Members of the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) are accusing the North West department of Community Safety & Transport Management of treating their members unfairly when it comes to the issuing of permits and merging of taxi routes.
The members marched and picketed outside the department’s offices, in Mahikeng, North West, on Thursday, during which they demanded that their grievances be addressed.
Scores of members of the taxi alliance gathered outside the department of transport management demanding a meeting with the MEC Sello Lehari. They are demanding fair treatment of their members by the department.
They accuse the department of favouring other associations, above, NTA. They are calling for a visible change in how members of the industry are treated.
“We want the MEC to listen to our problems, some of our problems, the failed mergers that were done by the former MEC. We need the provincial regulatory entity to refrain from requiring letters of recommendation from the people that do not affiliate with associations that they are not affiliated to. We ask MEC to tell his people that they must treat us fairly,” says National Taxi Alliance’s Neliswa Setlhodi.
Some members say the department of transport management in the province is causing division in the province’s taxi industry.
“As we speak there is a member who killed a person by a taxi and that taxi does not have a permit and we have been making reports and so on, but our MEC does not want to listen to us,” an NTA member says.
Another NTA member adds, “Our last option is to take the department to court, there is no other way because they failed to listen to our demands.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Transport Management in the North West has refuted the allegations by NTA members.
“In adjudicating the application that we receive is not a question of whether you belong to NTA or SANTACO. What informs the provincial regulatory body to take the decision to grant or not to grant is the ITPs that are in place. It will tell you that there is undersupply somewhere or there is a demand somewhere and that will assist the provincial regulatory entity to take a decision. Coming to the question of merging by the repeal act, the national land transport transition act, the thresh hold of forming the association was 31 but there were those associations in different areas that could not meet the thresh hold,” says Boitumelo Bopalamo: Acting Director, Operating License and Permits.
However, the National Taxi Alliance says if the department of Community Safety & Transport Management does not address its issues adequately, it will take the matter to court.