No taxi protests planned 'for now' over rising price of Quantum | Fin24
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No taxi protests planned 'for now' over rising price of Quantum

Jun 08 2017 12:56
Mxolisi Mngadi, News24

Durban – There will be no taxi protest "over the escalating price of the Toyota Quantum in Durban for now", the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) said on Thursday.

Santaco had threatened to shut down the whole country if the highly used Toyota Quantum manufacturer did not respond to their demands within seven days from last Wednesday.

KwaZulu-Natal Santaco chairperson Boy Zondi told News24 that Toyota had got back to them following last Wednesday’s protest by taxi operators in Durban, which brought traffic to a standstill on major routes, while the taxis were on their way to a Toyota plant in Prospecton, Isipingo.

They were protesting "over the escalating cost of the Toyota Quantum since it was introduced in the country 10 years ago".

When it was introduced, it was at a fully imported price of R220 000. It is now produced locally at a price of R450 000 before interest, which the industry felt was too expensive, Santaco said.

According to the organisation’s calculations, one Toyota Quantum costs more than R1m when the deposit, interest rate, installments, premiums and insurance have been considered.

'We can’t be responsible for so many job losses'

Zondi had said they wanted Toyota to decrease the minibus price to R350 000.

"They got back to us and we’re still in talks with them. Toyota has scheduled a meeting with us, which will take place next Wednesday," said Zondi.

Last Wednesday’s protest did not mean that Toyota must shut down its plants in the country, but "we were trying to get a point across", Zondi said.

"We’re not saying they must shut down the plants. We can’t be responsible for so many job losses," Zondi said, adding that they are trying to reach common ground with Toyota.

Zondi denied that the taxi strike in Orlando on Tuesday was connected to the price of the Quantum, as some media houses had reported.

"It’s not true that the strike in Gauteng was associated with the protest we had in Durban. They were fighting for reasons only known to them," he said.

Zondi hinted that, on June 15, taxi operators might be marching to the SA Taxi Finance offices in Johannesburg over the "high interest rates they charge for a Toyota Quantum".

News24 understands that Santaco had a meeting in Gauteng this week over the planned protest.

"We are, in the meantime, applying for a permit to stage a legal protest in Johannesburg on June 15," Zondi added.

toyota  |  taxi industry  |  taxi protests


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