The recent 100% loading capacity announcement by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula may seem to be a welcome move for local taxi associations but in the long run may be of not so great. Our main worry as taxi operators is that he may be biding time to look at other economic opportunities he may come up with for the sector.
Ask any taxi operator who knows the business if the opening of the 100% loading capacity makes sense and they are likely to tell you that it does not. In fact, from the distance it may seem a good move but the sad story and reality is that many people working in local companies or factories have stopped going to work after being either sacked or retrenched. Whether one is in Mpumalanga or Limpopo or KwaZulu-Natal, the effects of Covid-19 has been felt all over the country. In the long run this may catch up with us as we may wait forever for the Minister to come back to us with other better offers that may never happen. The less said about the 70% inter-provincial trips loading capacity the better. We are running at a loss out from of which we may never come out.
The issue we have with the 100% loading capacity for local trips is that it just addresses just a few of our everyday or weekly revenue accumulations. Just like in other businesses, the revenue steams are vitally important. We are very mindful of the fact that many other businesses – just like the minibus taxi sector – has suffered massive loses. It is in this background that we feel that the minister has used the 100% local loading capacity to ensure that he takes as much time as possible to ensure that we forget about the desperate situation in which we find ourselves until such time that we find ourselves back to our usual selves. As much as we would like to welcome the government’s commitment to ensuring that we get our systems back, we are forever mindful of a possible backlash from our general taxi industry memberships once things get out of hand.