Santaco: Taxi strike is a peaceful one with no disruptions to alternative transport
Johannesburg – The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) confirmed on Sunday that its plans to shut down operations in Gauteng on Monday will go ahead as it presses the government to review the industry’s financial relief.
The government has set aside R1.1 billion to help the transport sector to get back on its feet, however, the taxi associations said this amount was not enough as it will also include e-haling and metered taxi services.
Santaco spokesperson Midday Mali said on Sunday that the strike would be a peaceful one and that there would be no disruption of alternative transport that commuters may opt for.
“Taxi drivers will keep their vehicles parked at the taxi ranks and not ferry any commuters for the duration of the strike. Commuters are free to use other means of transport and we will not disrupt them.
“The problem is that we are supposed to share this money with the e-hailing and metered taxis and when you calculations this it comes down to less than R3 000 in relief,” he said.
The taxi industry wants about R20 000 per taxi but Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the government would only offer R5 000 per taxi and this was a once-off payment. He said the R1.135bn taxi relief was not a compensation for a loss of income.
Mbalula said if they offered taxis R20 000 it would push the figure to about R10 billion and the government could not afford this. “Others are saying R20 000 per taxi, it is not possible because if you calculate that it is R10bn. The government does not have that R10bn.”
Mbalula stressed that the assistance to the taxi industry was a relief, not funding as the taxi industry has been hard like others during the lockdown especially the long-distance operators.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape Transport and Public Works Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela, will on Monday, visit Khayelitsha taxi rank and meet with the representatives of Santaco regarding the proposed taxi fare increase.
The visit also forms part of Madikizela’s drive to raise awareness in relation to public transport and to ensure transport operators are complying with Alert Level 3 loading restrictions.IOL