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‘I’m not fighting with taxi industry leaders’ – Mbalula appeals for unity

The industry has lost millions of rands in revenue since government implemented lockdown regulations that limit capacity in taxis to 70%.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has on Monday called on taxi industry leaders to contain disruptions in the sector, saying they could not go on strike over every disagreement.

The industry has lost millions of rands in revenue since government implemented lockdown regulations that limit capacity in taxis to 70%.

The South African National Taxi Council has ordered its drivers to fill up their vehicles and ignore the regulations around capacity.

It’s also rejected the R1.1 billion relief fund, saying it didn't stretch far enough.

Mbalula said that government was listening: “And now, you’re putting a gun on the government with the 100% when government has always been the ally and is ready to review the regulations and I don’t know who said we are fighting with the taxi industry. Do I want law enforcement to clamp down on the industry? No, but on the taxis promoting anarchy and bringing the country to a standstill? Yes.”

The minister has also announced the reopening of seven regional airports in the country as part of the sector's gradual resumption of activities under level 3 of the lockdown.

SANTACO MOVE NO SUPRISE

Meanwhile, Western Cape Transport MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said that he was not surprised by a move within the taxi industry to defy lockdown regulations by loading at full capacity.

It's not clear whether Santaco in the Western Cape is joining the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal branches in encouraging the action.

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