Picture : Ian Landsberg/AfrIcan News Agency (ANA).

Taxi Industry defies lockdown by operating at 100% capacity

CAPE TOWN – Santaco has instructed the taxi industry to defy instructions from the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula and operate at 100percent capacity after Mbalu refused a meeting on Sunday with industry stakeholders.

As the lockdown restrictions ease, certain parts of the country’s industries begin to open or operate at full capacity, however, the taxi industry has chosen to defy direct instructions from Mbalula after being asked to wait for a response until Thursday this week.

The response from the taxi industry comes from weeks of protests requesting government financial relief funds and regulations with the sector struggling during the lockdown.

Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Mbalula offered a R1.1 billion once-off relief package, however, the funds were rejected by Santaco (South African National Taxi Association) saying it was not enough to ease the challenges many taxi drivers and owners face.

Last week’s protests saw taxis disrupting traffic and blocking roads. Both the minister and the taxi industry are yet to come to an agreement.

Mbalula released a statement on Twitter on Sunday addressing the instructions from the taxi leadership stating that the legal loading capacity remains at 70 percent until further notice.

 

“I appeal to the leadership structures of the industry to reconsider their decision to incite lawlessness and place their drivers and passengers on a collision course with law enforcement authorities. While we have expressed support for a review of loading capacity to 100 percent, until the current Directions have been revised the legal loading capacity is 70 percent and enforceable by law enforcement authorities” said Mbalula in the statement.

The minister concludes the statement by condemning the instructions on illegal acts violating the lockdown regulations urging leadership in the industry to ensure protests are done within the parameters of the law

 

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