Remarks by the Honourable Premier R.M. Mtshweni-Tsipane on the occasion of the Provincial Taxi Indaba

06 June 2023

MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport, Honourable Mandla Ndlovu;
Honourable Executive Mayors representing various Municipalities;
Members of Mayoral Committees, responsible for Public Safety, in our Municipalities;
Delegates representing the taxi industry in our Province;
Our esteemed guests representing various sectors of our society.
Senior Management of our Provincial Government
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Good Morning,

  1. Programme Director, it gives me great pleasure this morning to join this gathering designed to formulate strategies, in response to the challenges within the taxi industry.

  2. I must confess though that I had mixed emotions when I received the invitation to join this gathering. At first, the invitation motivated me, because I consider the role of this industry extremely crucial to the transportation service of our people, not only in Mpumalanga, but in the entire country.

  3. However, the instability which leads to attacks between taxi associations, and cause a bloodbath, are tragic and regrettable.

  4. The recent attack of Mr Mahlatse Mokoena of the Mathibela Taxi Association, lays bare the instability that I am referring to.

  5. And before I can proceed, Programme Director, may I request that we observe a moment of silence, in honour of Mr Mokoena and many other slain members, in the industry…..May their souls Rest in Peace.

  6. Programme Director, we are all in unison that the taxi industry is an integral part of the ordinary citizens. All of you seated here carry the hopes and dreams of every citizen, whose desire is to move from one point to the other, whether Black or White, young and old, the employed or unemployed.

  7. The embedded relationship between the industry and the commuters, is equally the same that exist between the industry and government. While commuters are expecting a good service that guarantee their destination, we, on the other hand, expect a guaranteed service that ensures their safe journey to the place of work, in a quest to improve the economy.

  8. Whilst we appreciate fully, the challenges faced by the industry, such as the exorbitant cost of fuel and service fees, to keep your taxis in good conditions, however, we have a different view on how these matters should be raised and addressed.

  9. I remember the former Transport Minister, Mr Fikile Mbabula who once asserted the following, and I quote: “We appreciate the precarious position the taxi industry finds itself in, and commit ourselves to work with the industry towards changing things for the better,” close quote.

  10. This is our position even today. We remain committed as the Provincial Government, to work with the industry towards changing things for the better.

  11. I am quite convinced that a ground breaking outcome is on the cards, if my analysis of the agenda items, is anything to go by:

    • If no consensus is reached on all items, at least we must establish a strong foundation to resolve the disputes that lead to a loss of life.
    • We must build consensus for economic sustainability of the industry.

  12. These critical issues, should not in anyway be viewed as more important, to shift focus away from the implementation of the resolutions of gatherings held before, such as the implementation of the 2021 National Taxi Lekgotla and the 2015 Ezithabiseni Provincial Conference.

  13. Programme Director, as I indicated earlier, this industry is an integral part of our daily lives. Growing up in Emalahleni, we were often told about fascinating stories of taxi drivers, some of which are demeaning and some of them, heroic and ground-breaking. But today, I choose to focus on the latter, such as Nkazimulo Khumalo of Ivory Park in Tembisa who completed his studies at UNISA, as a taxi driver.

  14. In KZN, in Richards Bay, Bhekinkhosi Shandu, inspired many in the industry after obtaining business qualifications from the Durban University of Technology. Nkosinathi Mzolo graduated with a Master of Law degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in the school of law.

  15. Joe Ndlovu of Soshanguve, completed studies at the Tshwane University of Technology. The list is endless. What is the moral of these stories, you may ask Programme Director? It simply means, we have big brains and an abundance of intelligence.

  16. And so we need to tap into these merits to sustain the industry and work together to grow Mpumalanga. I wish you all progressive deliberations in the discussions.

  17. Siyathokoza.
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