Attention: Transport reporters / Editors and all media
Date: 17th July 2020
For immediate release
- The National Taxi Alliance met with the Minister of transport on Wednesday wherein the minister briefed the
(NTA) leadership about matters pertaining to the new regulations on the 100 % and 70% taxi loading capacity
on local and long distance respectively, as and the stringent conditions thereof. The Minister also briefed the
NTA leadership that on the advice of the NCCC and other professional bodies long distance taxis will remain
loading at 70% capacity and cross border taxis will be considered at level 2.
- Having met with the Minister of health and his advisors, the National Taxi Alliance appreciates the conundrum
both the Minister of transport and government find themselves in, trying to balance saving lives and allowing
the taxi industry to earn a living. Our obligations to the commuting public and our patriotic duties to our country
enjoin us to accept the mitigating conditions set by the NCCC and we will abide by them. In this regard, no efforts
will be spared in ensuring that the regulations promulgated will be enforced to the letter by our associations,
members and staff. The lives of our passengers and staff are important and deserve our protection against
Covid-19 and other threats to their lives and limb.
- We have requested Minister Mbalula to urgently set up a committee composed of all critical stakeholders to
explore the possibility of expeditiously finding mitigating conditions that would enable long distance taxis an
cross border taxis to start operating at full capacity without exposing passengers and staff to the coronavirus
infections. Taxi operators doing both interprovincial and cross border have not only lost livelihoods, but are on
the verge of losing their taxis to the financial institutions.
- Save for the serious reservations we have we have raised with the Minister on the long distance and cross border
issues, we support and applaud the Minister and government for tirelessly working on finding the inevitable
balance between saving lives and livelihoods in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic. We have also requested
the Minister to consider approaching Treasury for a special compensation dispensation for long distance and cross
border taxi operators.
- NTA has noted the expressed dissatisfaction by the trade unions and civil society organizations on the 100% loading
capacity as announced by the Minister of transport. We hereby affirm our respect and high regard of these
organizations as both directly affected parties as well as critical stakeholders. However, notwithstanding the
correctness of the advices of the NCCC and government decision we would gladly welcome direct engagements with
the concerned parties for the purposes of finding a solution to the concerns.
- We are very excited that Minister Mbalula has given state support to the agreement brokered by the NTA with taxi
financing financial institutions where most of the banks have agreed to allow the taxi industry to pay their taxi
installments on three months staggered incremental basis following the expiry of payment holidays granted for the
months of April, May and June 2020. We take this opportunity to graciously thank the four banks that have formally
accepted and are finalizing the implementation of our proposal. We are still negotiating with the two remaining
financial institutions who have demonstrated a lack of appetite to go along with our proposal and we fear their failure
to accept our proposal or come up with a workable counter proposal will set them on a collision course with the taxi
industry given the devastating effects of Covid-19 to both our social and economic lives.
- On the issue of the R1,5 billion relief fund the NTA strongly maintains that the stringent preconditions attached to
accessing the fund must be removed and be deferred to the oncoming Taxi Indaba aimed at finalizing the regulation
of the taxi industry for formalization and professionalization. While we fully support the Minister’s Taxi Indaba
initiative and its intended objectives, we disagree with the opportunistic and ambush nature of the preconditions.
Buoyed by the impending dawn in our industry, we have started consultations with a spectrum of experts seeking
their expert opinions on the corporatization of the taxi industry.
- The NTA Secretarial and the Director General are working on the implementation of the government directives.
Issued by: Mr. Theo Malele, Spokesperson for (National Taxi Alliance) NTA
www.nationaltaxialliance.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org