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It’s important women feel safe when travelling by taxi, says Ramaphosa

The president delivered a virtual address as the three-day event got underway in Gauteng on Thursday.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa interacting with communities across the nation through a virtual Presidential Imbizo on coronavirus. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said the national taxi lekgotla underway should be a turning point for an industry that is too often associated with a disregard for the rule of law, the abuse of customers, and violent conflict.

Ramaphosa delivered a virtual address as the three-day event got underway in Gauteng on Thursday.

He apologised for not being able to attend the event in person as he was self-isolating after being in the presence of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula also delivered his address virtually because he was in contact with Ramaphosa this week.

The president said the taxi industry associations should be seriously confronted about sexism and gender-based violence (GBV).

“We must work together as government and all industry stakeholders to ensure that women are safe and feel safe when travelling by taxi,” he said.

Last week, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) met with Minister in the Presidency for Women Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to explore practical ways to promote respectful and non-violent behaviour towards women and minors.

Nkoana-Mashabane said transporting about 16 million passengers every day, the taxi industry was key in communicating key messages about GBV.

She suggested the industry could contribute by ensuring taxi operators received gender transformation training and by allowing taxis to be branded with relevant messages.

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