Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. File Picture ANA
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. File Picture ANA

Mbalula and taxi industry continue to hold talks over Covid-19 regulations

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Apr 21, 2020

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Cape Town - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula met with the SA Taxi Council and Alliance (Santaco) as part of ongoing consultations with the taxi industry, and observed the implementation of the Covid-19 national lockdown

regulations.

Mbalula conducted virtual discussions with taxi bosses on Monday, at which he noted the grievances of the industry, which included alleged heavy-handed law enforcement and illegal profiteering by trucks and other vehicles ferrying passengers.

Mbalula raised concerns about reports of taxi fare increments of up to 100% in some parts of the country, insufficient sanitisation as well as sporadic incidents of overloading and breaching of travel times.

Mbalula said he also noted the dire effects of the lockdown on the taxi industry, but strongly advised against lawlessness. He indicated that intergovernmental consultations on taxi industry relief support were at an advanced stage.

The intergovernmental departments included Transport, Small Business, Labour, Trade and Industry and the Competition Commission, as well as the National Treasury. Mbalula said they had agreed to support the industry and were currently looking at various modalities of assistance.

“The taxi industry is one of the biggest contributors to the success of the lockdown, it cannot be left to chance. We are happy that stakeholders in this sector are championing the campaign and are in agreement that we must all do what we can to flatten the curve and stop the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

Santaco president Philip Taaibosch welcomed the commitment made by the Mbalula “that the taxi industry will be offered some relief for the loss of income suffered by taxi operators during the lockdown”.

Taaibosch called on taxi operators throughout the country to continue to observe the regulations and continue the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

According to National Taxi Alliance spokesperson Theo Malele, the discussions also extended to broader issues such as the formalisation and subsidisation of the taxi industry, as well as the National Taxi Indaba scheduled to take place later this year.

@SISONKE_MD

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