- Taxi operators have still not received relief funds that were promised by Government last year
- The National Taxi Alliance’s Theo Malele says the taxi industry has not seen a cent from the promised R1.1 billion
- In Pietermaritzburg, taxi operators closed the CBD to demand answers from Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla with regard to e-hailing taxis
According to the National Taxi Alliance, the industry has yet to receive the R1.1 billion promised by Government.
Speaking to Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo at the Noord Taxi rank in the Joburg CBD, the organisation’s Theo Malele asked where the promised funding was.
According to EWN, Mamabolo was at Noord Taxi rank to monitor whether Covid-19 and health protocols were being followed. The relief fund was announced over a year ago and the National Taxi Alliance says the taxi industry has not seen a cent of it.
The fund was meant to help lessen the burden of the taxi industry as it was heavily affected by Covid-19 restrictions last year. Taxi operators were initially only allowed to operate at 50% to 70% load capacity.
“We've been going back and forth with the Ministry of Transport," he said in a quote from EWN.
The government had set aside conditions for taxi operators to be eligible to receive funds. Some of the stipulations were that taxi operators needed to be registered as businesses and have bank accounts.
Another requirement was that taxi operators needed to have an operating licence.
"One of the prerequisites for us to access these funds is to have an operating licence. Now we find it quite strange that is a prerequisite when in essence it is difficult for the very authorities to supply us with this operating licence," he said.
Taxi drivers meet with Msunduzi Municipality after closing down Pietermaritzburg CBD
In other taxi industry news, taxi drivers in Pietermaritzburg went on strike on Tuesday. In a protest against the operation of e-hailing taxi services, hundreds of minibus taxis blocked key entry points into the Msunduzi Municipality CBD.
In a report by IOL, the municipality met with the taxi association to discuss their issues, according to municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha.
“A follow-up meeting is going to be held with the association and other relevant stakeholders and the Department of Provincial Transport to pave a way forward,” she said
Before the strike took place, a message was circulated on social media warning the public that entrances to the CBD would be closed.
The message also said that the strike was called as an effort to get answers from Msunduzi Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla and the Department of Transport about e-hailing drivers operating without permits in the city.
Study finds poor working conditions cause taxi recklessness, SA disagrees
A previous report by Briefly News stated that a Wits University study suggests that reckless driving amongst taxi drivers may be in part caused by poor working conditions. An unnamed occupational therapist concluded the research sometime this year.
While the researcher seems to sympathise with Mzansi's taxi drivers, South African social media users had some differing opinions. Many found the research to be a justification for taxi recklessness and took to the comments section to share their thoughts.
South Africans were very disappointed and made this known in the comment section of the post. Many of them criticised Government, who they said were not leading by example.
Read their comments below:
Kenneth Maqala said:
"The same happened yesterday between Harrismith and Kestell, people in the very nice expensive car were looting flour from the overturned truck, what a shame to this nation."
Steve Van Reenen said:
"They learned from the ANC that there no consequences for their actions."
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