Vaal Residents might find themselves at home today. Not because of lockdown enforcement, but due to transports problems to go to work.
The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) announced that it will embark on a provincial shutdown in Gauteng on Monday. The shutdown is expected to last two days in Gauteng, from 22 to 23 June 2020.
Santaco general-secretary KP Chabalala revealed in a statement the reason was “due to the R3,500 relief that the minister [Fikile Mbalula] is giving to the industry.” Chabalala said the taxi industry was expecting to receive R200,000 for each vehicle. Government has offered the taxi industry a relief package of R1.135 billion, but Santaco spokesperson Thabisho Molelekwa previously said they find Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s offer insufficient.
The shutdown was also confirmed by Santaco on Twitter.
Firstly the shutdown is ONLY in Gauteng. Secondly we don’t expect operators in the province to be disruptive. Taking from the letter they wrote us, it’s a shutdown…parking vehicles at home or at their respective parking bays not on the roads. @fastforward2020 @cci_networkhttps://twitter.com/fastforward2020/status/1274712708148015105 … However Vaal residents expressed concern over their safety in the road saying Taxi strikes were associated with violence. “It is better to stay at home than seeking alternative transport because violence always erupt in the roads under such circumstances,” said a Vaal resident Xolani Radebe. Mbaluma made a passionate plea to the Taxi Association to reconsider their action. The Minister however ruled out any possibility of hiking the money being offered to the Taxi industry. “We are appealing to the Taxi industry to reconsider their decision to go on strike. This is not the time to fight. Increasing the money is not an option,” Said Mbalula in his televised statement