Taxi industry urged to speak in one voice

Fikile Mbalula
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There are growing calls for the stakeholders in the taxi industry to unite and speak with one voice.

This comes as the National Taxi Lekgotla enters its second-day in Boksburg east of Johannesburg.

The meeting has brought together various transport stakeholders including taxi group, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), to discuss the formalisation and regulation of the taxi industry.

However, the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) has boycotted the meeting.

NTA claims the gathering is seeking to deliver the taxi industry to the highest bidder and make Santaco the leaders of the taxi industry.

Government has made clear its support and recognition of Santaco.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says one of the items on the agenda of the Lekgotla is the issue of unity within the taxi industry.

“How do we bring other structures that have broken away or have not become part of this bigger body of Santaco. How do we bring them on board, under what auspices? What is the mechanism that is right for government to engage with the taxi industry?”

“At the present moment is Santaco that we recognise, it is not because some people are in the pockets of anybody or co-opted. It is simply because that’s how things are. We have invited others to come on board in order to unpack and deal decisively with disunity in the industry,” explains Mbalula.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the taxi industry must work with government towards the sector’s formalisation and economic empowerment.

Ramaphosa was speaking in a virtual address.

President Cyril Ramaphosa officiates the opening of National Taxi Lekgotla: