Transport minister Fikile Mbalula on Sunday evening pleaded with the taxi industry to reconsider its announcement that taxis would operate at full capacity from Monday.
The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) announced earlier in the day that taxis would run at 100% capacity, long-distance taxis would resume operations and it also rejected the government’s offer of R1.315bn in Covid-19 relief.
Santaco president Phillip Taaibosch made the announcement after Mbalula postponed a meeting with the taxi council.
But Mbalula on Sunday evening said his feedback meetings 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 interprovincial operations without the requisite permits, rather than await a decision on the matters they have tabled,” said Mbalula.
“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.”
He condemned any call encouraging taxi operators to violate the law.
“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,” said Mbalula.