Ramaphosa says taxi industry must work with government towards the sector’s formalisation

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the taxi industry must work with government towards the sector’s formalisation and economic empowerment.

Ramaphosa officiated the opening of the National Taxi Lekgotla which will encourage engagement with taxi stakeholders to debate and discuss how to create a safe and sustainable taxi industry.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula will, over the next few days, lead the discussions in Gauteng. Ramaphosa was speaking in a virtual address.

“We share a common aspiration to see the minibus taxi industry overcome its challenges, adapt in response to the demands of modern public transportation and ultimately to grow and thrive. At the heart of all our endeavours, is the formalisation, regulation and economic empowerment in the sector. This three-pronged strategy reflects the recommendations of the National Taxi Task Team set up in 1995 to look at challenges facing the industry.”

Ramaphosa has called on the taxi industry to understand the need for professionalism among all stakeholders.

“We must speak as one on the need for professionalism. This Lekgotla must be a turning point for an industry that is too often associated with disregard for the rule of law and the rules of the road, the abuse of customers and conflict. We must seriously and honestly confront associations of the taxi industry with sexism and GBV.”

He has emphasised the importance of unity in the taxi industry, saying it is key to ensure the sector’s formalisation and economic empowerment.

“We salute you for all you do keep our country going and we give you our assurance that we remain committed to doing whatever is necessary to bring the industry into the mainstream of our economy so that the service that you provide can be improved. As I have called on other sectors that are key to our economy, let us use this opportunity presented by COVID-19 to build our economy.”