Equal Education in W Cape concerns taxi strike disrupting school attendance

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Civil society organisation Equal Education in the Western Cape has expressed concern over the ongoing taxi strike which has disrupted school attendance in the province.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) withdrew its services in the province last Thursday, in protest over the impounding of some of its taxis.

The organisation has called for government to find an urgent solution to the current situation.

Equal Education’s Head of Organising in the Western Cape, Nontsikelelo Dlulani says, “The conversation we’ve been having since Friday, until today with learners and teachers, they’ve been expressing that some of them are walking to school, walking more than 5km to get to school because they want to be at school, they don’t want to be left behind.”

“Some of these learners are not going to school at all, and some of those that are at school, a lot of time, you find that they’re are in empty classrooms, teachers are not there. Because teachers are staying in these same communities, that there’s so much now currently violence. So, the ongoing strike is really affecting learners and teachers and the whole community at large.”

VIDEO: Western Cape taxi strike leaves many stranded:

‘No further negotiation with Santaco’ 

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis says they will not negotiate any further with Santaco until there is cessation of violence by taxis in the City.

Hill-Lewis says the City will uphold the rule of law without fear or favour.

“Everyone of us across the country has either witnessed or been victim of the irresponsible road behaviour of taxi drivers. Fines simply don’t work, they just never pay the fines you have to wait until you eventually get enough fines to get arrest warrant and then hope that you find the same driver again, so you can arrest them. But impoundments work instantly. If they misbehave and endanger the lives of other motorists or of their own passengers they vehicle gets taken away they have to pay a very significant impoundment fee to get it out again.”

On Monday, the High Court in Cape Town granted an urgent interdict to the City against Santaco’s taxi strike. The order states that no person, vehicle, taxi or driver may unreasonably obstruct, interfere or block any vehicle on any public road, throughout the City Metropole, in a manner as to harm passengers, or delay or impede the flow of traffic. Several buses and cars have been torched during the strike.