The IFP sympathises with commuters all over the Western Cape, who unexpectedly found themselves stranded on Thursday, 3 August, due to the taxi strike happening all over the province.
Due to the unplanned and abrupt nature of the strike, commuters who rely on the taxi system for their day-to-day travels were left high and dry and without adequate notice to turn to affordable alternative options. This, as the country battles high inflation and a majority of those relying on the taxi industry are barely able to get by. Many commuters were forced to walk more than 15 kilometers home, further exposing them to the risk of crime.
Passengers who were able to access private transportation, such as Ubers, allegedly faced inflated prices.
The strike has not only affected everyday traveling but has also heavily affected the economy of the province, as it is reliant on the very people who use the taxi system.
We stand with the affected taxi associations who have, time and time again, attempted to bring to light their grievances without any success, as government continues to turn a blind eye to these matters.
The IFP has long been calling for the recapitalisation of taxis, such as Siyaya Taxis, and for government to accelerate the formalisation of the taxi industry. This would bring about cohesion and a set of clear standards, which will promote and ensure road safety for both operators and passengers, whilst providing the highest standards at the lowest cost possible.
This is an industry whose cries government cannot afford to ignore. More than 15 million South Africans of all ages rely on the taxi industry each and every day.
It is for this reason that we call on government to standardise, transform and professionalise this industry, to ensure the safety of our people.
We further call on the taxi industry to assist passengers – where possible – by providing them with ample time to turn to alternative options for the duration of the strike. We ask that government in general, and the Western Cape government in particular, come to the negotiation table to attend to the grievances of the taxi associations.
Hon. KP Sithole MP
IFP Member on Transport
072 784 1909