We are 'systematically robbed' - taxi drivers

2015-11-18 19:00
(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Cape Town - Taxi drivers, who claim they are being victimised by Cape Town traffic officers,  have given local government seven days to stop “systematically robbing” them.

Led by the Western Cape Taxi Alliance, about 30 drivers and guards marched to the provincial legislature on Wednesday to hand over a memorandum in which they claimed the MyCiTi service was affecting their income.

They demanded that all warrants issued for outstanding fines be scrapped immediately and that the City stops impounding the taxis of “pirate” operators.

Driver Devon Nyathi told News24 the taxi owner for whom he worked had surrendered his operating licence and vehicle in exchange for compensation from MyCiTi.

“I then went to work for MyCiTi but I left a short while afterwards because I earned peanuts in comparison to what I earned in the taxi. With MyCiTi I got about R7 000. On the road I got at least R10 000 a month.”

Another former MyCiTi driver, who asked not to be named, said he too quit MyCiTi after going from R12 000 a month to R6 500.

“Like a couple of other former drivers I decided to buy my own taxi and get back on the routes. But the traffics [officers] are targeting us because we don’t have permits yet. Do you know how long this process takes? What must I do in the meantime - play with my toes?”

The 56-year-old driver has been making a living behind the wheel for the past 30 years.

“This is all I know. I have a family support. Imagine your income is cut in half; how would you survive?”

Taxi guard Gerald Appollis said the MyCiTi service has not effectively replaced the service provided by minibus taxis.

“Those buses are for the white people. Our [coloured] people have been travelling with us for years. Hulle soek vir ons op die pad, nie die stadige bussies wat enige tyd ge-cancel word nie." (They look for us on the road, not these slow buses which get cancelled at any time.)

A provincial government representative accepted the memorandum from the association.

Read more on:    myciti  |  cape town

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