Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has welcomed the agreement reached by the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), the Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town to end the devastating taxi strike.
“On behalf of the tourism sector, I wish to express our collective relief that the taxi strike in Cape Town has been called off,” she said on Friday, a day after the stay away was called off immediately.
The strike also dealt a heavy blow to many industries and has severely impacted the lives of residents in Cape Town with children not being able to get to school, people not being able to get to places of work or access other essential services like hospitals and clinics.
Meanwhile, almost a dozen of Golden Arrow buses were torched due to arson attacks since the taxi strike that started on 3 August 2023.
“Visitors to South Africa have also been impacted by the strike and the violence, which affected residents and visitors, is strongly condemned.”
De Lille said she hopes that all parties do all they can to implement the agreement peacefully with no further disruptions, damage to infrastructure and attacks on people.
“The loss of human life during the strike is deeply tragic and we convey our deepest condolences to all families and friends who lost loved ones during the taxi strike violence.
“We sincerely hope that such devastating acts are never repeated again and that all organisations together with government, will work to resolve disputes amicably and within the framework of the law.”
The Minister said the violence and attacks on human lives are unacceptable and uncalled for in the tourism sector.
“We urge all parties to continue to engage peacefully and collaboratively to see progress and fairness for all.”
As a society, she said it was important to acknowledge the important role that all sectors play in the country, including the taxi industry.
“But we must all obey the rule of law and show respect for others as no one is above the law. We hope that all aspects of life, work and travel can now continue as we all work together to grow our economy and create more jobs for our people.”
Meanwhile, she conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the tourist who was killed in this incident in Nyanga, Cape Town last week in an incident that is believed to be related to the taxi strike.
“I plead with law enforcement agencies to find the perpetrators of this violent crime as soon as possible.”
According to the reports, the tourist British tourist has been identified as Kar Hao Teoh, 40, who was shot from close range after taking a wrong turn into Nyanga as he drove from Cape Town International Airport with his wife and two-year-old son.
The BBC said Teoh was a consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.