Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and Premier Alan Winde have invited SANTACO for a discussion this afternoon, in a bid to bring the taxi strike to an end.
Hill-Lewis had previously said they will not negotiate with taxi bosses, for as long as incidents of violence was taking place.
Up until Wednesday, there has been 198 criminal cases registered at SAPS relating to the SANTACO strike. These include charges of murder, attempted murder, arson, as well as malicious damage to property, assault and assault GBH.
Hill-Lewis announced on Thursday morning that it had been 48 hours without any serious incidents in Cape Town, and a peaceful morning traffic peak, and so they are willing to engage with SANTACO again.
For as long as SANTACO adheres to the interdict against violence and disruption, the City stands ready to continue negotiations at any time so that resolutions can be found without compromising the principle of the rule of law. It is entirely within SANTACO’s powers to end the strike and return to constructive talks.
SANTACO has however decline the meeting, as they don’t agree with the proposed agenda.
Last night, SANTACO indicated that it would not send its operators into a ”lions den” – expressing fears that more taxis would be impounded.
This is as MMC JP Smith had previously stated publicly that the City would impound 25 taxis for every bus or car burnt or damaged during the strike.
SANTACO also announced that it is consulting lawyers to apply for an urgent interdict for the release of all vehicles that have been impounded and to interdict the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Department of Mobility from impounding anymore vehicles until all
matters have been resolved.
It therefore appears likely that the taxi strike will continue, until the weekend, at least.
Mayor Hill-Lewis says the City will continue to prioritise the protection of commuters and public safety in general, including escorts for public transport and frontline services staff.
Safety escort services will also be extended to food delivery trucks in communities within available resources.
The City has further reached out to NGOs Gift of the Givers and Heal our Land for support in providing food relief to communities struggling under the ongoing taxi strike action.
The continued strike action means that many communities are struggling with ongoing disruptions to their daily lives and ability to earn a living. People are going hungry and we will do whatever we can to help together with NGO partners like Gift of the Givers and Heal our Land while the taxi strike continues.
Both Gift of the Givers as well as Heal our Land have responded to the request and the City’s disaster relief teams will be working with them to coordinate efforts.