Taxi strikes hamper economic recovery - SACCI

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pretoria - Minibus taxi strikes hamper South Africa's recovery from the global economic meltdown, says the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

"The ongoing taxi strikes and threats of strikes are hampering South Africa's hesitant recovery from the global crisis and casting a shadow over the success of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup," said the Chamber on Thursday.

According to SACCI, demonstrations such as the one in Port Elizabeth where taxi operators were arrested after they refused to disperse in a march, showed contempt for the rule of law.

"Those in Johannesburg, in protest against much needed transport infrastructure improvements are accompanied by violence, illustrating a disregard for private property and human life," said SACCI. This follows on protests by taxi drivers against the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

The chamber said with three months to go before kick-off of the world cup protest and the threat of protests has the potential to discourage visitors from supporting the tournament.

"The reputational risk faced by the country is considerable. SACCI appeals to the taxi associations and unions to 'put South Africa first' and to desist from actions that tarnish the country's reputation as a caring, friendly destination," said the chamber.