Western Cape wants national government to pay salaries of taxi drivers

The Western Cape wants national government to start paying taxi drivers’ monthly salaries, in another attempt to stop taxi killings in the province.

Provincial Transport Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela says the inconsistent remuneration methods that the taxi industry uses are contributing to the lawlessness in the province.

Madikizela visited the Paarl Taxi Rank to drum up support for next week’s Taxi Lekgotla which aims to seek solutions to the violence that is engulfing the industry.

“You have a situation where a driver is expected to make a particular amount per day and then after that rush and make his own income. When the route is perceived to be lucrative people will fight each other to have access to that route in order to make more money. What we need to do as government, is to provide some stability, a stable income for people who are working in the industry.”

Sixty-three people were killed in taxi-related violence in the Paarl area in the period just before the lockdown. Drakenstein Executive Mayor Conrad Poole says sometimes there are more taxis than the routes can accommodate.

“People without permits are operating on the same routes, and people having no license are also running on the same route and obviously, people have the assumption that we don’t want to give them permits,” he says.

But some operators are still not convinced about government efforts, citing corruption as fueling the violence.

Vice-Chairperson of the Paarl Taxi Association, Muneeb Abrahams says, “Because of corruption in our leadership, especially when it comes to red dot. In the Boland region, only the guys in the Boland region enriched themselves with this red dot. Our local guys did not get anything from government.”

The Western Cape Taxi Lekgotla has been set down for two days next week,  in Worcester and Cape Town.