Transport Minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga says some of the complaints that taxi organisation Santaco in the Western Cape raised, related to alleged city police brutality against operators.
Chikunga and Western Cape MEC for Mobility appeared before Parliament’s Transport Committee last night, to brief it about the conditions for the suspension of the strike and the way forward.
The City of Cape Town was also invited to the briefing but sent an apology. It only sent a presentation to the committee.
Chikunga reflected on some of the complaints by the Santaco when she met them on the 4th of August, to intervene in the impasse between Santaco and the City.
“Santaco indicated that there are long outstanding issues between themselves and the city, but more recently they included, the impoundment of their vehicles for minor infringements that according to them do not warrant such harsh punishment like minor defects on a vehicle, no reflector or if there is a defective light etc.
There’s also brutality and heavy handedness by the city police and getting no assistance when they report cases at the police station, was another matter that Santaco raised with myself.”
The Santaco strike in the Western Cape:
The Western Cape MEC for Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie says Cape Town and the Western Cape have suffered serious reputational damage during the eight day taxi strike by Santaco in the mother city.
He says this also had a negative impact on South Africa.
Santaco in the Western Cape mulls over participation in taxi task team:
The City is known for attracting local and international tourists.
Mackenzie explains, “The reputational damage for the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape and South Africa as you will know and I’m sure the national minister will make that point, that we were actually put on watch list. So, the reputational damage to South Africa during this taxi strike was significant. It also took place during the Netball World Cup. We’ve lost a British tourist and we’ve also lost several working South Africans during that strike. So, it was extremely negative.”