South Africa: Premier Alan Winde Urges Mini-Bus Taxi Leaders to Return to Negotiating Table

Mini-bus taxi stakeholders involved in Western Cape strike should return to the negotiating table & refrain from resorting to violence

Premier Alan Winde has urged mini-bus taxi leaders affiliated with the South African National Taxi Council in the Western Cape (SANTACO-WC), who are behind a destructive province-wide strike, to return to the table and work with the Western Cape Government (WCG) and City of Cape Town (CoCT) to resolve long-standing issues that have confronted the industry.

“We recognise the important role the mini-bus taxi sector plays in the public transport industry and economy. But calling a strike, that has been accompanied by violence, is not the answer to resolving the grievances of operators and drivers. This will be a blow to our shared economic growth and will impact the poor the hardest,” he said.

Premier Winde expressed his disappointment at SANTACO-WC’s sudden withdrawal from the Minibus Taxi Task Team, which had been established with the CoCT to deal with issues raised by industry leaders. He added that long-term solutions are desperately needed but cannot be formulated under these circumstances. The Premier continued, “Violence is not the answer. You have the right to strike, but not to endanger the lives of residents and law enforcement officers and destroy property. The safety of commuters, the very lifeblood of the taxi industry, who are bearing the brunt of this violent protest action, is of paramount importance.”

“Unfortunately, we are currently investigating legal action, against the minibus taxi associations to interdict the violence associated with the strike. It is wholly unacceptable,” stated Premier Winde.