No end in sight to taxi strike

Commuters sit around hoping to get a taxi during a strike on Monday August 6. Picture: Lindiwe Mlandu
Taxi operators affiliated to the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) and Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) are expected to continue their strike which left thousands of commuters stranded on Monday.

Taxis withdrew their services over a dispute with the South African National Taxi Association Council (Santaco).

Adviser to the Minibus Taxi Industry Task Team (MTITT), Achmat Dyason said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused to the commuters. But the strike will continue until our demand of a pre-elective conference is met.”

The MTITT says it’s been making the same demands since September 2016. They want a new Santaco leadership. 

“We don’t have a leadership. We haven’t had leadership in many years.”

They want the provincial government to intervene as it only recognises Santaco. 

“We can’t call the conference ourselves. We have to engage with the provincial government on any issues involving Santaco, ” said Mr Dyason.

He said the decision to strike wasn’t taken lightly.

“We are the second largest employer in this country. We didn’t take the decision to strike lightly. But we have been engaging with the Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant for a while now. Nothing has come out of it.”

Mr Dyason says they met with Santaco last week, but the mother body failed to meet their demands. 

Taxi operators also want to be subsidised by government.

Mr Dyason said: “Our vehicles are being impounded without consultation. We need to be subsidised by government.”

Meanwhile, Santaco has condemned incidents of violence related to the strike. Three  buses were torched in Khayelitsha this morning.