School children from Mfuleni are being forced to stay home after taxi associations banned scholar transport from Mfuleni to Khayelitsha area.
Even in some areas in Khayelitsha, parents said Codeta taxi drivers told that ngumhlaba kaCodeta and nobody should carry learners except them.
The Western Cape MEC of Education David Maynier said over 2400 learners have been affected by the blockage by taxi associations.
Parents of the affected learners told Ezitshisayo that taxi associations told them that only taxis must transport their kids. Parents said taxi associations told them that they must blame the department for the chaos. They said the department is the one that is slow in processing a taxi tender for scholar transport.
“They said the department is not listening to them hence they have taken those measures. But abantwana bethu bangenaphi, these are just kids whose future is being sacrificed by greed associations,” said a mother whose child is in grade one at Academia primary school in Khayelitsha.
Taxi associations have blocked half of Academia Primary School learners in Khayelitsha from attending school. Maynier visited the school today and confirmed that lots of kids were not at school.
“This morning I visited Academia Primary School, where over 50% of their learners have been prevented from going to school, due to an illegal blockade of learner transport operations by minibus taxi associations. Today, their absenteeism rate is 90%,” said Maynier.
Maynier said taxi associations have been threatening and harassing our contracted drivers to prevent them from transporting learners.
“This is an attempt to muscle in on transport contracts and to extort money from the Western Cape Education Department,” he said.
Santaco spokesman Nceba Enge said the situation must be blamed on the department not on taxi associations.
He said since March 2022, they had a meeting with the department where they were supposed to agree and have a partnership that will allow taxis to carry learners.
“Since then the department has been playing hide and seek. People are frustrated hence they are acting in that manner because of the failure of the department to engage them,” he said.
Enge said the idea was that, since taxis have licences in these various areas, they should be given the right to carry learners.
Enge said their request for partnership was not only for Khayelitsha and Mfuleni but around Cape Town.