Santaco won’t join strike against demerit system

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) said on Tuesday its members would not be joining taxi drivers marching to the Union Buildings in protest against the implementation of government’s new traffic demerit system.

“At the moment, while Santaco equally holds concerns regarding the implementation of the AARTO [Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act], it is not a part of the strike … ,” Santaco spokesperson Philip Taaibosch said.

He said that Santaco would engage in a separate process to raise and address the concerns of the taxi industry regarding AARTO.

Taaibosch said in a statement that Santaco was however, neither negative nor affirmative on the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union’s (Satawu) protest regarding the AARTO system.

The Tshwane Metro Police were expecting almost 20 000 minibus taxi drivers to march on Tuesday in protest against the implementation of the AARTO system.


Spokesperson Alta Fourie said on Monday drivers from around Gauteng were expected to take part in the march.

Satawu is demanding that the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO) legislation be repealed.

The system penalises drivers with demerit points for traffic offences. Once a driver has 12 demerit points, his or her driver’s licence gets suspended for three months. A driver’s licence gets cancelled on the third suspension.

Satawu’s Gauteng chairperson Ephraim Mphahlele said on Saturday the union appreciated the fact that government wanted to implement the system in an attempt to minimise road accidents.

However, Mphahlele said AARTO would threaten the jobs of Satawu members by suspending and nullifying driving licenses.

“To this end, tens of thousands of Satawu members and many more workers who rely on driving licenses to eke out a living, let alone for financially supporting their respective families, are destined to be dealt a fatal blow, whenever their respective licenses are suspended or withdrawn.”

Other interventions
The union said instead of implementing AARTO, the government could use other interventions to minimise road accidents including more visible traffic policing on major roads and at accident hot-spots.

It also suggested the installation of traffic lights were more accidents occur and criminalising reckless driving to alleviate the problem.

The union called on the ANC, its alliance partners the South African Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and other organisations to join it in its campaign against the system.

The campaign would start in Gauteng and then go to other provinces.

“This will culminate in a national transport shutdown,” said Mphahlele.

The system was currently being used on a trial basis in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Protesters are expected to start gathering at 7am at the corners of Struben and Cowie Streets in Pretoria city centre and from there will march to the Union Buildings. The march is expected to start at 9.00am.

The following streets will be closed:

  • Struben Street between DF Malan Drive and Cowie Street;
  • Vermeulen Street between Beatrix and Church Street; and
  • Edmond Street between Government Lane and Vermeulen Street.

Fourie said all the other intersections would only be sealed off when marchers crossed the respective intersection.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

eThekwini commuters pay for council’s contracts

Perhaps a commission of inquiry can shine the spotlight on public transport in Durban, where bus and taxi passengers have to contend with fare increases and disrupted services

Bishop Emeritus Rubin Phillip: The guerilla priest

From his adventures with Steve Biko to his support for shack dwellers in KwaZulu-Natal, Bishop Emeritus Rubin Phillip has always walked the talk of radical Christianity

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA

“Life has been good to me, considering where I come from” – Xolani Gwala

Just over a year ago, veteran radio presenter Xolani Gwala’s cancer was in remission. He spoke to the Mail & Guardian once he was back on air.

Kanya Cekeshe’s lawyer appeals decision not to grant him bail to the high court

Kanya Cekeshe’s legal team filed an urgent appeal at the Johannesburg high court on Tuesday against Monday’s judgment by magistrate Theunis Carstens.
Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

Fifteen witnesses for vice-chancellor probe

Sefako Makgatho University vice-chancellor Professor Peter Mbati had interdicted parliament last month from continuing with the inquiry

Constitutional Court ruling on restructuring dispute is good for employers

A judgment from the apex court empowers employers to change their workers’ contracts — without consultation

Audi Q8: Perfectly cool

The Audi Q8 is designed to be the king in the elite SUV class. But is it a victim of its own success?

KZN officials cash in on ‘danger pay for Covid-19’

Leadership failures at Umdoni local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal have caused a ‘very unhappy’ ANC PEC to fire the mayor and chief whip
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday