Taxi industry heads in the Free State were afforded the platform to vent their frustrations about issues affecting the sector.
TAXI INDUSTRY TABLE A LIST OF CONCERNS
On Tuesday, 25 October, Premier of the Free State Province Sefora Ntombela, met with leaders of different taxi associations across the province.
Premier Sefora was accompanied by the MEC responsible for the Department of Police, Roads and Transport William Bulwane and the Director General of the Free State Provincial Government Kopung Ralikontsane.
Taxi associations which were represented at the meeting are all member associations of the South African National Taxi Council – an umbrella body which governs the taxi industry in the country.
DESPITE ISSUES THE SECTOR BELIEVES IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOVERNMENT
“While a number of issues were raised, Mr Mthimkhulu, the chairperson of the provincial taxi council, maintained that the relationship between government and the taxi industry was cordial, emphasizing that they would like to see that continue.”Palesa Chubisi, spokesperson to the Premier
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Some of the concerns raised by taxi operators were:
- Difficulty in the renewal of operating licenses
- Outdated system which prevents operators from applying for permits online
- Illegal operators
- Government officials such as police officers illegally owning taxis, which subsequently creates conflict of interest
Premier Ntombela impressed upon the importance of maintaining peace in the often volatile taxi industry.
She also said that there was a pressing need to ensure that law and order prevail, and that ownership of taxis by government officials is prohibited.
The meeting resolved that:
- Temporary operating permits are scrapped and taxi operators are issued with permanent permits by the end of December this year.
- The working relationship that government and taxi operators currently enjoy is strengthened.
- There must be law enforcement in the taxi industry to put an end to illegal practices.
PREMIER GRATEFUL FOR PEACE IN THE FREE STATE
“We are grateful that, unlike in other provinces, there has been relative peace in the taxi industry and we would like to keep it that way.
We therefore must act and stand firm against lawlessness in the taxi industry, which we view as a very important sector in the economy,” said Premier Ntombela.
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MEC Bulwane also said that he will have weekly meetings with his officials to monitor progress on the implementation of resolutions taken.
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