Long-distance taxi drivers say they're struggling financially. While the Transport Department has given the go-ahead for taxis to travel long distances, they may only load at 70 percent capacity. Drivers say this just isn't feasible. Courtesy #DStv403
JOHANNESBURG - Long-distance taxi drivers on the route from Polokwane to Johannesburg are battling to earn a living.
"We are still expected to pay our monthly instalments, and while on the road we have to pay at the toll gates," said taxi driver Joshua Malepe.
"The money we make from just 10 passengers is not enough at all. When we get to Gauteng, we have nothing left."
The taxi drivers have put COVID-19 protocols in place to ensure the safety of their passengers and are asking government to reconsider.
"We are pleading with the government to allow us to load the full 100 percent capacity like in Gauteng, and everyone will have their masks on," said Stanley Mathipane, a taxi driver.
Passengers say they feel adequately protected when travelling in taxis.
"On the road, we have a problem with traffic officers who ask us for the passengers’ permits," Mathipane said.
"People get into a taxi because they want to go home, and we transport them because we're hungry and need the money."
It's a long journey for these drivers, but they sometimes they feel it's just not worth it.