We lost trust in government after failure to formalise taxi industry: SANTACO

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The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) President, Philip Taaibosch, says they lost trust in government after it abandoned plans to formalise the taxi industry three decades ago.

Taaibosch was speaking at the launch of the Taxi Lekgotla Public Discourse Platform -which is due to take place in October – in Germiston. The platform has been initiated by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.

The Lekgotla will kickstart a series of engagements between industry players, stakeholders, businesses and civil society towards formalisation of the taxi industry.

Government has pledged its support for the sector and is expected to subsidise the industry next year.

Taaibosch also slammed the high-interest rate environment in which the sector continues to operate.

“We are saying yes to regulation minister, yes to formalisation and yes to economic emancipation. South Africa is now in the sixth year with 25 years of democracy but the taxi industry remains unsubsidised. This despite accounting for 70% of the transportation of the employees. Taxi’s continue to be financed at high-interest rates despite statistics in South Africa showing the taxi industry as the most preferred mode of transport in the country,” says Taaibosch.

On Thursday, Mbalula stated that the Lekgotla must emerge with an empowerment model for the industry with the real beneficiaries being individual operators. He said one of the key issues is to convert taxi businesses into corporate entities such as private companies and co-operatives.

The taxi industry, like all other businesses, was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic regulations.

Launch of the Taxi Lekgotla Public Discourse Platform: