Brigands rule the roost

The taxi industry is up in arms again as the government tries to drag it kicking and screaming into the formal economy. So what's new?

The taxi industry is up in arms again as the government tries to drag it kicking and screaming into the formal economy. So what's new?

Behind all the taximen's bluster about serving the public lies the hard, cold fact that the many brigands in this business thrive on the misery of others.

That is the only reason they are trying to thwart the planned Bus Rapid Transit system, paying taxes and granting drivers the protection afforded every other worker in South Africa, from minimum wages to unemployment insurance.

Tough. The industry must be normalised now for the protection of its employees and passengers alike.

The industry had decades to police itself and proved utterly incapable of rising to the task. That's why taxi bosses still use hitmen to deal with rivals and why drivers consider themselves above the law.

Too many modern-day pirates rule the roost for us to tolerate their excesses any longer. They are a blot on what ought to be celebrated as a true example of broad-based black economic empowerment.

Like it or not, the taxi industry must be part and parcel of any plan to provide the citizens of this country with cheap, efficient and safe public transport.

And that means regulating the industry.

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