NATIONAL SHUTDOWN: SANTACO & NTA say taxis will operate while Putco suspends operations

Two of the country’s leading taxi associations, the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) have said they will not participate in the national shutdown planned for Monday, 20 March by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) while bus operator, Putco has said it will suspend operations.

By Ottis Manyoba

SANTACO secretary general, Daki Qumbu, issued a notice to the Council’s secretaries which read: “Following the meeting between SANTACO and the leadership of the EFF, you are hereby advised that SANTACO has decided that the taxi industry will not participate in the planned National Shutdown. We urge all provinces to inform their respective regions and taxi associations that the 20th of March, will be a normal operating Day for the Industry.”

NTA’s spokesperson, Theo Malele said: “NTA throughout the country will be in full service on Monday. We advise our members to ensure the safety of our passengers and drivers by closely monitoring the situation on the ground. Equally so, we respect the right to strike and expect the marchers to reciprocate by respecting the constitution’s prescribed freedoms.”

Putco has decided to suspend its operations following a safety and risk assessment the company has carried out.

“The in-depth analysis uncovered threats of intimidation and a planned interruption of economic activities by disrupting road networks to prevent trucks and buses from operating. As a precautionary measure and due to safety concerns for passengers and staff, Putco will not operate on Monday. There will be reduced services on Tuesday and full service will resume on Wednesday.” Said the company.

Addressing the media yesterday, EFF leader Julius Malema said they held a meeting with SANTACO to inform them that there will be protesters on the roads and the taxis should take that into consideration as they prepare to operate on the day.

“There shouldn’t be unnecessary confrontations between ourselves and the taxis because we ll belong to the same class. Therefore to have the working class fighting each other is to please capital and is not in the interest of all of us,” he said.

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