Western Cape taxi body wants the recapitalisation programme scrapped

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Taxi bodies around the country have become increasingly divided after threats of strike action in the Western Cape by the National Taxi Alliance (NTA).

Last week the alliance called for the R7,7billion taxi recapitalisation programme to be canned, claiming the government was attempting to marginalise it by dealing only with selected taxi organisations. The alliance has already protested against the programme by marching to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in October.

Alliance chairman Sicelo Mabaso said that the threats were just that and nothing more.

"Just because we have not fully unpacked our strategy, people think we will strike," Mabaso said. "It is a premature assumption."

The alliance had a meeting yesterday with most provincial representatives to determine the course of action in their dispute with the government.

"If our meeting determines strike action, we will follow required procedure," said Mabaso, noting that some provinces might decide to take their own course.

South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) national chairman Oupa Oldjohn said though the alliance might have cause to go on strike, proper consultation was needed.

In other provinces, taxi associations claim to be having a smooth recapitalisation process despite the challenges.

"We are aware that some of our members are struggling with information, and we are doing our best to help them," said Gauteng Taxi Association (GTA) chairman Tutu Molefe.

The GTA is on a roadshow to tell taxi operators how to scrap old vehicles and to apply for the R50000 allowance.

KwaZulu Natal Taxi Council vice-chairman Dennis Hadebe also said the process was going well.

"People have got the allowances and we've already scrapped 243 taxis with 1000 applications pending. If we strike, commuters will be the ones to lose."