Taxi working group aims for peace – THE city has formed a taxi working group to deal with challenges in the industry – and taxi bosses are hoping it will be effective enough to prevent problems arising.
It also emerged yesterday that the Ministry of Transport had appointed a team to consider introducing taxi subsidies. These have long been demanded by the industry.
Announcing the launch of the regional taxi working group, the mayoral committee member for transport, Brett Herron, said it would be part of the intermodal planning committee.
The proposal to establish the group had been made “long ago”, but “with last Monday’s violence and protests, we established a working group with all relevant role-players”.
This group was distinct from the forum established a day after the violence by mayor Patricia de Lille. The forum includes taxi leaders from the six regions in the city and is a platform for taxi bodies to discuss their grievances.
Vernon Billet, provincial chairman of the South African National Taxi Association, said he hoped the working group would be proactive instead of reactive. “We welcome such a working group to serve as a platform for discussions and solving problems. I just want this group not to become a front or act only when incidents occur.”
MEC for Transport and Public Works Donald Grant raised the issue of state subsidies for taxi operators.
“We need to start thinking of subsidies for taxi operators. Buses and trains get the subsidy. I can confirm that the Transport Ministry has put together a team to look into this. The taxi industry has great potential to grow. How we do that should be led by leadership, (but) the industry is fragmented.”
By Jason Felix – Cape Times