Normality at last

Ironic, isn't it, that taxi drivers in Tshwane strike just as the first benefits of the government's normalisation programme for the industry start filtering to the public.

Ironic, isn't it, that taxi drivers in Tshwane strike just as the first benefits of the government's normalisation programme for the industry start filtering to the public.

Their rationale makes it abundantly clear how much the industry needed to be transformed.

The drivers say the new centralised ticketing system deprives them of the unrecorded income they used to dump in their own pockets.

Everyone agrees that the drivers endure appalling working conditions. So even the taxi owners did not begrudge them the cash they skimmed off their daily take.

Surely the answer is to put everything above board rather than encouraging drivers to whizz around our public roads like maniacs to supplement their meagre income.

And putting everything above board is what normalising the industry is all about. Owners must now pay tax like any other business. They are also subject to the same labour laws as everyone else, including the requirement to pay unemployment insurance.

All of us, from passengers to drivers, will benefit when the original and biggest black economically empowered industry in the country operates like all other businesses.

So let the drivers negotiate better working conditions as all other workers do - it's for our common benefit.

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