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Santaco: Taxis will load at 100% capacity, long-distance travel will continue without a permit

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The SA National Taxi Council has announced that taxis across the country will load at 100% capacity as from Monday. Also, long distance drivers will be able to continue driving without a permit.

File picture: Jacques Naude / African News Agency (ANA)

THE SOUTH African National Taxi Council (Santaco) says all taxis will load at 100% capacity from Monday, June 29.

The announcement was made in a livestream on Sunday.

According to Santaco president Philip Taaibosch, taxis travelling along long-distance routes will be allowed to continue travelling without a permit.

He warned that if any taxis were stopped by law enforcement and impounded, all taxis across the country would park where they were and would not move until the impounded taxi was released. 

“No taxis will be impounded. And if any taxi is impounded, all taxis in SA will come to a halt until all taxis are released,” he said. 

The announcements come after a series of cancellations and postponements of meetings between taxi officials and the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula. 

Santaco further noted its anger over the non-issuing of permits to operators. 

The body announced that it will approach the courts to assist with operators in obtaining their documents. 

Taaibosch said as from Monday, June 29, all taxis would load at 100% capacity regardless of whether or not the minister approves. 

“All taxis must load at 100% capacity and all long distance taxis must resume operations as from tomorrow (Monday) morning. We are also indicating that no permits will be wanted from passengers using long distance taxis. This is subject to the necessary safety measures that include; wearing of masks in taxis and sanitisation of taxis and commuters as they board. For long distance operators, marshalls must ensure that all boarding commuters are screened and recorded. A proper filing system must also be kept,” Taaibosch said. 

He added that all long-distance taxi councils must have a weekly report from their teams. 

“Taxi drivers must not overload. If the vehicle allows 15, then only 15 plus the driver. It must not exceed the number. When taxi drivers knock off, they must sanitise themselves and their taxis,” he said. 

Santaco said the decisions were taken following the frustrations and lack of direction from government. 

“Government found us here with our struggles and promised us subsidies for 26 years. Every incoming minister selling us the same story. Today, the current minister has spread the same empty commitment made by his seven predecessors,” Taaibosch said. 

He said Santaco also expects the relief fund to be reviewed.