SOME taxi operators have heeded Santaco's call to load at 100% capacity in contravention of the lockdown regulations.  
   
Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)
SOME taxi operators have heeded Santaco's call to load at 100% capacity in contravention of the lockdown regulations. 
 Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency (ANA)

LETTER: Santaco will be held responsible

By Saber Ahmed Jazbhay Time of article published Jul 2, 2020

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LETTER - I cannot, even as a user of public transport from time to time, disagree with the editorial “Self-Serving Taxi Industry Sacrificing Lives”, The Mercury, June 30. No doubt as a people mover, these Zola Budds are able to move people as swiftly and as beneficially to our economy as is desirable.

We live, all industries in fact live, in the clutches of this octopus-like virus whose tentacles have gripped all sectors of our economy, and therefore to hear one of its officials on SAfm recently advocating that its members break the law by taking full loads is not in the interest of saving lives.

Think. Gauteng is on the cusp of becoming a super-spreader province, while the Western Cape seems to have settled down with infection rates reduced. Together with the Eastern Cape, Gauteng will soon account for 55% of infections and deaths. As Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said, we ordinary South Africans have a duty to reduce that. How? Well, by ensuring that we don’t get into taxis whose drivers act in blatant disregard to health and safety regulations.

Let Santaco carry on, there are other taxi associations that are going to obey the regulations. As a lawyer, I will argue that the regulations pertaining to the taxi industry are rationally connected to the objective.

I fully comprehend and empathise with taxi owners who cannot meet payments of monthly instalments for their financed vehicles. That is a reality we all understand. Like government forbidding ejectment of tenants who find themselves unable to pay their rentals, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has the power to stay payments of such financial instalments. But to threaten breaking the law, Santaco is setting a bad example.

But that is not why Santaco should advocate - breaking the law. If there is a breakout then it and its leadership will be held vicariously responsible for the adversity that will confront government.

The views expressed in this letter do not reflect the views of the editor or staff of The Mercury. If you would like to have your letter published, email [email protected]

The Mercury

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