The government has allowed taxis to operate between provinces but at only 70% capacity to reduce the chance of spreading Covid-19.
The new regulation comes into effect immediately. Taxis may be able to eventually operate at 100% but this will be decided in further meetings.
Earlier in the week, talks between Fikile Mbalula and Santaco broke down and taxis began to operate at 100% capacity despite lockdown regulations stating otherwise.
The Economic Freedom Fighters have condemned the taxi associations after voicing support for its bid to secure more funding for the industry.
Red Berets had urged the government to hand over R20 000 for each taxi as part of its Covid-19 relief plan, supporting the view of the sector.
But now, the EFF has changed its tune and slammed the call to operate at 100% capacity, accusing the leadership of punishing commuters for the ‘incompetence’ of the state:
“The associations have taken this decision as an attempt to voice their frustration at the government’s refusal to increase the Covid-19 relief package for each taxi. In essence, the taxi associations are punishing vulnerable commuters for the sins and incompetence of the government.
“This is a clear cowardice stance which is avoiding to take the fight to the real people responsible for the taxi industry problem.”
However, in an act of defiance, empathy, or perhaps self-preservation, Tshwane taxi operators are refusing to transport commuters at a 100% capacity.
On Sunday, the ongoing conflict between the Department of Transport and the taxi industry escalated and the taxi industry felt their cries were not being heard.
In response to being snubbed by the Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula, the taxi industry decided they would return to the 100% load capacity and also resume long-distance commutes.