9 November 2017

South Africa: Mpumalanga Averts Taxi Strike

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza's meeting with the Provincial Taxi Council has averted a strike by the taxi drivers in the province that was initially planned for Friday.

"This means there will be no disruptions on the roads, as it was feared, except that the taxi associations will only be briefing their members about the resolutions of the meeting with Premier Mabuza," the provincial government said.

The Premier held a meeting with the Provincial Taxi Council on Wednesday where the council handed over their memorandum.

The Provincial Taxi Council has demanded that the provincial government stop the awarding process of the scholar transport tenders and rather give the contracts to the local people.

"[They] further demanded that the Premier should ensure that all outstanding payments to the bus operators should be paid immediately. They also demanded that they should be allowed back to their routes within 48 hours," the provincial government said.

It was agreed during the meeting that there would be no more sub-contracting. There will be a technical team to ensure that everything is done according to legislation.

All contracts will be directed to the Department of Public Works Road and Transport.

"The current 80 - 20 percentage split of scholar transport contract by main and local operators will now change to 60 - 40 split with the intention to grow it to 50/50 after three years as applicable.

"The 60 - 40 percentage-based contracts will be negotiated and will be for a duration of three years. This arrangement is for the current operators. Further all participating vehicles will be tested on a regular basis," the provincial government said.

The meeting also agreed that the contracts should be awarded to people who owned buses, however prior to awarding of the contract, their premises should be inspected.

"The Department of Public Works Roads and Transport should attend to the delays in the issuing of operating licenses or permits for local operators. It was also tasked to establish a database of all bus operators within the taxi industry.

"All court interdicts against the taxi operators by the main bus operator, Habana, will be withdrawn with immediate effect. The department should ensure that payments of outstanding invoices are made accordingly," the provincial government said.

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