Permit delays: taxis may strike

2011-11-09 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Taxi Alliance is considering to take strike action during the festive season if the Department of Transport does not address their long standing grievances.

The alliance says the transport department needs to come up with a solution to the backlogs and delays in issuing operating licences.

“The department wants us to provide permits, but they are delaying giving them to us. Traffic officials are continuously pulling our taxis off the street and impounding them, which really hurts our business,” said the council’s secretary, Bafana Mhlongo.

“Temporary licences are not a solution. We have approached the department on several occasions to give us feedback why the permits are taking so long, but they do not respond. We recently approached the portfolio committee, but still get no answers.

“That is why we are consulting our members about embarking on strike action.

“We do not like to do it because we make a lot of money during the Christmas holiday and we are sincerely hoping that it does not reach that point,” said Mhlongo.

National Transport Department spokesperson Collin Msibi acknowledged that there are issues with permits, but said a strike should not be used as a form of blackmail. “We have always been happy to engage with the alliance and expect them to come to us like they have done in the past.

“We live in a democratic world where people have a right to protest action. However, we discourage strikes because there are customers to serve and they must not suffer,” said Msibi.

• thandiwe.jumo@witness.co.za

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