Santaco condemns roadblocks but vows to continue strike until govt listens

Drivers were trying to squeeze government for more money by refusing to ferry commuters across the province.

Taxi drivers block the entrance to Erasmia on the R55/M26 on 22 June 2020. Picture: @RiotAndAttackSA/Twitter via @EWNTraffic/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) on Monday condemned the blocking of roads and intimation by taxi drivers during the Gauteng shutdown.

Drivers are trying to squeeze government for more money by refusing to ferry commuters across the province.

They said that the R1.1 billion relief fund announced by government to help the industry would not go far enough to make a significant difference after the crippling lockdown.

Santaco’s spokesperson Thabiso Molelekwa said they would continue with their strike until government listened to them.

“We’ve got a meeting with the minister on Wednesday and we hope to find each other. It is our hope and wishes as Santaco to resolve this problem,” Molelekwa said.

But the Department of Transport said that the shutdown was premature.

“They should have allowed these discussions and exhausted the process before they could take to the streets and disadvantage not only themselves as an industry, but also commuters,” said Mbalula’s spokesperson Ayanda-Allie Paine.

Commuters claimed they were pulled out of private vehicles by taxi drivers who were trying to intimidate them in the morning.

Soldiers and police were also deployed to hotspots to reopen roads that had been blocked by rocks and burning tyres.

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