Western Cape Taxi Strike officially over!


An eight day strike of the SANTACO minibus taxi industry in Cape Town and the Western Cape came to an end officially at 20h30 this evening, with the following statement issued by the Taxi Association.



Date: 10 August 2023

Time: 19h30

From the desk of Mandla Hermanus,

Chairperson of SANTACO Western Cape

Stay Away Officially Called Off with Immediate Effect

It is with profound relief that we announce the immediate cessation of the Stay Away. This comes after painstaking deliberations and immense pressure on all parties involved.

First and foremost, on behalf of SANTACO Western Cape, I convey our sincerest condolences to the families of those who tragically lost their lives during the Stay Away. We stand with you in this time of grief and offer our profound sympathies. We also extend our heartfelt sympathy to everyone who was negatively affected by the events of the past days.

It deeply saddens and disappoints us that it took this long for all parties to find a resolution. The wellbeing of our community and the public at large has always been our top priority, and it pains us to witness the unnecessary pain and suffering that transpired.

I am pleased to announce that as part of the resolution reached between the Taxi Industry and the Government, there is an agreement that the next 14 days will be utilised to work towards the release of the vehicles that were wrongly impounded. This is a significant step towards restoring trust and operations to their regular state.

In conclusion, a heartfelt thank you goes out to each and every one of you for your patience, resilience, and unwavering resolve during these challenging times. We pledge our ongoing commitment to serve our communities with integrity, ensuring such incidents do not repeat in the future.

For further media enquiries, please contact:

Issued by the South African National Taxi Council, Western Cape.

Strike is over. All return to normal tomorrow’ —————————————————

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis confirmed via video that the Strike is officially over.

The City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis subsequently posted the following media statement :

▫️From the desk of▫️
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis

City welcomes Santaco’s withdrawal of strike action

The City of Cape Town is pleased that the destructive taxi strike has come to an end. We appreciate the constructive approach taken by minibus taxi association Santaco today.

“It bears noting that Santaco today accepted the same proposal that the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government originally put on the table last Friday,” said Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

“The tragic implication is that all of the violence, the deplorable loss of life, and the damage to property and to our local economy – was for naught. Last Friday, everything agreed to today was on the table, when the strike was less than 24 hours old, and could have been stopped then.”

The details of the agreement are:

  • Impoundments under the National Land Transportation Act (NLTA) will continue for vehicles driving without an operating license, or on the incorrect route, or without a driver’s license, or which are not roadworthy.
  • We have agreed that the Taxi Task Team will further define a list, within 14 days, of additional major offences in terms of which vehicles will continue to be impounded in future. This will take the form of an Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to guide enforcement staff on the exercise of the discretionary power provided for in the NLTA.
  • Our focus in the task team will be to ensure that all traffic offences which impact on commuter safety remain as major offences. Road safety for commuters and other road users is a non-negotiable, a position the City has not budged on.
  • The Task Team will similarly compile an agreed-upon list of minor offences, which do not have commuter safety implications, and which will not be impoundable. The City continues to believe it will be able to demonstrate to Santaco that we have already been following this distinction for some time.

Importantly, if Santaco believes that any of their taxis have been impounded for these minor offences, then they can produce the relevant impoundment notices and the City will then make representations to the Public Prosecutor to support the release of these vehicles.

We have also made two important improvements for the future.

  • Santaco has agreed that never again will they call a strike during the middle of a working day, and that they will always give at least 36 hours’ notice ahead of planned strike action. We should never again see a repeat of thousands of people being forced to walk home.
  • Secondly, before calling strike action, the Task Team will now have a dispute escalation and resolution clause, to escalate disputes directly to the Premier and Mayor before a strike action will be considered

The entire agreement is subject to there being no future resumption of taxi-related violence. Any resumption of taxi violence will nullify the agreement.

We hope this sends a clear message to South Africa: violence will get us nowhere. Laws can only be changed through democratic processes.

“While I deplore the impact of this entirely unnecessary strike, Cape Town has set an important precedent for South Africa’s future. By steadfastly refusing to capitulate before violence and anarchy, Cape Town has not conceded an inch on our commitment to the rule of law,” says Hill-Lewis.

“The message is clear: in Cape Town, the laws of this country apply equally to everyone and violence will not extract concessions from this government.”

“My thoughts are with our communities who bore the brunt of this and I want to assure them that we will continue to fight for the safety of them and their loved ones as they travel around our city.”

Thank YOU’

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323


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