Taxi industry demands are unreasonable, says IFP
Durban – The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said on Monday the demands being made by the striking taxi industry were unreasonable and condemned any violence associated with the protests.
South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) drivers embarked on strike action early on Monday that left thousands of commuters stranded in Gauteng.
The operators are rejecting a relief package of just over R1 billion for the industry – stimulus intended to lessen the effects of the country's strict Covid-19 lockdown, which, among other things, limited the distance and number of passengers in taxis, hitting owners in the pockets.
"The IFP condemns the escalating violence amid the current financial dispute between the taxi industry and associations, the Minister of Transport and the related disruptions to public transport services.
"We call for calm and for all parties involved to act with restraint and to resolve this dispute amicably and sensibly," said IFP spokesperson on transport Khethamabala Sithole.
Sithole said the party also noted the presence of the SANDF and heavily armed police at protest hot spots and encouraged "restraint on the part of law enforcement".
"All South Africans are feeling the pinch right now as we face off against a global pandemic and a broken economy. The IFP believes that following the welcomed R1 billion stimulus injection to the taxi industry, the recent demands are now unreasonable and out of line with our collective efforts to save our economy and to work with the little we have," said Sithole.
He said that many public sector industries were turning to the government for financial assistance, but that seeking help, "coupled with violence and grave disruptions to commuters, is not necessary and hurts those who need to get to work during this pandemic".
African News Agency (ANA)