Taxi industry calls for fuel subsidy

High fuel costs are a burden for an industry not receiving any form of government subsidy, says the National Taxi Alliance. (Gallo)

High fuel costs are a burden for an industry not receiving any form of government subsidy, says the National Taxi Alliance. (Gallo)

The industry provided an important service, general secretary Alpheus Mlalazi said on Wednesday.

"The fuel price keeps rising. At least 70% of the price consists of levies. Taxis provide an essential service and deserve a subsidy."

High fuel costs were a burden for an industry not receiving any form of government subsidy, said Mlalazi.

The industry would seek to meet government to discuss a fuel subsidy.

Earlier, NTA chairperson Mohanoa Francis Masitsa accused the government of not taking the industry seriously. It did not get a mention in the transport ministry's budget speech in Parliament, to which the NTA was invited, he said.

Masitsa said the organisation had not received a response from ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe after asking for the party's intervention shortly after the budget was tabled.

He accused the taxi scrapping agency Siyazi Consortium of being in cahoots with rival taxi organisation, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco).

Siyazi offered Santaco 30% of the shares in the consortium, Masitsa said.

Corruption
The NTA wanted the transport department not to renew Siyazi's contract, which lapses at the end of August, "because there is corruption within this scrapping business".

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu reacted by saying it was possible Mantashe's office received the letter, but that he had no knowledge of it.

"The secretary general receives a lot of letters in the form of complaints which he attends to himself."

Mthembu advised the NTA to arrange for a meeting with Mantashe. Santaco said it did not want to get involved in "the politics of pointing fingers".

Spokesperson Philip Taaibosch however said Santaco did have a 30% stake in the scrapping consortium.

"That stake is held in the agency on behalf of the country's taxi industry. The benefit of that is seen across all nine provinces, where operators are the main beneficiaries."

The NTA was planning marches to hand a memorandum of grievances to the transport ministry, its entities, and the South African Local Government Association. – Sapa

 

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