POLOKWANE - The Capricorn District Taxi Council in Limpopo has a vision to change the bleak image of the taxi industry into a formal business image by advancing the economic emancipation of the Taxi Operators. The secretary of the District Council Mr. Solly Ledwaba said this could be easily attained if the Limpopo provincial Taxi Council can stop ignoring them and allow for high level business engagement.
Ledwaba accuses the Limpopo Provincial Taxi Council of not attending their Indaba and other meetings to address serious issues affecting them. He also alleged that the Provincial council is micro managing them: "they meet with us only when it is convenient for them. We also met as the Taxi industry and the Chief Directorate of the Department of Roads and Transport in Limpopo. Albeit the department committed itself, it has since failed to fulfil its obligations," Ledwaba said.
He further said that legal steps were imminent in relation to the issues which were raised to the department: “we also plan to meet SANTACO because we need to be part of the provincial structure which up to so far has only distanced itself from us.” The Chairperson of the Limpopo provincial taxi council, Mr Sebake Lentsoane, in his response, said their reason for not attending the District Taxi Council's recent Indaba was because their invite was not clear and straight forward. Lentsoane further stated that he could not divulge the internal matters between them and their substructures in the media.
Ledwaba stated that as a District Council they registered a Taxi co-operative in 2007 which will officially operate from next year and they need to ensure that there is continuous relationship between the financial institutions and the taxi industry. He said 55% of that co-operative will be given to the Taxi Operators for their contribution: "In terms of business we regard ourselves as autonomous," Ledwaba said.
Ledwaba said the District Council is ensuring the smooth running of its 32 member associations consisting of more than 2500 taxis which are 98% operational since the formalisation of the taxi industry a decade ago. He said the main purpose was to discourage factionalism and gangsterism in the industry. Ledwaba pointed out that the formalisation has played a major role in curbing the taxi violence substantially.