Taxi boss defends industry

DESPITE the rising number of road accidents involving taxis in KwaZulu-Natal, the industry has urged the public "to stop applying double standards".

DESPITE the rising number of road accidents involving taxis in KwaZulu-Natal, the industry has urged the public "to stop applying double standards".

Media reports show that accidents involving taxis occur in the province daily and a large number end in fatalities.

But KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance president Gerald Ferror said singling out the taxi industry as the main culprit would not solve the problem.

"I have been in the taxi industry for 20 years and we are always being blamed when there is an accident.

The reality is that taxi drivers are the best drivers in the world because they are able to transport people home despite bad weather conditions," Ferror said.

He said all accidents must be treated the same.

Ferror said the taxi industry employed drivers strictly in accordance with the law.

"We have laws that govern the industry. Drivers should have public driver's permits and at least two years' experience."

But, Ferror admitted that there was a possibility that some taxi owners did not abide by the law when employing drivers.

He said leaders such as Bheki Cele, Sbu Ndebele and Jeff Radebe were now calling taxis "coffins on wheels" yet they were using the taxis before they bought their own cars.

Ferror said 68percent of the people in the province use taxis everyday.

"We acknowledge that we have a few loose cannons in the industry.

We are aware that there are people who do not want to acknowledge total Black Economic Empowerment of the industry," Ferror said.

On the readiness of the industry for the soccer World Cup, he said: "We have been ready and will always be ready." - Mhlaba Memela

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