Chamber of Commerce says taxi protests were reckless

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) said the minibus taxi strike that was staged in Gauteng this week needed to be treated with the condemnation that it deserved.

Chief Executive of the SACCI, Alan Mukoki, said the protest was misguided and outright selfish, adding that the taxi industry had no right to disrupt and restrict the movement of other road users.

“Notwithstanding the validity of their issues, the protest action restricted and disrupted the movement of other road users, the movements of employees, business people and the public at large,” said Mukoki, who has genuine fears about the impact that this protest will have on the South African economy.

The SACCI has reported, just this month, that business confidence was low and that that trade had taken a hit in May. Mukoki insists that the impact of the protest, which isn’t quite resolved yet, poses a genuine threat to the economy if it continues in this vain.

“The disruption is likely to have a negative impact on the economy as employees would have been late for work, passengers missing their flights and a disruption on production schedules. Whilst we accept the right to protest as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic, the protest action should not come at the detriment of other road users and the general public,’ added Mukoki.

“SACCI acknowledges the challenges faced by the minibus taxi operators and wish to encourage all parties to find ways and means that are mutually beneficial to grow the transport sector.

“In this regard, the broad range of challenges faced by minibus taxi operators, be they regulations, access to routes, access to finance, training and other factors, should be critically examined to identify root causes and find long term solutions.”

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