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WC taxi operators to hold further talks on 100% passenger loading capacity

Santaco in the province appeared undecided on whether to violate regulations by loading 100% capacity per load of passengers.

FILE: Taxis queue at Cape Town's Station Deck. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN/DURBAN - Taxi bosses in the Western Cape are expected to hold further discussions on Tuesday over whether they should return to business as usual.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) in the province appeared undecided on whether to violate regulations by loading 100% capacity per load of passengers or stick to the 70% loading as stipulated in the lockdown regulations.

Cape Town station deck was bustling in the morning as taxi operators loaded their vehicles.

Many drivers who spoke to Eyewitness News said they were still adhering to lockdown regulations by only loading 70% capacity.

But some were seriously considering operating at full capacity as they said they had taken a massive financial knock.

“If we don’t load the full load capacity, we don’t get enough money to support our families and make a living,” one taxi driver said.

Another driver said: “Moneywise, it would improve my current situation a lot.”

But for now, they were waiting for the go-ahead from government.

KZN TAXI OPERATORS TO MEET WITH MEC

Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal Transport and Community Safety MEC Bheki Ntuli is expected to meet with the provincial leadership of Santaco on Tuesday morning.

Ntuli told EWN on Monday that he wanted to persuade Santaco to adhere to lockdown regulations despite its current dissatisfaction with government.

Santaco in KZN was the first group to call for taxi operators to load commuters at 100% of each vehicle’s capacity.

The organisation said the R1.1 billion offered by government to the industry was insufficient.

Ntuli pleaded with Santaco to prioritise the safety of commuters while government looked into their demands.

“I urge Santaco members to please bear with us and we are still open to negotiations,” he said.

At the same time, the national leadership of Santaco described a meeting it held on Monday with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula as cordial.

EWN understands that the way forward on the matter now rested with the National Coronavirus Command Council.

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