Bellville taxi rank was empty on Monday morning. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - Taxi bosses in the Western Cape have had enough of the lack of leadership shown by the industry's umbrella body, South African National Taxi Association Council (Santaco).

It is for this reason that the main taxi groups - Cata (Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association) and Codeta (Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations) - had set up the Mini-bus Taxi Industry Task Team (MTITT) to adress the challenges faced.

Earlier this month, MTITT said there were new challenges left unattended, added to the existing challenges that had gone unanswered, owing to the fact that the industry had been "without effective leadership for more than five years".

"The MTITT has since September 2016 been advocating for the rights of the members of the mini-bus taxi industry. Both provincial and local government as well as SANTACO National and Western Cape has ignored the legitimate concerns raised about the lack of leadership," it said in a statement. 

"This necessitated the MTITT along with the members it represents to bring a High Court application in Cape Town to compel SANTACO National to announce the dates for both regional and provincial elections. 

"This relief sought by MTITT was granted by the High Court along with clarity around which constitution will govern these elections and the rules for the election. 

"The judgment handed down by the High Court now needs to be workshopped with all members of the mini-bus taxi industry of the Western Cape prior to the elections. 

"This is why the MTITT has asked for a Pre-elective Conference to be held prior to the elections. SANTACO National in consultation with provincial government has announced the date for this Pre-election Conference to be 6 August 2018. The terms of reference for this conference were:
1. The date, time, venue, agenda and who will officiate at the conference were to be communicated timeously to all registered associations so that they could mandate both their chairperson and secretary to such a conference. The motivation for inviting registered associations was that currently no representative structures other than associations within the Western Cape were functional. The registered taxi associations are the only representative structures with locus standi. 
2. That the Pre-elective Conference will be a conference (with all the necessary powers to make decisions) and not an Indaba. 
3. That all mandated individuals from the registered associations will be allowed to partake irrespective of their suspended status. 

"SANTACO National (after consultation with provincial) refuses to honour the holding of the Pre-elective Conference as outlined above."

It was for this reason MTITT had agreed to embark on strike action, withdrawing its services from Monday.

The strike would continue until the pre-elective conference was held, MTITT said. 

"The first date for the election is 14 August 2018. The Pre-elective Conference must precede this date," MTITT said. 

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Cape Argus