File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Taxi association's '100% capacity' call condemned

By Odwa Mkentane Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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Cape Town – South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) bigwigs had to meet again yesterday to discuss whether they will indeed push their members to operate at 100%.

Santaco provincial spokesperson Gershon Geyer said they could not comment further on the issue.

“After a lengthy meeting it was decided that we will consult with our primary associations tomorrow (today) before we take a position on the Santaco national's statement on Sunday,” said Geyer.

The national structure on Sunday called on members to work at maximum capacity, despite disaster regulations stating they may operate at only 70% .

The announcement was made in a live stream on Sunday by Santaco national president, Philip Taaibosch.

Both Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize have condemned the idea.

Mbalula said: “It is rather unfortunate and regrettable that the taxi industry leadership has elected to violate the law and forcefully load taxis at 100% capacity and undertake inter-provincial operations without the requisite permits, rather than await a decision on the matters they have tabled.

“I appeal to the leadership structures of the industry to reconsider their decision to incite lawlessness and place their drivers and passengers on a collision course with law enforcement authorities."

Mkhize warned against lockdown violations by the taxi industry.

“We are trying to save the nation from rapidly increasing infections and you think that you can go against some of the guidelines simply because you have a right to differ and defy when you wish to. 

"It’s unfortunate because if you think numbers are increasing now, wait for another two or three weeks, you are going to see the impact of the filling of taxis,” Mkhize said.

Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela visited the Cape Town taxi rank after the announcement that was made by Santaco.

“Indeed, I have seen that people are heeding the call from the national leadership of Santaco, and I must say that it is very unfortunate that it had to come to this. 

"We have been engaging with a number of industry players in the transport sector, they have raised a number of concerns and we must be honest that some of those concerns have not been addressed.

“Here in Cape Town, taxis are loading 100% as per the instruction of the national leadership of Santaco.”

Cape Times

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