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Taxi stayaway: City of Cape Town to sue Santaco for damages


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Taxi stayaway: City of Cape Town to sue Santaco for damages

City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis
City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis

28th August 2023

By: News24Wire


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The City of Cape Town plans to sue the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) for damages during the eight-day stayaway earlier this month.

The mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, told News24 all departments had been requested to provide an estimate of the damage.


"The City is busy assessing and quantifying the full cost of damages to its vehicles and infrastructure, and the cost of additional policing over those days of unacceptable violence.

"We have every intention of pursuing civil action to recover these costs and to make sure those responsible for the violence and damage are held both criminally and financially liable," he said. 


Hill-Lewis said the City, the province and the taxi industry had reached an agreement to end the strike, but it did not absolve the taxi industry of responsibility for the damages caused.

Santaco staged an eight-day strike earlier this month after the City impounded dozens of vehicles for a range of infractions.

Santaco's Western Cape general secretary, Ryno Saaiers, said they were aware of the City's intentions.

"We dispute the City's allegations that our members caused disruptive behaviour during the stayaway. We instructed our members from the beginning of the stayaway to not engage in violent activities. Our members were told to park their vehicles, and we do not take responsibility for the damages caused," he said.

Saaiers said they had not received a legal letter from the City - but, should they receive any form of letter of demand, Santaco would seek legal advice. 

On Monday,  the taxi task team met for the start of a three-day imbizo to thrash out issues affecting the taxi industry in the Western Cape.

Santaco said they hoped it would yield positive results. 

"We remain hopeful that all parties will reach a common ground after the three-day talks as we are committed to constructive negotiations," said Saaiers.

The police, in a written reply to a question posed by the African National Congress's Ayanda Bans in the legislature, said approximately 466 vehicles were damaged during the taxi-related unrest.

Bans had asked the MEC for police oversight and community safety, Reagen Allen, what the extent of the damage was, the number of vehicles attacked or torched, and how many people were injured or killed.

The question was referred to the police for a response. 

In its response, the police said six people were killed and the extent of the damage could not be approximated.


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