‘This is us giving back to them’
CAPE TOWN – A taxi association has taken it upon itself to ensure that its taxi drivers do not go hungry during the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.
Green Cabs, an association covering the Wynberg–Cape Town taxi route, has distributed 84 food parcels to 84 of its taxi drivers out of their own pockets.
A national lockdown was implemented on March 27 and President Cyril Ramaphosa has since extended it until the end of April.
Amien Carelse, public relations officer (PRO) for the association, said they will be distributing food parcels every week.
“The reason for us doing this is the mere fact that we know our drivers are not working. There is no income and nothing on the table.
“We will be handing over these parcels every week on Wednesday from 8am to 11am,” Carelse said.
He said a number of drivers from other associations have also been appealing for assistance.
“Unfortunately, we’d like to help everyone but our priority is our drivers who put food on our tables.
“This is us giving back to them,” he explained.
Carelse said from next week they’ll be adding another item to the parcels received by taxi drivers.
“We know, like in most households, it is not just food that is a big worry, but electricity as well.
“So, from next week we will be starting the R100 initiative, which will go to each driver for electricity for their households,” Carelse added.
Parcels consisted of milk, sugar, coffee, tea, pockets of potatoes, fish oil, soap, rice, porridge, maize meal and canned non-perishables.
One of the recipients, Ashley October, 35, said the lockdown has been tough on taxi drivers.
“Since the lockdown has started we don’t know if we’re going to wake up because we don’t know if there will be anything on the table,” said the father of three.
“One doesn’t know what to tell the children, so we sleep all day because we don’t know if there will be anything. The government said they will be assisting taxi owners, but they have not.
“If the owner doesn’t get anything, we cannot as drivers expect them to give us their last,” October said.
He said the parcels have brought him relief from his worries.
“This parcel brings so much relief and to receive this and take it home and see the smile and joy on the faces of my wife and children knowing there’s something to eat, is a good feeling,” October said.
– African News Agency