South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has lashed out at the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) for threatening to strike over the hundred-percent taxi loading capacity.
Cosatu wants government to reverse the decision and bar taxis from loading full capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Taxi operators are allowed to operate at full capacity for short-distance travel and 70% for long-distance.
Santaco says when about 70% of workers in the taxi industry stayed home for two months without salaries, Cosatu remained mum.
Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa says Cosatu’s decision is unfortunate and disingenuous, based purely on its twisted views about the taxi industry.

“It is very clear in our view as Santaco  that Cosatu is ignorant with the realities that are faced by the industry and these employees  in as far as COVID-19 is concerned. And Cosatu has not really done enough ground work to check and follow the situation that has been happening currently between government and the taxi industry. We want therefore to indicate that we find what Cosatu has said that government has thrown workers under the bus to be quite reckless and irresponsible.”

Joburg taxi commuters fearful of contracting COVID-19

Johannesburg taxi commuters say while they need to travel to work to earn a living, they remain fearful of contracting COVID-19 and passing it on to their families.

Commuters made these comments as taxis belonging to Santaco and the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) continued loading their vehicles at full capacity, despite lockdown restrictions for the taxi industry.

Commuters in Johannesburg also say their lives will become harder when taxi fares increase.

Taxi alliances have accused the Transport Ministry of failing to accommodate the industry’s concerns regarding the lockdown regulations and have also blamed the ministry for postponing meetings on numerous occasions.

Santaco’s Chief Strategic Manager Bafana Magagula says taxis will continue to load passengers at 100 percent capacity until Mbalula brings forth solutions.

Magagula says, “The minister is going to take all our proposals to the NCCC next Wednesday and he is going to return to us after that meeting. Until then we will wait for the minister to come back to us. We will leave the loading at 100 percent. There is no way it can be dangerous for a 15 passenger seating capacity as long as people are in wearing masks. We are going to ensure that protocol is followed.”