Tag: Taxi Associations

News: Wear a mask or face a fine, taxi associations warn drivers

If you see a [taxi] driver not wearing a mask during a trip, report him,” warns Themba Kubheka, secretary of the Greater North Taxi Association in Durban.

This follows dozens of complaints from commuters about taxi drivers who defy regulations to slow the spread of Covid-19 by not wearing masks or wearing it incorrectly during trips.

“Some taxi drivers are not wearing their masks, some wear it on their chin and that is not acceptable … We will be running a campaign to teach them about the importance of safety especially during the pandemic,” said Kubheka.

“Most of our drivers were ignorant to the fact that this is serious, but now they are starting to see the seriousness of the situation. We are pleading with them to always wear their masks, sanitise and wash their hands before and after every trip,” said Kubheka.

SA National Taxi Council (SANTACO)’s Sfiso Shangase said, “In areas where Operation Hlokomela is active, we have asked that they fine any driver or driver assistant found without a mask on a trip. We have also put up stickers in taxis encouraging both our drivers and commuters to wear masks. If drivers don’t wear masks, how do they expect passengers to wear theirs?”

Commuter Mndeni Mkhize, from Ntuzuma, said drivers who do not wear face masks are endangering their lives and those of their passengers. “They are most at risk as they transport a lot of people from different professions everyday. It is their responsibility to make sure that everyone wears a mask when entering the taxi.”

Zwangabo Mjoka said taxi drivers in Malukazi, south of Durban, are leading by example. He said most of them wear masks during trips par “a few bad apples” that need to be reported for breaking lockdown regulations.

Chairperson of the taxi driver association Bonginkosi Sangweni said an ongoing challenge is convincing drivers to wear masks.

“Some people say that they are discouraged or don’t see the need to wear masks during trips just because drivers don’t wear theirs. This is wrong; we must work together on this. We are also collecting money to buy thermometers so that drivers can be screened before a trip,” said Sangweni.


By: Nokulunga Majola/ Groundup

Photo Credit: Nokulunga Majola


Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula


In an attempt to avert a public transport meltdown, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula meets with disgruntled taxi associations, while the president’s proclamation of relaxed lockdown regulations pertaining to ‘Advanced Level 3’ come under serious scrutiny.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, who has spent most of the week in robust discussions with taxi associations, is expected to reveal details of government’s previously-rejected relief proposal and the way forward for the country’s embattled public transport system.

In addition to announcing sharp fare increases, which will come into effect on 1 July, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has vowed to orchestrate a ‘shutdown’ in Gauteng.

Tensions between the taxi industry and government have been simmering for months, primarily as a rest of lockdown limitations on minibus capacities which have had harsh financial consequences for both owners and drivers.

Recently, Santaco rejected a once-off relief offer tabled by government. It’s reported that taxi associations are looking for 300% more than Mbalula is willing to offer.

Reasonable  price increases in July

Santaco said it would increase prices but ensure that these are reasonable and affordable. This had nothing to with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, said association spokesperson Thabiso Molelekwa.

He said if Santaco does not implement the price hike, at least 45% of their vehicles would be repossessed.

Increases capped at between R5 and R7

Several taxi associations in Gauteng will increase their prices by between R5 and R7 as of July 1. Gauteng Santaco chairperson Johannes Mkhonza said this will depend on the distance of the route, but the increase must be capped at R7.

He said the fare increase was necessary as Santaco members struggle with operational costs, which sees them cough up between R15,000 and R16,000 on vehicle installments.

Source: TimesLive, The South African

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