National Taxi Alliance Strike
After having spent much of the weekend in negotiations with the Western Cape National Taxi Alliance (NTA) in an effort to avoid today's strike I am furious that this morning the body was involved in acts of violence and intimidation including pelting stones at buses.
Accordingly, I have shelved all plans to assist the NTA with its concerns until such time that they give me a written declaration that no further violence will occur. I also made it clear to them over the weekend that I was neither able nor prepared to meet their main demand for a universal amnesty for pounded vehicles.
At no time was I informed that today's strike would go over to general lawlessness. In fact I was assured that this would not happen.
I am assured by all arms of law enforcement that they are fully prepared for any eventuality. There is a golden future awaiting the taxi industry as a significant player in formal public transport.
I unequivocally refute allegations by the taxi body that they are excluded from the IRT and their vehicles are being illegally impounded.
I have made it clear to the taxis on numerous occasions that the IRT would not proceed without their involvement. Their allegation that their vehicles are impounded illegally does not hold water at all. Their vehicles have been impounded because they were operating illegally or on routes they are not allowed to operate.
There are substantial benefits to be obtained by using their collective buying power to negotiate better deals in the purchase of vehicles and spares; financing and insurance. There is considerable income to be had out of advertising.
All of these opportunities are lost to the industry by their inability to establish a genuine unity. The warlords and bully boys in the taxi industry are its own worst enemies.
Minister of Transport
Media Liaison Officer
Ministry of Transport
Western Cape Provincial Government
Cell: 083 641 9691
Tel: 021 483 8954