WC Shutdown: National Government should consider funding the Blue Dot taxi programme

Issued by Ricardo Mackenzie, MPP – DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Transport
18 Nov 2022 in Press Statements

Attention broadcasters: English and Afrikaans audio clips from MPP Ricardo Mackenzie attached.  

The DA appeals that the National Government takes the Western Cape Provincial Government’s request into consideration and provide funding for the Blue Dot taxi programme.

This is in light of the announcement that the South African National Taxi Association (SANTACO) in the Western Cape is planning a shutdown on Monday and Tuesday due to the suspension of the Blue Dot taxis.

As the programme comes to an end, I will be writing to the National Department of Transport and the National Treasury to ask for reconsideration in this regard.

The initiative is the first of its kind in South Africa and has demonstrated effectiveness in improving driving behaviour while also working to reduce illegal operators on our roads. The Provincial Department of Mobility requires the national government’s support in order to continue with this important programme due to provincial budgetary restraints.

MPP Ricardo Mackenzie says: “We appreciate SANTACO’s devotion to the Blue Dot taxis. While we acknowledge the negative effects of its demise, it is not the most effective strategy to sabotage the economy by preventing commuters from traveling. SANTACO ought to assist the Provincial Government in requesting funding for the programme from the National Department of Transport. I have personally contacted the Western Cape SANTACO Chairperson, Mandla Hermanus and urged him to reconsider and rather opt to use SANTACO’s national structure to bring the national government to the negotiation table.

The DA urges the SANTACO leadership to reconsider their decision due to the detrimental effect it will have on the provincial economy. A shutdown will not strengthen their case to get funding for the programme. It will not be beneficial to anyone and will especially affect Matric learners who are currently writing their final exams, as they will struggle to travel to and from school on Monday and Tuesday.

The economy will suffer significantly as a result of today’s announcement of Stage 4 load shedding and a taxi strike. The DA in the Western Cape does not support the intended shutdown.”