South Africa’s biggest taxi organization, SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), has unveiled a R3.5bn capital. The aim of the fund is to shield the Covid-19 outbreak blow on the sector, which ferries 16.5-million travelers per day.
Santaco’s national spokesman has revealed that it has selected auditing firm SkX and two law companies, De Klerk Mandelstam and Ncube, to run the SA Taxi Industry Coronavirus Relief Fund.
“We want the relief fund to have a well-structured legal standing to ensure that each rand raised is for the benefit of all beneficiaries [such as] taxi drivers, queue marshals, rank managers, and taxi owners.”
The taxi organization has asked business societies, the government and vehicle makers among others, to join in the venture and contribute to the fund.
It intends to assist 100,000 schedule officers; 150,000 taxi operators; and the taxi associations’ aid workers who serve in their facilities, whose circumstances have been seriously intimidated by this virus.
Also, Molelekwa said this: “The fund is just a form of relief to help them put bread on the table so that their families can eat. The fund is not meant to help the industry pay off its obligations.”
Molelekwa emphasized that the sector has been severely impacted by the 21-day lockdown declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa the previous month. The lockdown is directed at controlling Covid-19 in SA. There are over 1,700 verified Covid-19 cases, with 95 recoveries, and thirteen deaths up until now in SA.
Last week on Wednesday, the minister for transport, Fikile Mbalula slackened Covid-19 laws in the public-transport industry in the lockdown. This has allowed minibus taxis to ferry full passenger capacity if passengers put on masks.
But he retreated on Thursday morning stating that transport automobiles should lessen the number of highest passengers to 70 percent load. Also, Mbalula revealed adjustments to running times with minibus taxis now allowed to serve between 5am to 10 am
Molelekwa stated some minibus taxi trades will fall in the subsequent 6 to 10 months since making a comeback from the big damages acquired in the lockdown season will be an absurd responsibility to attain.
Santaco president, Philip Taaibosch stated: “In our quest to maintain social-distancing and save lives, we recognise that our members are losing income and their livelihood is severely compromised. We have taken this proactive step to establish a fund that will cushion the blow to our members.”
Taaibosch asked all shareholders to the taxi sector like food retailers, parts and tyre manufactures, taxi dealerships, banks, and other sector actors to join hands with the taxi sector and support the fund.
“This is crucial in ensuring essential service [workers] are taken to work … to keep the economy of the country going.”