Scholar transport operators have appealed to the Transport Department to recognize the taxi industry. The operators say they are excluded from the sector in many ways.

They say many challenges need to be addressed.

Lebohang Neshunzi from the Ikaheng scholar transport in Sasolburg says they offer an important service to the community.

“The challenges that we are facing as a scholar transport is that we are not being recognised by the government. We need to be part of the taxi industry. Our kids are very valuable people in this country. So, I feel that Ntate Mbalula should really consider it as part of them. Like we have a conference, I think we still need to be part of them. So, the recognition is very important.”

Taxi industry stakeholders from across the Free State have gathered to discuss critical issues affecting the industry in Parys.

Taxi operators have in the past raised concerns of unfair treatment from law enforcement agencies, illegal taxi operators and tension over routes.

Stakeholders will spend the day at the lekgotla to iron out some of these issues.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Transport MEC Sam Mashinini will address the taxi lekgotla that comes ahead of the forthcoming national taxi lekgotla.

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