WATCH | Private coach industry in protest over 'unfair, preferential' treatment given to taxis

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  • A slow drive protest in Cape Town was shut down by the police on Friday morning.
  • The convener of the protest went to Parliament with a memorandum, which was received by DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone.
  • The protest objects to the "unfair, preferential" treatment afforded to the taxi industry.

Police on Friday morning shut down a slow drive protest, organised by the Private Charter Passenger Association, as they planned to leave from Athlone, Cape Town.

The convener of the protest, Isaac Jansen, and his colleague Salvadore Christians, nevertheless went to Parliament to hand over a memorandum of grievances.

It was received by DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone.

According to Jansen, the protest objects to the "unfair, preferential" treatment afforded to the taxi industry. They demand reimbursement for licence fees paid while buses are prohibited from operating.

"The private bus industry is being destroyed because we can't work during the Covid-19 epidemic," said Jansen. "Buses are standing still, but licences are still due and importantly the public and, I think the government, don't understand that we pay our licences six months in advance."

Jansen said that bus licences have to be paid twice a year and can cost from R35 000 up to R40 000, depending on the capacity of the bus.

"So can you imagine having a fleet of 10 buses; so every six months you got to pay R450 000 in licences, it's almost a million rand a year just for that vehicle to be on the road," he said.

Christians said neither the taxi, trucking nor freight industries have to pay licences every six months, only coaches and passenger buses.

"It's a grave injustice when this industry is treated differently to the taxi industry... is this political? We suspect there are other motivations; how can the taxi industry easily be given over a billion in subsidies?" asked Jansen.

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