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Western Cape’s Wednesday taxi stayaway called off after ‘good faith’ talks

Western Cape’s Wednesday taxi stayaway called off after ‘good faith’ talks
Commuters board a taxi. (Photo: Gallo Images / OJ Koloti)

New Western Cape Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie, says the calling off of a planned stayaway on Wednesday, 22 February by taxi associations is a sign of ‘good faith from all sides’.

The planned stayaway by the Western Cape structures of the  South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) for Wednesday 22 February has been called off, provincial taxi and government authorities confirmed. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Santaco Western Cape’s general secretary Elryno Saaiers confirmed the cancellation of the stayaway. 

taxi stayaway mackenzie

New Western Cape Mobility MEC Ricardo Mackenzie. (Photo: Gallo Images / Ziyaad Douglas)

The decision to call off the protest followed “progress made” in a meeting between Santaco, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, new provincial Mobility MEC Ricardo Mackenzie and City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, according to Saaiers.

“We hereby notify all operators, drivers and commuters that taxi operations will continue as usual… we thank you for your support and cooperation in striving towards a transformed transportation system,” said the statement. 

Initially, the stayaway by Santaco was over issues including the “unfair” impoundment of minibus taxis, marginalisation of the taxi industry and continued problems on the B97 route between Paarl and Bellville.

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Ahead of the strike, Mackenzie – who took up his new position only on Monday – told Daily Maverick that his first priority would be to speak to the industry about the stayaway.

Read more in Daily Maverick:New Western Cape Mobility MEC Ricardo Mackenzie ‘confident’ he can put brakes on Santaco taxi strike

In a statement by the provincial government, Winde and Mackenzie said they were both “delighted” with the outcome of the meeting with Santaco on Tuesday, which had been set up by Mackenzie. The meeting was aimed at minimising the impact the stayaway would have had on commuters trying to get to work and school.

“The commitments made in today’s engagement indicate a show of good faith from all sides,” said Mackenzie. 

The statement also confirmed the setting up of a special task team that would commit to engagements with the industry and government. This task team would meet weekly and be chaired by Mackenzie.

The task team would address issues related to the industry, including training registered drivers to upskill them, measures to enhance commuter safety and the fast-tracking of the Special Regulatory Process related to operating licences.

The task team will include representatives from the province, the City of Cape Town and Santaco’s Western Cape leadership. DM

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