The Ministry of Transport and SANTACO have continuously been engaged in discussions to find amicable and lasting solutions to the challenges faced by the Taxi Industry as presented by the COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the country and the world. Both parties have noted the statements and pronouncements made in the media and have agreed that this is not how to properly engage with each other.
The parties regret the unfortunate pronouncements that may have been uttered in the media and have made commitments towards finding lasting solutions that are commuter centred and which will be mutually beneficial to all citizens of our country.
Considering the renewed commitment to the constructive engagement, the taxi industry wishes to express its continued and unwavering support and commitment to the Transport Ministry and government of the Republic of South Africa.
The President of SANTACO, Mr Phillip Taaibosch expressed his sentiment as follows: “…we are committed to our relationship with the Ministry and Department of Transport and support Minister Mbalula in his endeavours to make a case for the Taxi Industry with his colleagues at the National Coronavirus Command Council and Cabinet and want him to succeed in his job…”
The parties have mutually agreed to afford the Honourable Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula time and space to further engage with the cabinet and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on the further proposals submitted by the taxi industry.
Both parties are cognizant that a lasting solution will be borne out of thorough constructive engagements within the confines of the COVID-19 Protocols and being mindful of the ever-escalating scourge of the pandemic as well as the fiscal constraints the country finds itself in.
SANTACO has indicated that whilst the gesture made by the government to provide some relief to the taxi industry is appreciated, it has however found a need for both parties to further engage on the modalities and alternatives relative to the proposed relief fund.
The government too has committed itself to transform the taxi industry into one of the viable and beneficial industries wherein the operators benefit not only from operations but also in the entire value chain of the industry. Minister Fikile Mbalula has expressed his sentiment as follows: “… we appreciate the precarious position the taxi industry finds itself in and commit ourselves to work with the industry towards changing things for the better for the taxi industry.
We believe that we can jointly find lasting solutions to the challenges facing the industry and look forward to an industry which is beneficial to operators in the entire value chain…”
Following the meeting held by the parties, the minister indicated that the outcomes of the meeting have reassured both parties that the future is promising and further engagements will lay a solid foundation for the financial sustainability of the taxi industry and open some new avenues to empower the industry.
The parties have further committed to do everything and anything in their power to ensure that further engagements pursued by both parties are in good faith and for the benefit of all South Africans.
To this extent, SANTACO will nominate a high-powered delegation to engage with the Director-General of the Department of Transport on the conditionalities and modalities related to the proposed relief fund and other matters still outstanding to be resolved.