Minister Chikunga’s deliberate misinformation on Taxi Strikes is a direct attack on the DA

Issued by Dr Chris Hunsinger MP – DA Shadow Minister of Transport
08 Aug 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbite by Dr Chris Hunsinger MP.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) takes serious exception to the comments made by Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, regarding the ongoing lawless taxi strike in Cape Town.

Minister Chikunga today claimed that the City of Cape Town’s sanctions, which led to the impounding of taxis, had no legal standing. She further called for the release of impounded taxis and for the City to cancel its by-laws and rely solely on national legislation. Minister Chikunga’s call for the immediate release of all impounded taxis is an irresponsible call for lawlessness.

Her allegations are not only false but represent a calculated attempt to politicize a sensitive situation. Both the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town have consistently made themselves available for consultation throughout the crisis. Despite knowing this, the Minister chose not to engage and in doing so enabled the protests to escalate into violence. Her failure to act suggests an opportunistic approach to fuel confusion for political gain.

The Minister has revealed her political agenda. By remaining passive, she allowed the confusion to grow, and thereby created a situation that she hopes will benefit the ANC in the upcoming national election. This blatant manipulation of a sensitive issue for political gain is both irresponsible and unethical.

The ANC’s alignment with structures and personalities in the taxi industry further exposes their intent to exploit this crisis to attack the DA. The Minister’s strategy appears to be a deliberate attempt to undermine the best-run province and city in the country, with an eye towards garnering support in the upcoming Presidential election. Such political maneuvering not only jeopardizes the stability of the transport sector but also the broader welfare of our communities.

The Minister’s refusal to accept my invitation to visit the impounded vehicles and verify the legal merits of their impoundment demonstrates a lack of commitment to transparent governance. Rather than engaging in constructive dialogue, she has chosen a path of evasion and misinformation.

It must be understood that this entire crisis, marked by damage, loss, and preventable violence, could have been averted through responsible mediation, conversation, and transparency – all of which the Minister actively avoided. She must be held accountable for her absence and her direct role in escalating this crisis.

The DA remains steadfast in our commitment to the rule of law, the safety and rights of commuters, and the principles of good governance. We will not be swayed by political maneuvering or deception. Instead, we will continue to act in the best interests of the South African people, upholding our responsibilities with integrity and without fear or favour.