It is unknown when the new Centurion taxi rank will open, according to the councillor for the area.     Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)
It is unknown when the new Centurion taxi rank will open, according to the councillor for the area. Jacques Naude African News Agency (ANA)

Mamelodi Amalgamated Taxi Association accepts court ruling

By Sakhile Ndlazi Time of article published Jul 3, 2020

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Pretoria - The Mamelodi Amalgamated Taxi Association (Mata) has accepted the ruling of Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to dissolve its executive committee and hold fresh elections.

Rumours of it rebelling and appealing the ruling were doing the rounds in Mamelodi, with some anticipating a violent reaction.

The association, which was associated with violent acts in the past and more recently, said it welcomed the ruling and was waiting for clear guidelines from the provincial government.

Mata spokesperson Bonny Ndjishe said they would comply with the ruling and assist with making the process run smoothly while making sure commuters received their services without any distractions.

“The court has ruled and we will oblige without contesting or appealing.

"We will make sure the process runs smoothly, until we have elections in three months,” Ndjishe said.

On Wednesday, MEC for Roads and Transport Jacob Mamabolo launched an urgent application with the court following violence, which claimed the lives of at least 19 people.

In an attempt to ensure that the lives of commuters were not further disrupted, Mamabolo opted not to close the routes on which the minibus taxi operators operated or suspend any of the operators’ permits.

And after consultation with the taxi industry, Mamabolo appointed Hettie Groenewald as the administrator of association, with immediate effect.

The attorney has been practising for 40 years specialising in taxi-related matters.

She was tasked with rebuilding the association and restoring orderly operations over the next three months to prepare for the election of a new executive committee.

This also follows several weeks of protests by taxi drivers over preferential treatment afforded to some taxis at the taxi ranks, where they allegedly do not queue up to load passengers like all other taxis.

Meanwhile, the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) in Tshwane said it was still in negotiations on whether to push members to operate at 100%.

Santaco has been at loggerheads with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula over the government’s R1.1billion offer to ease their financial strain during the lockdown.

Taxi drivers rejected the offer, saying they wanted to be paid at least R20000 to make up for loss of profit during the lockdown.

The government was offering them R5000 each.

Santaco regional spokesperson Mack Makata said he could not yet comment on whether taxi drivers in the Tshwane metro would adhere to the call by the national structure pushing members to fill their taxis to full capacity.

He said the 70% capacity rule was a compromise as taxi operators were not making any profits.

And in the southern part of the city, the state-of-the-art Centurion taxi rank was in limbo, and it remained unclear when it would open.

Ward councillor Peter Sutton said he was none the wiser especially because of the legal case between the Tshwane councillors and administration running the city.

“At the moment I can’t say because of our situation with the legal case.

“All I can tell you is that it is not open yet but I don’t know what the delay is or what the reason is,” he said.

Since Tshwane was put under administration there had been no councillors, he said. The new state-of-the-art Centurion taxi rank was on schedule to be opened to the public towards the end of January.

The R12million 10000m² facility is designed to accommodate 55 taxis.

Previously City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said everything was on par and they were excited to provide the much-needed service to the people of Centurion.

The taxi rank, located on the corner of South Street and Hendrik Verwoerd Drive, was divided into two categories; holding and loading.

Footing the bill for the construction of the rank is Redefine Properties as part of its corporate social investment initiative.

It will feature offices for local taxi associations, 22 informal kiosks for traders as well as public toilets. More than 15 000 commuters are expected to use the facility daily.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za

Pretoria News

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