Roads blocked due to taxi strike, state and industry at loggerheads
In a bid to force government to reconsider its R1 billion relief fund to the taxi industry, South African National Taxi Council's (Santaco) in Gauteng is going ahead with its planned shutdown on Monday.
The industry is up in arms over the package arguing that operators lost a lot more because of lockdown restrictions.
Bongani Bingwa speaks to Santaco spokesperson Thabiso Molelekwa and Transport spokesperson Ayanda Allie Paine to weigh in on the matter.
There is a meeting planned with Fikile Mbalula, this coming Tuesday or Wednesday and we intend to explore the issue of the relief further.Thabiso Molelekwa, Spokesperson - Santaco
He says Mbalula making an announcement after a meeting that was had last week, put the industry in a difficult situation as the outcomes of the meeting were had not even been reported to members.
It is regrettable as a shutdown is the last thing we would have wanted to do, but it is unfair as since day one of the lockdown, the industry has been subsidising the commuter and this is an industry that is not subsidised by the government.Thabiso Molelekwa, Spokesperson - Santaco
Molelekwa says taxi operators have not been making money since the lockdown started.
If there is no serious intervention, in the next six to eight months, atleast 45% of taxi owners will loose their vehicles.Thabiso Molelekwa, Spokesperson - Santaco
Allie Paine says it is unfortunate that the taxi industry and government are at loggerheads.
We are finding this shutdown premature and counterproductive. Santaco has always enjoyed an audience with the minister and continues to do so, we have a meeting on Wednesday, for them to voice their grievances.Ayanda Allie Paine, Spokesperson - Transport Ministry
For them to take to the streets in this manner, it is something we find unbecoming and they should have allowed these discussions to ventilate themselves.Ayanda Allie Paine, Spokesperson - Transport Ministry
Listen below to the full conversation:
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