drivers on strike

ABOUT 300 taxi drivers have embarked on a strike demanding better working conditions and benefits from the Seshego-Polokwane Taxi Association (SPTA).

ABOUT 300 taxi drivers have embarked on a strike demanding better working conditions and benefits from the Seshego-Polokwane Taxi Association (SPTA).

Yesterday striking drivers chanted slogans against taxi owners and colleagues who were not taking part in the protest.

"We demand funeral cover for drivers to be increased from R15000 to R30000 and transparency about the bank account in which daily rank fees are deposited," Seshego-Polokwane Drivers Representatives chairperson Josias Sebata said.

"The fees are collected from each taxi and also made up of fines imposed on drivers.

"The current SPTA executive committee misled us by increasing rank fees from R10 to R20 daily.

They had initially promised the increase would be for three months only. It has now been eight months.

This means they make more than R160000 a month from the 400 taxis affiliated to the association."

Striking drivers also accused the SPTA executive committee of forcing them to fill up at a particular filling station in Seshego at which most taxi owners were shareholders.

They said they wanted drivers who graduated into owners after acquiring their own taxis to pay a promotional fee of R5000 and not R10000.

SPTA deputy chairperson Gab Chuene said while his association recognised the crucial role played by drivers, he took exception to the disrespectful language in the memorandum submitted to their offices by protesting drivers .

"They use insulting language such as 'We are sick and tired' and their memorandum is undated. We must first agree on procedures and explain to them that the association is not an employer. As of now each driver is accountable to the vehicle owner," Chuene said.

He said a meeting with the striking drivers was scheduled for yesterday evening.

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