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Thread: Taxi recap plan for good of commuters - Santaco

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Taxi recap plan for good of commuters - Santaco

    The difficulties that can be faced by an industry association is shown in this report.

    The government's programme for taxi recapitalisation was for the benefit of the commuter and not the operator, the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) said yesterday.

    Santaco secretary-general Philip Taaibosch said miscommunication and incorrect reporting had carried on too long. "Recapitalisation is not … aimed at benefiting taxi operators, but rather at the commuter."

    The council believed operators would be more supportive of the programme if they understood that it would benefit their market.

    He denied that Santaco had been a "puppet of government" in the recap project. "Santaco has and always will place the interests of its members before all others." Santaco would rather fight for the industry in "a civil manner in the boardroom" than take to the streets, "regardless of consequences", he said.
    from Business Report here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A follow-up from the previous story.

    The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) this week accused its rival of opposing the government plan to remake the taxi industry for "its own financial and politically vested interests" at the expense of commuters.

    Santaco's statement comes a few days before members of the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) meet to discuss plans to disrupt the implementation of the taxi recapitalisation programme.

    On Friday Sicelo Mabaso, the president of the NTA, said the alliance leaders would be meeting with their members on Thursday to seek a fresh mandate for the implementation of plan B, which is part of the organisation's strategy to disrupt the recapitalisation programme.

    Mabaso said taxis would not be affected as only taxi owners would be attending the meeting in Kibler Park, Johannesburg.

    The NTA devised plan B in case the government rejected its demands that the recapitalisation programme be abandoned and that the government accord the alliance the same recognition and status as that of its rival, Santaco.

    Mabaso has refused to disclose what plan B entails except to say it involves rolling mass action. However, it is almost certain that it will include protests by taxi drivers similar to the ones last October that gridlocked streets and highways in several cities around the country.

    Without mentioning it by name, Santaco this week accused the NTA of spreading "misinformation" about the recapitalisation programme but without mentioning the alliance by name. Santaco is the only umbrella taxi body that is recognised by the government.

    Santaco secretary-general Philip Taaibosch said this week: "The opposition have been seen to take to the streets regardless of consequence … threatening and abusing the rights of commuters.

    "Santaco rather chose [and will continue to choose] to fight for the industry in a civil manner in the boardroom and we are satisfied that we have succeeded."

    The NTA is opposed to the allowance of R50 000 for every vehicle that is scrapped, saying the amount would not enable taxi operators to buy the new, bigger vehicles without doubling or even tripling their fares.
    full story form Business Report here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    And predictably, here it comes.
    The leadership of the National Taxi Alliance (NTA), which is opposing the government's R7.7 billion taxi modernisation programme, would tomorrow call for a week-long strike to start on Monday, a top industry source warned yesterday.

    This could leave tens of thousands of workers and learners in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria stranded without transport.

    The source, who is an NTA office bearer and spoke on condition of anonymity, told Business Report the strike would accompany the planned court action to challenge the legality of the recapitalisation programme, which aims to replace old minibuses with larger and safer vehicles.

    He warned the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), which supports the recapitalisation programme and is the only national industry body recognised by the government, that if its members ferried people, there would be violence.
    full story from Business Report here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I wonder what ways there are to plow around the taxi stump. Transport is pretty much essential for workers (and therefore for employers). Does anyone offer their employees a transport service? What creative ideas could we come up with to the transport problem?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I've been keeping a gentle eye on the taxi recapitalisation program pretty well from the start. There was always a fair chance that business might get caught in the crossfire with strikes and the like, but its more than that. It is something of a litmus test as to where we are as a nation.

    To get a sense of why this is so interesting, there are a few aspects of the industry to consider.

    First - Activities of most associations should be thought of more in terms of territorial gangs than trade associations.
    Second - Dealing with unwelcome competition has historically been done by intimidation and elimination.
    Third - Respect for the law and authority has always been pretty marginal.

    So now government is committed to introducing a change that is patently going to affect the status quo. If they can pull it off without serious backlash, I think one day we'll have a healthy democracy and the future is bright indeed. If not, I think we'll have to come to terms that South Africa is just another African country with all the baggage that comes with the branding.

    I'm crossing fingers.

    On the company transport for staff side - I tried it many years ago. After a regular series of hijackings it became clear that our transport plan was targetted for elimination. The taxi business is a brutal industry.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Recap: 'Govt wants to destroy the taxi industry'

    The NTA has put out some numbers on the taxi industry to back its case. At least it seems they're going the legal challenge route for the moment, so with any luck normal transport on Monday.

    The National Taxi Alliance (NTA) would take legal action to stop the recapitalisation programme, the organisation decided on Thursday.

    If this failed, the NTA's members would go on strike, its president Sicelo Mabaso told a meeting of NTA affiliates in Johannesburg.

    “We want to stop the recapitalisation programme ... the government wants to destroy the taxi industry completely," he said.

    He did not know when or in which court the matter would be heard as the NTA had only received its mandate to pursue legal action on Thursday.

    Mabaso could not say how many affiliates the NTA had, but said it was "quite a number".

    He estimated that there were about 150 000 minibus taxis on South Africa's roads.

    "If you take these [Toyota Siyaya] taxis it is just as good as you are dead," NTA spokesperson Alpheus Mlalazi told the meeting.

    The current 15-seater Siyaya's left a driver with a monthly income of R1 731 after expenses of R15 909 was subtracted from an average monthly income from fares of R17 640.

    If the number of seats were reduced to 13 including the driver, he or she would lose R1 797 a month since expenses remained the same and income was reduced to R14 112 a month.

    Similarly, new models proposed by the government, which included Nissan, Fiat and Mercedes-Benz, would lose drivers money as they were expensive to run.

    Mabaso said: "People think we are happy with our skoro-skoros [wrecks]. The reason we drive them is because of their affordability."

    Mabaso said the government’s changes to the Siyaya's specifications were designed to drive the taxi industry out of business.

    "It shows that the intention of the government is to remove taxis and bring in buses."

    He said that since 2005, changes to the specifications included reducing the number of seats and then insisting last week that a tall person should be able to stand up inside the vehicle.
    from M&G here
    Whilst they present the numbers from a driver's point of view, and they're horrific - I don't see numbers relating to the taxi owners...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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