Sat, 26 Sep 2020

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) is seeking compensation of R250 a day for taxi drivers for the losses they suffered during the country's 21-day lockdown.

"We recognise that our members are losing income and their livelihood is severely compromised, therefore we established this fund that will cushion the blow to our members: taxi owners, drivers, rank managers, queue marshals and taxi associations workers," Santaco president Phillip Taaibosch said at a briefing in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Members of taxi associations have to apply for the funding via a portal.

"The claims will differ from one province to another but the driver will receive plus-minus R250 a day for the period of the lockdown. The compensation might not be 100% but it is just to ensure you are able to survive.

Taaibosch added they would ensure that owners and office staff would get fair compensation, regardless of the complexity of them belonging to different associations.

"Empty seats will be compensated on a fair basis," Taaibosch maintained.

Applicants will only be able to register once on the portal and put through one claim that covers the lockdown period.

READ | Lockdown: Santaco to announce an independent relief fund for taxi industry

The independent relief fund will be managed by SkX - a protiviti member firm which provides "consulting solutions in internal audit, risk and compliance, technology, business processes, data, analytics and finance", according to its website.

Anyone can donate to the relief fund, according to Santaco, which estimates that the industry will need about R3.5 billion to provide relief to about 250 000 taxis that operate on the roads.

READ | WhatsApp is limiting some message forwarding in new Covid-19 changes

"The fund is not aimed at bringing any member to profitability and we call on government and the private sector to contribute to the fund," Taaibosch added.

Santaco will announce when the application process opens.

News24 earlier reported that the regulations affecting the taxi industry included the following:

From 04:00-05:00, empty taxis are permitted to be on the road, solely to pick up commuters.From 05:00-10:00 taxis are permitted to ferry commuters at a 70% licensed capacity.From 10:00-11:00, all outstanding commuters must be dropped off and taxis must be parked.Taxis are permitted to be back on the roads between 15:00-16:00, solely to pick up commuters.Taxis are allowed to ferry commuters at a 70% licensed capacity between 16:00-20:00.From 20:00-21:00, all outstanding commuters must be dropped off and taxis must be parked.

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