NTA refuses to recognise taxi lekgotla resolutions

On Wednesday, thousands of taxi operators affiliated to the alliance marched in Pretoria to spell out their grievances.

Taxi drivers blocked roads in Marabastad on 18 November 2020 as part of a mass shutdown in Gauteng. The taxi industry wants government to fast-track the payout of more than R1 billion in relief funds announced by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) said it would not recognise any of the resolutions taken at the recent taxi lekgotla.

On Wednesday, thousands of taxi operators affiliated to the alliance marched in Pretoria to spell out their grievances.

They want government to release the more than R1 billion promised earlier this year when the sector suffered losses due to the lockdown.

Government has been given 14 days to respond to the taxi operators' demands for COVID-19 relief funds to be released.

The NTA claims Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula forced them to be part of the South African National Taxi Council, which would also be responsible for the distribution of the money.

NTA’s secretary-general Alpheus Mlalazi read out their memorandum outside the Union Buildings.

“NTA made it very clear to the minister that in terms of the Constitution of our country, that freedom of association is guaranteed and is an inviolable democratic right and therefore the NTA as an independent body, has the right to exist independently.”

The alliance said its members were severely impacted when they were not allowed to load taxis at full capacity during the lockdown with long-distance taxis taking the hardest knock.

NTA representatives from the Free State, North West, Western Cape and Limpopo who joined the demonstrations called on Mbalula’s office to compensate inter-provincial taxi operators for losses incurred during level 5 and 4 of the lockdown.

The association threatened to bring the country to a standstill if there’s no response to their demands.

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