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Taxi alliance demands removal of Transport Minister

Thousands of taxi drivers have marched to Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi’s offices and the Union Buildings demanding action from the government.

Thousands of taxi drivers march to Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi’s offices and the Union Buildings on 8 November 2017. Picture: Pelane Phakgadi/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) has called on President Jacob Zuma to fire Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi with immediate effect.

The alliance says the minister has shown he doesn’t care about taxi drivers or their needs.

Thousands of taxi drivers have marched to Maswanganyi’s offices and the Union Buildings demanding action from the government.

The NTA says Maswanganyi has failed taxi drivers.

“Minister Maswanganyi has failed to do his job. Therefore, we are demanding his removal.”

While handing over its memorandum at the Union Buildings, the NTA also had a message for Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.

“Our Minister of Police who is so good on Twitter, he must use those tweets to arrest people who are killing people in the taxi industry.”

The alliance has urged Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to find ways to subsidise the taxi industry to ensure drivers can make a living and to make transport more affordable for the public.

The NTA has given government 21 days to respond to its grievances or else its threatened to take it to the Constitutional Court.

The NTA says Maswanganyi has a duty to stop Uber from operating in South Africa.

The alliance says the ride-hailing app is operating illegally and taking business away from its members.

The NTA’s Theo Malele says Uber has no place on South African roads.

“Uber is an illegal operation in as far as the laws are concerned. But funny enough politicians are much more in support of Uber.”

Malele says the NTA acknowledges Wednesday’s strike was disruptive but says it’s not received any reports of violence.