Jo-Ann Ferreira, Fairways
In his letter “Taxi crisis: constructive dialogue needed” (August 9) Derryn Brigg, the deputy chairperson of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, advises that the workings of the taxi industry must be understood and it must be remembered that they (the taxi industry) lost their revenue during Covid, and “many owners are yet to recover” but I strongly disagree, since just about every self-employed person in the world suffered hugely sir, many of whom never did/could recover.
Every person was financially affected by Covid; some more so than others, for example I work in the beauty and wellness industry (which you may argue is a luxury service to a small sector, but you will be totally surprised at who my best clients are), many people working in this industry had no alternative for recovery. They shut their doors because there was no business at all; and indeed because it is such a personal service there was no coming back from this, with absolutely no wiggle room or funds to recover for so many.
I am a regular road user who does not own a car (just like millions of tax-paying citizens) who all have had to contend with rising fuel and vehicle costs “simply trying to earn a living”; so how does this make the plight of taxi operators the exception?
The taxi industry needs to understand that they must form a cohesive unit with rail service, MyCiTi, Golden Arrow and other stakeholders to serve the people of this great City of Cape Town – they are here to deliver a service to us (we are not here to serve them) and they cannot dictate which service we should use either. If I would rather wait an hour for a bus to come along instead of using the available taxi service (for whatever reason) this too is my prerogative; so why use intimidation to force my money into your pockets?
The way taxi drivers operate and blatantly flout the rules of the road and (sad to say) have always held our city to ransom over the years, should never have been allowed in the first place. But I think the City was simply pressured to ‘see the bigger picture and do what is best for the people.
Each time things do not go the taxi industry’s way, they throw tantrums that cost many millions in damages, and more importantly, it costs lives…
What is best for the people of this city is that everyone abides by the same rule of law when using our roads.