The cost of taxis operating under lockdown loading capacity restrictions is taking its toll on profits and expenses, warned the National Taxi Association when it appeared before Parliament. But on the plus side, the association said the restrictions had brought them closer to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
If taxis are forced to operate at 100% loading capacity, it could mean the death of the industry, warned Francis Masitsa, the president of the National Taxi Association (NTA). Masitsa and other members of the association addressed Parliament's transport oversight committee on Tuesday evening on how Covid-19 regulations, especially under Alert Level 3, have affected the industry.
In late June, taxi operators and drivers went on strike, mainly in Gauteng, calling for loading capacity to be increased to 100% and the resumption of intraprovincial transport.
Loading capacity has been a contentious issue between taxi associations and the Department of Transport (DoT). Under Alert Level 5, there was a 50% loading capacity limit, along with limited operating hours only for essential service workers. Under Alert Level 4, however, taxis could operate at 70% loading capacity, between 5am and 7pm. Alert Level 3 restrictions allowed taxis to operate at 70% loading capacity, without any restrictions...