Taxis in defiant go-slow over Covid-19 restrictions


Operators who fall under the governing structure of the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) are currently on a go-slow in response to the government’s regulation around the Covid-19 response.

A taxi driver was pulled over by the SANDF in Old Standford road Helenvale after the taxi was found to be carrying 17 passengers
Picture Eugene Coetzee/The Herald

Last week it was announced that minibus taxis, metered taxis, e-hailing vehicles and buses were allowed to operate from 5am to 9am and again from 4pm to 8pm. This measure includes minimising the number of commuters.

Thabisho Molelekwa, Santaco spokesperson, said yesterday that taxis were operating under protest.

“There is a general feeling from the industry that the government is not treating issues related to the taxi industry with sensitivity and priority.

“The operation structure that was implemented is not sustainable for 21 days for the people of the industry. “This view has gained momentum across the country and has seen some not working, defiantly overloading or inflating prices,” Molelekwa said.

He added that the organisation was currently in talks with the Presidency following a meeting with transport officials on Monday.

“We don’t have a set stance at the moment and we await a response from the government,” Molelekwa said.

Some taxi drivers in the East London CBD have set themselves on a collision course with the government as they demand double the normal fare from desperate passengers amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

The practice of doubling taxi fares started on Friday, on the first day of the lockdown, after the national transport department told drivers they had to load half the number of passengers they usually carry, Sowetan’s sister publication DispatchLIVE reported.


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