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Taxi Impoundment Law Clarification Sought As Imbizo Starts in Cape Town

Published September 21, 2023
8 months ago

Commenced on Monday, a three-day imbizo currently happening in Cape Town seeks to advance discussions between the city's municipality, regional government, and the South African National Taxi Council, Santaco. Offering short remarks about the talks thus far, Ricardo Mackenzie, Mobility MEC, expressed satisfaction with the progression of the discussions, attributing it to constructive engagement. The talks are centered mainly on improving the rights and needs of commuters and enhancing their access to safe, dependable, reasonably priced, and sustainable transportation.

Santaco's deputy chairman, Nceba Enge, confirmed the fruition of the meeting but refrained from disclosing further information until the discussions were finalized, promising a comprehensive statement on Thursday.

However, the imbizo was not the only current concern regarding the taxi industry. Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga informed the National Assembly committee on the recent eight-day long province-wide taxi strike that she intends to consult the courts for an interpretation of the law concerning taxi impoundments. Chikunga also revealed that her department holds the legal opinion that the city's decision to append an infringement of the National Road Traffic Act to the National Land Transport Act to enable them to impound taxis is unlawful.

Simultaneously, Mackenzie acknowledged that the province was also looking into obtaining a legal opinion of their own.

Addressing the recent taxi strike, the city warned it would hold Santaco responsible for the resulting damage. Despite reaching a consensus to cease the protest, Geordin Hill-Lewis, the city mayor, declared in an eNCA interview that the agreement did not absolve the taxi industry of responsibility for the protests' ramifications. However, Santaco disputes any allegations of provoking violence during the strike.

In light of these events, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) announced their intention to engage stakeholders in a Public Transport Indaba by the year's end.

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