Country-wide taxi strike on hold, for now

The country-wide taxi strike planned by The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), which would’ve affected 68% of South Africa’s daily commuters, has been put on hold for now.

Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, announced this at a joint press briefing with Santaco in Pretoria yesterday. The taxi strike was planned for Wednesday, 12th July.

The most pressing issue behind the planned strike was the amount of interest taxi owners pay for vehicles bought via financing, which reportedly can be as high as 28%.

Last month, Santaco held a strike in Johannesburg over the same issues. The Council was condemned for the conduct of some of their drivers and the Gauteng Community Safety Department vowed to now give it permission to strike again.

According to Maswanganyi, both government and Santaco agreed to work together to confront the challenges that the taxi industry continues to experience on a daily basis as clearly articulated in the meeting which the department had with Santaco on Friday.

“The meeting was held as part of the commitment we made as government that we will meet with the transport industry role players, including the taxi industry, the rail sector as well as bus operators to discuss the transformation of this important economic industry, which is the cornerstone of economic development,”the Minister said.

Committees, which incorporate members of Santaco and the national and provincial spheres of government, will be set up to deal with these issues.

With regards to access to finance, Maswanganyi said government notes the frustration that the taxi industry is experiencing.

“To this end, we are going to involve other government departments, including Treasury and its agencies to explore other possible funding mechanisms. As government, we are indeed upbeat that working together with the taxi industry we will make sure that we transform this industry into a modern, technology savvy and safe mode of public transport that will become a choice for the young and old,” he said.


[Image – CC 2.0 flowcomm]


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