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Western Cape taxi drivers down tools

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Taxi drivers in the province are on strike on Monday and Tuesday over the cancellation of an incentive scheme.

CAPE TOWN – Taxi drivers in the Western Cape downed tools on Monday morning to demand a decision
cancel the Blue Dot pilot program.

The program encourages drivers to behave more safely on the roads.

The delay, which will take place on Monday and Tuesday, is expected to affect thousands of passengers.

The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works says budget constraints have forced them to stop the scheme.

READ: Santaka wants WC Blue Dot taxi program to continue

The department’s spokesman, Jandre Bakker, says the project is a good incentive to promote good driver behavior.

“Drivers are assessed on a number of criteria such as driving behaviour, which includes sudden acceleration, sudden braking and speeding. We monitor this with technologies such as tracking devices,” said Bakker.

“The Western Cape Government has invested R215 million in this pilot project, which has shown significant results, including a more than 50% reduction in speeding incidents and a 30% reduction in severe incidents such as sudden lane changes, braking and acceleration.”

At the same time, he warned the striking drivers not to violate their license conditions.

“If any public transport operator violates the terms of their operating licenses that include violent behavior provisions, the department will take appropriate disciplinary action.”

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