Santaco won’t join taxi strike

2010-11-16 08:07

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said its members

would not be joining taxi drivers marching to the Union Buildings to protest

against the implementation of government’s new traffic demerit system.

“At the moment, while Santaco equally holds concerns regarding the

implementation of the Aarto system, it is not a part of the strike,” said

Santaco spokesperson Philip Taaibosch.

He said that Santaco would engage in a separate process to raise

and address the concerns of the taxi industry regarding Aarto.

Taaibosch said that Santaco was, however, neither negative nor

affirmative on the strike by the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu)

regarding the Aarto system.

The Tshwane Metro Police were expecting almost 20 000 minibus taxi

drivers to march today to protest against the implementation of the Aarto

system.

Spokesperson Alta Fourie said yesterday drivers from around Gauteng

were expected to take part in the march.

Permission for the march organised by Satawu had been granted.

Protesters would march to the Union Buildings.

The following streets will be closed:

» Struben Street between DF

Malan Drive and Cowie Street;

» Vermeulen Street between

Beatrix and Church Street; and

» Edmond Street between

Government Lane and Vermeulen Street.


Fourie said all the other intersections would only be sealed off

when marchers crossed the respective intersection.

Satawu is demanding that the Administrative Adjudication of Road

Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) legislation be repealed.

The system penalises drivers with demerit points for traffic

offences.

Once a driver has 12 demerit points, his or her driver’s licence

gets suspended for three months. A driver’s licence gets cancelled on the third

suspension.

Satawu’s Gauteng chairperson Ephraim Mphahlele said on Saturday the

union appreciated the fact that government wanted to implement the system in an

attempt to minimise road accidents.

However, Mphahlele said AARTO would threaten the jobs of Satawu

members by suspending and nullifying driving licenses.

“To this end, tens of thousands of Satawu members and many more

workers who rely on driving licenses to eke out a living, let alone for

financially supporting their respective families, are destined to be dealt a

fatal blow, whenever their respective licenses are suspended or

withdrawn.”

The union called on the ANC, its alliance partners, the SA

Communist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions and other organisations to join

it in its campaign against the system.

The campaign would start in Gauteng and then go to other

provinces.

“This will culminate in a national transport shutdown,” said

Mphahlele.


The system was currently being used on a trial basis in

Johannesburg and Pretoria.


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