The massive population of people in Gauteng may be left stranded on Monday as the Gauteng taxis industry are most likely to go on strike in the province.
SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) in Gauteng could not confirm the strike action, but the department of community safety released a statement expressing its concern over the impending strike that is expected to take place on Monday.
“The Gauteng Law Enforcement Agencies have noted with concern the planned taxi protest in Gauteng scheduled for Monday‚ May 30 2016‚”the department stated.
The reason behind the impending strike according to the department is a response towards an Operation ke Molao (operation it is law) implemented in the province‚ which led to hundreds of minibus Gauteng taxis being impounded.
However, the secretary-general of Santaco in the province‚ Ralph Jones‚ said he is not sure of any strike holding on Monday but that the taxi industry was ready to engage both the MEC of transport Ismail Vadi and his community safety counterpart Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane in order to find a lasting solution to the matter involving Gauteng taxis.
“I am not sure of any strike on Monday…there was a possibility of going on strike but we thought‚ no‚ let us talk and see where we can find each other. We are trying to engage both the departments. They have been impounding our vehicles and none of them have been able to come to the party on how they can resolve the issue of operating licenses. Uber came in just a year ago and already it is getting operating licenses. That is not fair. We cannot year in‚ year out having this thing going on. This is our business. They have impounded 300 cars at R1‚500 per vehicle and they do not want to release them in this operation‚” Jones said.
The issue of operating licenses has always been a problem between the transport MEC and the minibus taxi industry for years.
About a week ago‚ Transport MEC Vadi was met with serious criticism from cab drivers over the launching of a process that would allow Uber driver to get operating licenses.
When the Gauteng portfolio committee on transport intervened on the matter, some irregularities were discovered in the department as there were corrupt officials within it who issued operating licenses that caused some route conflicts.