KZN taxis plan 5c protest

2012-07-24 20:35

Durban - Toll cashiers near Ladysmith could find themselves counting 5c coins from every minibus taxi passing through the plaza on Wednesday.

This would form part of a protest by the KwaZulu-Natal taxi industry against the government's taxi recapitalisation programme, spokespeople said on Tuesday.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance chair Eugene Hadebe said the 5c protest would be held at the Tugela toll plaza on the N3 near Ladysmith.

He urged taxi drivers to stock up on 5c coins to pay their toll fees.

Taxi owners would also march on KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize’s office to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

They were also dissatisfied with the provincial transport department's administration and issuing of operating licences.

Another grievance was the government’s decision to recognise the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) as the sole representative of the taxi industry.

Hadebe told a meeting of various taxi alliances at Durban’s Curries Fountain stadium that permission had been granted for the march in Pietermaritzburg. He said Santaco did not represent his association or others.

Concerned Taxi Operators chair, Thami Ngcongo, said: "They are the only people being recognised by government. They are not leading us. They are taking decisions without our consent."


Earlier on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the provincial government had, as part of an agreement with Santaco, decided to approach the national government in an attempt to get it to delay the taxi recapitalisation programme in the province.

Ncalane said this had been agreed at a meeting between the provincial department and Santaco.

"We decided that we needed to approach the national department of transport to consider the moratorium of implementing the taxi recapitalisation programme (TRP), so that we can engage with taxi operators."

The R7.7bn TRP was first announced in 1999 and came into effect in October 2006. It was intended to replace the country's ageing minibus taxi fleet with safe, modern vehicles.

In terms of the TRP, taxi owners would each be paid R50 000 to have a vehicle scrapped. The owner could then use this money to exit the industry, or as a deposit on a newer, safer vehicle.

Currently the amount paid is R63 100 per taxi.

The TRP was supposed to be introduced in KwaZulu-Natal in September.

Ncalane said the transport department would ask for an extension of six months to hold talks with taxi operators.

Siyaya taxis

He dismissed taxi operators' claims that the government wanted to scrap all Siyaya taxis.

Siyaya minibus taxis, originally known as Hi-Aces, were built by Toyota SA until the end of 2007.

"When government compensates taxi operators they cannot use that money to buy a vehicle that was bought in 2006 and the years before," Ncalane said.

"There are certain provisions in the National Transport Act that talk about compliance of vehicles to be deemed roadworthy."

He said that often the delays in issuing operating licences came about as a result of taxi owners not providing correct documentation, or obtaining the necessary municipal approval for the route they would be operating.

Ncalane said there was no need for taxi operators to march on Wednesday as the department was in talks with Santaco.

However, later on Tuesday afternoon, he said the government was attempting to hold a meeting with the other taxi alliances.

It was not immediately clear how commuters would be affected. Hadebe and other Curries Fountain stadium speakers urged drivers not to stay away, but to rather take commuters to work before joining the protest march in Pietermaritzburg.

N3 Toll Concession spokesperson Con Roux said it would have extra staff on duty to help count the coins.

  • Squeegee - 2012-07-24 20:56

    Commuters should start paying them with 5c pieces. See how long their nonsense lasts.

      syd.harling - 2012-07-24 21:01

      Damn fine idea except the commuters would probably get beaten up.

      Stormkaap - 2012-07-24 21:09

      I normally throw it at them when they drive crap

      chaplinncharlie - 2012-07-24 21:39

      Ag but they are clever... I have difficulties counting in 5'es. I think they might wait a little longer that normal... Wanna see how happy they gonna be with the waiting... They have to bite the hand first before they realize that, that hand feeds them...

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-07-24 22:18

      Crikey, I wish I was GIVEN the tools of my trade! The sense of entitlement has now gone totally overboard. All taxis and their barbaric drivers should be scrapped and the taxis NOT replaced.

      jackie.stone.501 - 2012-07-24 22:53 - Think before you label others as stupid and it makes you look like one. Remember if they are protesting they most likely not interested in the profit for that day but just to slow down the traffic and inconvenient every one, and there is no lane specifically for taxis, so obviously other motorist will be affected. I say is a good Idea instead of breaking shops and stealing from hawkers. But motorist would like to avoid that toll

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-24 20:57

    I got a whole shoe box of them. I knew one day someone would find use for them.

  • craig.elliott.75 - 2012-07-24 21:09

    they should attempt that same move at the fuel stations and benefit the general public and not only their own tax evading agenda's

      kim.buren - 2012-07-24 21:11

      Damn right on Craig

  • ronald.jeffs - 2012-07-24 21:10

    Good idea, we should all do that! at every toll!! when they stop 5c, we move onto 10c....

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-07-24 21:10

    A child has more brains. Stupid game playing.

      craig.elliott.75 - 2012-07-24 21:16

      hehe stuart i'ts not about brain mass or volume, it's the programming thereof. There truly is no substitute for a good education. Pity the majority can't even spell the word, hence resulting in the cANCer been in the fortunate position they find themselves in !

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-07-24 21:23

      Come on, give them credit!! Can you imagine how strenuous it must have been for them to come up with this amazing concept ALL BY THEMSELVES? You really have to appreciate their cunning and initiative!

      nketso.kgwadi - 2012-07-24 22:05

      Its so sad to see people like you think that all africans are uneducated believe me most of your forebearers only have little formal education the apartheid government helped them a lot and we helped you by speaking afrikaans and your hero de le rey only had grade two education more like JZ so shut up and look at your cousins who r filled in all the post offices all over SA.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-07-24 22:20

      @nketso ~ The post offices used to work well then and mail got delivered. What changed?

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-07-24 21:47

    Ag shame, they are a burden to the tax payers and murderers of commuters. Bring back government subsidiced busses, it will save lives and make our roads much safer.

  • Renard De Souza - 2012-07-24 21:59

    Shame u let taxis run the show for so long and now government think they can control this bunch of mafia style agents, I think not!

  • peter.mansfield.395 - 2012-07-24 22:08

    How pathetically childish. Confirms every negative feeling I ever had towards taxi drivers.

  • michael.deyzel.1 - 2012-07-24 22:10

    A bit of a relief for the cashiers that there is no more 1c or 2c in circulation.

  • jackie.stone.501 - 2012-07-24 22:50

    That is one fine clever way of protesting instead of stealing and breaking shops. Those who say it would not work, I disagree, it will work as it will inconvenience the other road users which is what a protest's main purpose is.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-07-25 02:03

      Clever? No, not too bright. What did the other road users do to deserve this?

      jackie.stone.501 - 2012-07-25 09:28

      It is a protest woman

  • werner.stipp.3 - 2012-07-25 10:09

    Get a scale and weight the coins like the banks do. Problem solved, no hold up. :-)

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