Taxi industry the lifeblood of SA’s public transport system – Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Rampahosa said that government remained committed to doing whatever was necessary to bring the taxi industry into the mainstream of South Africa’s economy so that its invaluable service could be improved.

Commuters wait to enter their taxi at Bree taxi rank in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the taxi industry as the lifeblood of South Africa’s public transport system.

He delivered a virtual address at the start of the three-day National Taxi Lekgotla under way in Gauteng.

The president 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.

President Cyril Rampahosa said that government remained committed to doing whatever was necessary to bring the taxi industry into the mainstream of South Africa’s economy so that its invaluable service could be improved.

“You are making a difference in the lives of citizens on a daily basis, whether it is a grandmother who needs to go and collect her pension, you are there; whether it is a learner who needs to go to school, you provide the transport.”

He said that the industry made a major contribution to job creation, employing in the region of an estimated 400,000 people.

“Both directly, by providing jobs to drivers, queue marshalls, conductors and indirectly by transporting millions between home and the place of employment, taxis assist by bringing bread to the table.”

Ramaphosa said that from this lekgotla there needed to be concrete measures to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry by addressing several challenges that had tarnished its reputation, like the issue of labour relations and the alleged exploitation of workers.

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