10 000 Taxi marchers to hit Tshwane

Tshwane Metro Police will be on stand-by to counteract any unlawful activity during a march organised by the taxi industry to the Union Buildings in Pretoria today.

Tshwane Metro Police will be on stand-by to counteract any unlawful activity during a march organised by the taxi industry to the Union Buildings in Pretoria today.

The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) has organised a march to demand, among other things, inclusion in the 2010 World Cup transport plans.

NTA general secretary Alpheus Mlalazi said no major disruptions were expected though the march would involve their members from different parts of the country.

"It is not a strike but a march. You will expect that the service would not be fully operational because some members would use the vehicles to go to the march.

"No serious disruptions are to be expected," Mlalazi said.

In the memorandum to be presented to Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele, the operators will demand that:

l the government stop impounding their vehicles;

l immediate return of taxi seats removed under the taxi recapitalisation programme;

l increment of the scrapping allowance to over R100000

l authorities stop harassing taxi operators in defense of the Bus Rapid Transit system and

l reinstatement of the original taxi operating licenses.

Mlalazi said they were expecting between 6000 and 10000 protesters.

Metro police spokesperson Melvin Vosloo confirmed the march and said that they would be on stand-by to ensure that the march is held without incidents.

"We do not need to close the streets that would be affected. We will monitor them as they march to the Union Buildings," Vosloo said.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) distanced itself from the march.

Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa said yesterday:" Since Santaco has appealed to the government to recommit to the negotiation table as agreed in the Memorandum of Agreement, the organisation believes in firstly exploring all possible avenues within the principles of constructive engagement".

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