Taxi demonstration called off

21 Sep 2016 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 SEP (NAMPA) - The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has called off the demonstration of public transport operators which commenced Tuesday, after having resolved some of their grievances during a close-door meeting with Government officials.
This was confirmed by NTTU President Werner Januarie.
He told Nampa on Wednesday the protest will not proceed as various stakeholders within the public transport sector are expected to discuss the concerns in a meeting scheduled for Monday.
“The only thing which frustrated us was the lack of information on what Government was planning and the slow progress of the implementation of
(measures to address) our concerns,” said Januarie.
Public transport operators on Tuesday had a demonstration to urge Government to address their grievances which include allegations of abuse, harassment, high traffic fines by authorities among others.
The demonstration was however called off after a meeting with Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Sankwasa James Sankwasa on Tuesday.
Issues to be discussed during the forthcoming include the adoption of regulations outlining the role and responsibilities of trade unions and associations representing both employees and employers.
He also added that the public transport operators must be recognised as employees by the Labour Ministry to resolve strict targets set by taxi owners.
“Their employers sometimes demand at least N.dollars 600 a day, and if you do not meet that target you will just lose your job, and there is nothing we can do in most cases because these are often verbal agreements. So it becomes the employers’ word against that of the employee,” he said.
He also claimed that the Ministry of Land Reform was tasked to implement temporary terminals for the purposes of loading and offloading passengers as outlined in their plans, but this is yet to see light of day.
Januarie also revealed that preparations are at an advanced stage to establish a Public Transport Board which will be tasked with the implementation of policies pertaining to public transport license renewals, discipline of unruly motorists and assist Government in planning.
“Currently we will focus on taxi drivers, but we will soon also meet and deliberate on the inclusion of private drivers such as truck drivers as well,” he said.