The planned national taxi strike that was expected on Wednesday has been called off. The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) earlier threatened a total shutdown across the country because of the lockdown regulation that they say has left only 10% of taxis in operation.
Santaco Spokesperson Thabiso Molelekwa says they have managed to reach common ground with government.
“Out of the meeting that we had with the minister, despite our discontent, there are some gains that we were able to make. And largely, that was on the increase of loading capacity, which has now been moved. A 15-seater will then take 10 and a 22 seater will take 15. At least it will make the operator make a break-even. The other issue was the increase in operating hours that the minister has agreed to.”
Santaco had earlier announced that essential workers and grant recipients who use minibus taxis as a mode of transport could be left stranded from Wednesday as the association’s taxi drivers were considering a total shutdown across the country.
Appeal for relaxing transport curfew
Many drivers have raised concerns, saying commuters who are essential workers were left stranded after 9am. Public transport only operates between 5am and 9am in the morning and four and eight in the evening.
In the video below, taxi drivers voice their concerns regarding transport curfews during the 21-day lockdown:
Cab driver Moegamat Mujahied says the fixed times will be a major blow for the next 21 days.
In the video below, the impact of the national lockdown on public transport:
In this video below, Inter-Ministerial committee briefs the media on COVID-19: