Taxi strike called off, Mbalula, Santaco to brief the nation

(Photo by Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw)
(Photo by Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw)

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and National Taxi Alliance will brief the nation on Wednesday after the nationwide taxi strike was called off.

"We had a meeting up until late last night with the taxi industry, sharing some of their concerns. We will brief you on the agreements tomorrow," Mbalula told the media at a briefing on Tuesday in Pretoria.

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced last week the country would be under lockdown for 21 days up until 16 April. In line with this, Mbalula announced measures to minimise the spread of the deadly Covid-19 which has had an impact on public transportation.

Taxis were only allowed to transport essential service workers and "those allowed to make the necessary permitted movements" between 05:00 and 09:00 and 16:00 and 20:00.

The number of passengers per ride was limited to adhere to physical distancing.

In addition, taxis were directed to be sanitised after every trip and taxi ranks to be sanitised at regular intervals.

READ: Here is how the national lockdown will affect public transport

Santaco was unhappy with these restrictions and revealed on Tuesday afternoon the meeting had resolved to end the nationwide strike.

"Taxis will be expected to operate as per revised regulations that now raised loading capacity to 70%. We still want to maintain social distancing while operators at least break even," it tweeted.

"Much as there are areas of discontent on the transportation of essential services, we believe there can never be a problem bigger than Covid-19. We commit ourselves to rally behind government efforts and intend to continue offering these services despite problems."

As of Monday, South Africa had 1 326 confirmed cases and three deaths.

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