Namibia: Taxi Drivers Want More Loading Points

MORE than 50 taxi drivers marched to the ministry of works' head office, where they raised concerns over the lack of loading points, amongst other demands.

The peaceful demonstration started in the Greenwell Matongo residential area, and ended at the ministry's headquarters in Ausspannplatz, where the drivers delivered a petition.

In the petition, which was handed over to works executive director Willem Goeiemann, the drivers refuted what they say is a perceived notion that all taxi drivers are ill-mannered and lack discipline on the road.

Namibia Transport and Taxi Union president Werner Januarie said a lack of loading points hampers the work of taxi drivers, and called on the government to make such facilities available.

Januarie questioned in the petition "which regulation and legislation speaks of training taxi drivers?"

"We wish to point out that it is your government which has allowed an unformulated, unregulated business to flourish, and therefore created illegal businesses," Januarie charged.

He said taxi drivers are being punished for issues which are beyond their control.

Goeiemann said in response that the government will remain dedicated to providing a conducive platform for taxi drivers to air their grievances.

"To this end, the government has started discussions with stakeholders in the taxi industry, representing both taxi and bus drivers and owners, who are equally committed towards a peaceful and permanent solution. These discussions will continue until the pressing issues in the industry have been addressed in the best interest of the taxi industry and Namibian society," he assured them.

Januarie has on several occasions called for solutions to a number of issues the taxi industry faces, including high traffic fines; an outdated Transport Act 74 of 1977, which he wants repealed; the implementation of a new transport policy; and the release of all taxi drivers jailed for "minor traffic offences".

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