Taxi services in Tshwane are set to come to a standstill on Wednesday as the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) embarks on a march over outstanding Covid-19 relief fund payments.
Pupils writing exams might be the biggest losers, although the NTA earlier said that every effort would be made to assist pupils reaching their destinations without interference.
However, the Bara City Taxi Owners Association has sent out a message to commuters that none of its taxis will be running on Wednesday due to the march, and they should make other transport arrangements.
According to the NTA, marchers will move from the old Putco depot in Marabastad, Pretoria, in the morning and proceed first to the transport department and then to the Union Buildings, The Sowetan reported.
The aim of the march is to hand over a memorandum of grievances to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and President Cyril Ramaphosa, in light of the taxi association not having received any of the more than R1 billion in Covid-19 relief funds which where promised by Mbalula during lockdown in June.
At the time, Mbalula said government had noted that the taxi industry had operated at less than 60% of its size, which led to massive losses in income.
“The relief support process has provided an opportunity to advance the formalization of the taxi industry. This process is a subject of an ongoing engagement with the leadership structures of the taxi industry.
“We have taken note of the objections of the taxi industry to the effect that the relief support and the formalisation processes should be de-linked. The taxi industry has made representations to us that they are vehemently opposed to the conditions set down for access to the relief support.”
However, the taxi industry rejected the offer at the time, but Mbalula promised that the funds would finally be distributed among taxi operators after negotiations with the industry.
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