Extortion of staff transport still continuing
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Cape Town - While one of the two big taxi associations in the Cape won’t allow staff transport to operate on their routes without permits, the other one is willing to help those who have their cars impounded on their route.
A staff transport owner who did not want to be named, because he used to be a taxi driver, said that since he had started transporting staff with his own car he had been stopped and asked for a permit in Khayelitsha.
“I have been stopped twice but there is always someone I know which is how I get away with it, but I decided to get my own permit,” he said.
He said it was very scary for their passengers to be stopped like this.
Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) spokesperson Andile Khanyi, said everyone had a right to transport people but they must have a permit.
“We don’t allow cars to transport staff without a valid permit in our routes, if we allow it we might get a situation where another association is established in front of our eyes,” he said.
He said because people had to provide for their families the association offered permits to those interested.
“We offer permits that are valid for a year at a cost of R1 500 only,” he said.
Khanyi said anyone who wants a permit must go to their office and get one.
Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) spokesperson Mandla Hermanus said they were aware that drivers were being stopped despite the association doing everything to fight prevent it.
He said people should report to the police and their offices because the association helps track the wrong doers.
He said since lockdown was announced, some companies had opted for private staff transport.
Hermanus said staff transport had always been there but they used to operate in the early morning and very late at night.
“We understand the frustration of our members because now staff transport operates the whole day,” he said.
However, he said they did not encourage the impounding of people’s cars.
Santaco provincial spokesperson Gershon Geyer, said they had spoken to Codeta and Cata about this because most complaints were related to them.
“It becomes a criminal matter when people’s cars are taken because it is the same as hijacking and we don’t support it,” he said.
MEC for Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell condemned the “criminal acts” and called on the leaders of the taxi industry to ensure their members operated within the law.
“In terms of the National Land Transport Act and supporting Provincial Laws, the Provincial Registrar may de-register associations or members and the Provincial Regulatory Entity may withdraw operating licences from people who are convicted of extortion or other serious crimes,” he said.