Monday 12 April 2021
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Taxi drivers wants to be taken seriously

Taxi operators say their job is not taken seriously in society, hence the pressure exerted on taxis by law enforcement agencies on the roads.
Taxi drivers claim their jobs are being taken for granted and even as an industry, they are so fragmented to the point that a key number of drivers this week were completely ignorant about the demonstration.
This being the case, they asked “when will this come to an end, when will the government take us serious? Some of us we have our degrees in our suitcases and decided to drive taxis to survive and put bread on the table while trying to get jobs but it is stressful in the taxi industry, even if we work hard to make better money we keep getting tickets from Traffic offices”. These were the words of Iiyambo Johannes a taxi driver who was also part of Monday’s demonstration.
When Namibia Transport and Taxi Union(NTTU) on Monday led the taxi demonstration at the City Police headquarters demanding a taxi fare increase and lowering of fines, it was more than just that. The dignity of taxi drivers was also on the line.
The last time taxi fares were increased was in 2014 when the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) which represents taxi operators across the country increased the fare from N$9 to N$10 per trip.
While awaiting for a response from the Ministry of Works and Transport as to whether taxi fares will be increased by N$2 from N$10 to N$12, the union continues to fight what it calls “structural problems” in the law enforcement system.
National Organizer in the Union Denis Taukondjele said that the union didn’t get any response because “the Ministry didn’t get time to discuss the matter because of the time they were given. The official whom we handed the petition to said the Permanent Secretary wasn’t in the office therefore they couldn’t discuss the matter,” said Taukondjele.
Taukondjele said the union will remain resolute and fight for the rights of taxi drivers.
“Nabta is still meddling in our events because of what we are trying to do, Nabta is a government institution and we are a Union, so they are now regarding the strike as illegal and went to the media such as radio stations to tell the Nation that the demonstration we are doing is illegal,” lamented Taukondjele.
The Patriot also spoke to workers in Windhoek to get an insight into how Monday’s strike affected their work schedules.
A teacher, who chose to remain anonymous, said the demonstration affected her negatively, not just the teachers but learners too.
“We all came late to school and our first periods were cut; lucky enough is the  end of the semester and we are busy with the marking of exams. Some learners missed out and we ended up teaching half-full classes and this will contribute to learner’s failure.”
Another teacher lamented that “it was very difficult for school management because some learners are still writing exams, some came late and some didn’t show up at all. So we ended up calling their parents to make arrangements for learners to write at arranged times”.
The estimated figure for taxi drivers that was expected at the demonstration was over 900 but it appeared to be far less.
Kapandu Shilongo a grade 10 learner at Jan Jonker High School who was also affected by the strike said she had to go back home twice because she couldn’t get a taxi to school.
“I went to the taxi rank at 06h00 in the morning and I stood there for an hour, I went back home and I came back at 07:00 but still couldn’t find a taxi. I then went back home without hope and went back at the taxi rank at 8:00 and that’s when I found one, I was late for school because lessons starts at 07:20, luckily enough I am done with my Exams and teachers are busy marking our exam papers and preparing our reports” said Shilongo.

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