Durban - Taxi operators praised Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele
on Monday for helping the industry to grow.
"This is the man (Ndebele) who fought for the taxi industry when it was down. He is like a taxi operator in government," said SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) general secretary Philip Taaibosch
He was speaking at the 10th Santaco anniversary at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
Taaibosch said the government had played a huge role in transforming and creating opportunities for the taxi industry.
"We have seen a massive role of government in bringing the industry together. We had 37 mother bodies which caused violence," he said.
The government helped promote a partnership between the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System
and taxi operators in Johannesburg. Santaco also recently launched its own airline company.
Taaibosch said the taxi industry was moving away from being known as a disorganised and violent industry.
Ndebele said the launch of the airline operation had left many green with envy and others refusing to believe it.
"This introduction of Santaco airline will give an opportunity to many people who have always seen air transport as the privilege of a select few," he said.
Ndebele said much had been achieved since Santaco was formed 10 years ago.
"Over the period, the taxi industry has taken great strides transforming its image as an industry associated with the violent resolution of its disputes to one today which has resolved to banish violence to the dustbin of history."