SABC News - Sourthen Cape taxi industry demands operational changes:Wednesday 13 September 2017

Sourthen Cape taxi industry demands operational changes

Wednesday 13 September 2017 19:04

 Tanya Krause

Members of the taxi industry in the Southern Cape are demanding that their local municipality runs the Go George public transport system.

The Go George public transport system aims to be an example for the rest of this country. (SABC)

Members of the taxi industry in the Southern Cape are demanding that their local municipality runs the Go George public transport system and not the Western Cape Government. They are also demanding that the taxi industry be allowed to compete with it. 

Go George kicked off in December 2014. 

The roll-out of phase four to Thembalethu in December 2016 was postponed due to complaints from the taxi industry. 

A small group of disgruntled community members gathered at the Conville Community Hallon Wednesday morning. Their planned march to the centre of town was cancelled due to unrelated violence in the nearby Thembalethu area.  

Co-ordinator Cornelius Esau says the feedback from provincial government, following their previous five protest actions, was not positive.

"The reasons for us wanting the local government to take over the project is we believe the George Municipality deals with us directly and not through agents. We also believe there have been problems during the negotiating process with the taxi industry. One of the problems we're also having is that the taxi industry isn't allowed to compete with the bus system, which we believe to be unfair."

A local councillor from the African Independent Congress, Abel Kiwits, says he will put forward motions during the next council meeting on the 27th, including that the local municipality takes over the management and ownership of Go George. He says he is sympathetic towards the plight of those who previously worked in the taxi industry.

"They feel that opportunities have been denied to them and many people formally employed by taxis are now without jobs. We'd like to see that Go George is rolled out to the rural areas, Uniondale, Waboomskraal, Touwsranten and Glentana, as most of these people living there are poor, indigent households and need transport to the centre of town for job and education opportunities." 

George Deputy Mayor, Gerrit Pretorius, received the memorandum of grievances. 

"I think it's important to note the grievances of the local population, the local taxi community. The aim is to make Go George an example for the rest of this country and to that end the municipality and the mayor will endeavour to do everything possible to implement the roll-out as successfully as possible."

The protestors have requested that the municipality give feedback on a way forward in seven days' time.

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