The Transport industry is one of the sectors that were heavily affected by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal. Taxi operators in the province say they are feeling the pinch after their taxis were damaged by the heavy rains. They’ve made an appeal to the government for assistance.
Taxi owner Sibongiseni Ndlovu is still counting the losses a month after the heavy rains that caused major damage in the province. Two of his taxis were swept away while parked in Molweni, west of Durban. While he managed to recover his taxis, the damage was extensive.
Ndlovu’s taxi business is his only source of income and through it, he’s provided jobs for two of his drivers. They are currently without work.
Ndlovu who has five children says the damage to his taxis has put a strain on his life. While he’s filed an insurance claim and is waiting for approval, Ndlovu is still forced to pay monthly bank installments.
“It will be highly appreciated if the government can assist us because we lost a lot, we don’t have the income to sustain us and drivers who are now at home,” says Taxi owner Sibongiseni Ndlovu.
Taxi body, Santaco, says it’s not just their members whose taxis were damaged that have been affected. There are a number of associations that could not operate as roads were damaged. Some associations are now using alternative operating routes, a situation which Santaco says could be problematic if the roads are not repaired soon.
“Our leadership will engage with the government putting across all the needs that are required by taxi operator in terms of addressing the plight we are faced with after the floods hopefully we will be able to get assistance because there is indeed facts before us that taxi industry has been affected and in so doing probably the relief will be assisting our members,” says Provincial Manager of Santaco, Sifiso Shangase,
The cost of the damage to the road network in the province is estimated to be around R5-billion.
VIDEO: KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala to give an update on the latest on the flood disaster