The statement is by Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, 29 June, 2020.
Following my engagements with the taxi industry leadership in the last week and my commitment to give them an update once the matters have been canvassed with the decision-making structures within government, I scheduled feedback meetings on Thursday. These had to be rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances.
It is rather unfortunate and regrettable that the taxi industry leadership has elected to violate the law and forcefully load taxis at 100% capacity and undertake inter-provincial operations without the requisite permits, rather than await a decision on the matters they have tabled.
Government has a responsibility to ensure that all measures in place as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are driven by the commitment to preserve human life and avoid an uncontrolled spread of the virus. It is on that basis that a decision to allow uncontrolled inter-provincial travel and 100% loading capacity on taxis have to be subjected to the collective decision-making.
I appeal to the leadership structures of the industry to reconsider their decision to incite lawlessness and place their drivers and passengers on a collision course with law enforcement authorities. While we have expressed support for a review of loading capacity to 100%, until the current directions have been revised the legal loading capacity is 70% and enforceable by law enforcement authorities.
We condemn in the strongest possible terms, any call encouraging taxi operators to violate provisions of the law and promote lawlessness. We remain committed to taking forward our engagements and encourage the industry to ensure that any form of protest they embark upon, is within the parameters of the law.