal structures and operators to commit to develop a single body that would represent it in all affairs affecting business in South Africa.

He said Santaco’s mandate at the founding conference was to represent the interests of the taxi industry at government and business level, influencing policy or legislation formalisation, and ensure the taxi industry became an active player in the mainstream economy.

“To venture into politics as a business is more like starting another business that has no synergy with what you have presently.

“We are business people who must flex our muscles to influence politics and political decisions, not try to flex our muscles to own the political space,” Molelekwa said.

He said the establishment of a transport political party had not been formally raised in the Santaco decision- making structures, and therefore Santaco has no mandate to support “this fanfare”.

ATA spokesperson Nick Zinja said Santaco never cared about its problems or fighting for its rights, and was dysfunctional. “Instead they campaign against us.”

He said ATA comprised taxi associations across the country, and was looking forward to elections. “ATA will contest elections in all areas, except Limpopo and the Northern Cape.”

Zinja said the ATA was satisfied with its supporters, and the taxi industry was a massive force in the country.

“Hundreds of taxi drivers carry millions of commuters daily without compensation from the government, and Santaco says nothing about that.

“It is unfair that train and bus services are subsidised, while the taxi industry is ignored.”

Zinja said it was part of the party’s mission to redress the situation and make South Africa better.

@SISONKE_MD

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Cape Argus

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