Santaco laments limited powers in dealing with taxi accidents

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The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says it has limited powers with regard to taking action against taxi drivers who are responsible for crashes or negligence on the roads. This follows the death of ten people from a crash that occurred on Sunday on the N1 South near Midrand in Johannesburg.

Metro Police say the driver of a minibus taxi lost control of the vehicle and it hit the concrete barrier at a high speed. Three other people were injured.

Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa says the council is engaging the Transport Department to discuss how to deal with such issues.  “It is our view as Santaco that in instances that the driver was completely at fault, we need to act against the taxi owner as well as the driver and that would include revoking the permit or the operating licence of the taxi operator.”

“But when you do that you’ve got the relevant authority, in this case, the Department of Transport which has got the absolute control over whether or not that license can be withdrawn and this is why we continue to implore the Minister of Transport to afford the industry those powers to ensure that we are able to act decisively,” says Molelekwa.

Santaco says it’s doing its own investigation into the fatal crash.

“We are saying in terms of our own internal process what we have gathered is that the issue of speed was not indicated to us. We are going to take this and reconcile it with the official report from the police to conclude the investigation in terms of what has really transpired and our processes are very clear. If the driver in any situation was at fault we are not ashamed to say it is,” added Molelekwa.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula offered condolences to the families of the victims of the horrific crash.