Sunday, 28 June 2020 16:42

 

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) confirmed that from Monday taxis will load at 100 percent capacity.

This was announced at a press conference by the council on Sunday.

The taxi association has also resolved that long-distance operators must resume work without permits.

Santaco’s resolution goes against government’s COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines that stipulate that minibus taxis must load at 70-percent capacity during level three of the lockdown.

“We have taken this decision against the frustrations and lack of direction from government,” said Santaco president Phillip Taaibosch.

“We have complained about this wrongful impoundment to the Minister and nothing has been done to this day.”

Santaco said the following safety measures will have to be followed;

  • Wearing of masks in the taxis which is compulsory in terms of the law.
  • Sanitisation of taxis and commuters as they board taxis.
  • For long-distance taxis, marshals must ensure that all boarding commuters are screened and recorded and that a proper filing system is kept safe.
  • Regional Taxi Councils of respective long-distance taxis must be given weekly reports of this information including taxis that loaded.
  • Associations must ensure taxi drivers do not load beyond the taxi’s legal loading capacity.

Taxi industry were meant to meet with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula this week but this didn't materialise due to multiple unexplained postponements.

Associations have rejected the department's R1.1 billion relief package, which would have seen drivers receive R5,000 each.

But operators said this was not enough and were calling for the figure to be increased to R20,000.

Meanwhile Mbalula said He is awaiting feedback from the National COVID Command Council before announcing a way forward on the matter, He will then meet with the taxi industry to advise on the points that they've raised.

Minister was expected to meet with the sector to discuss the much-opposed R1 billion relief package government has availed, to help cushion the economic blow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However this is the third time minister has called off a meeting with taxi operators who had gone on strike in the wake of a fallout against him.