South Africa: Taxi Task Team Reach Agreement, but Stay Mum On Details

Three-day imbizo on the way forward for the mini-bus taxi industry ends on a positive note

  • The City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, and taxi umbrella body SANTACO held discussions over three days this week.
  • The imbizo comes in the wake of a deadly taxi strike during the first week of August.
  • Agreement has been reached on operating licence conditions, and to hash further concerns out over the next four weeks

An agreement to safeguard commuters has been signed by the City of Cape Town, provincial government, and umbrella taxi organisation SANTACO following a three day imbizo which ended on Thursday. The parties have agreed to further discussions during the next four weeks to complete outstanding work.

Representatives from the three parties make up the Mini-Bus Taxi Task Team (MBTTT), which was formed in the wake of the devastating taxi strike in August. The national Department of Transport was also involved in the discussions.

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The strike, which was called without notice on Thursday 3 August in response to the impoundment of mini-bus taxis by the City, left thousands of commuters stranded. The strike was also marred by violent incidents, including the deaths of five people as well as nine Golden Arrow buses, and numerous private vehicles being burnt.

The inability of people to get to work, as well as delivery vehicles being targeted resulted in food shortages throughout the city, particularly in the poorer areas, with the Provincial Minister of Mobility Ricardo Mackenzie telling Parliament the strikecost the Western Cape at least R5-billion in economic losses.