Taxi operators start long-distance trips regardless of lockdown

Taxi unions' threats to resume trips amid a stand-off with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula were welcomed at one of Johannesburg’s busiest taxi ranks, Noord. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Long-distance inter-provincial taxi operations have resumed in Johannesburg where dozens of commuters showed up with their bags packed, despite the lockdown.

Taxi unions’ threats to resume trips amid a stand-off with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula were welcomed at one of Johannesburg’s busiest taxi ranks, Noord.

Drivers loaded their taxis to capacity saying they would cross provincial borders by force. 

READ: Santaco to load taxis at 100% capacity

The rank manager at Noord taxi rank said drivers have no other option but to resume operations. 

“We were losing too much money and now it looks like we are not going to get it from the government," said Majoro Mokwena.

"We need to restart, especially these long-distance operations, to make up for what we lost.”

He says they can protect commuters by sanitising but is unsure about what will happen at the provincial border.

READ: Western Cape taxis echo call for price hike

Passengers have welcomed the resumption of operations. 

The transport minister said talks with the industry continue, but the law must be respected.

Source
eNCA