Ul­ti­ma­tum for taxi op­er­a­tors

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

THE South African po­lice have given Qacha’s Nek taxi-op­er­a­tors un­til the end of Septem­ber to sort out their cross-bor­der per­mits.

The ul­ti­ma­tum comes af­ter cross-bor­der taxi-op­er­a­tions were tem­po­rar­ily halted on Tues­day fol­low­ing the op­er­a­tors’ fail­ure to pro­duce per­mits which al­low them to ferry pas­sen­gers into South Africa and back to Le­sotho.

Qacha’s Nek and Matatiele taxi op­er­a­tors signed a cross-bor­der agree­ment on 25 May 2016 which be­came op­er­a­tional on 1 June.

But in an in­ter­view yes­ter­day with the Le­sotho Times, Qacha’s Nek Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber Lerotholi Posholi said the pact was now in se­ri­ous jeop­ardy.

“Af­ter sign­ing the cross-bor­der agree­ment on May 25, 2016, we ne­go­ti­ated with the po­lice to al­low us to ferry pas­sen­gers to and from South Africa while we were sort­ing out the per­mits’ is­sue,” Mr Posholi said.

“Al­though the po­lice granted us a grace pe­riod, there was never a set time­frame and yes­ter­day (Tues­day) their pa­tience on the mat­ter ran out, and they stopped our op­er­a­tions, de­mand­ing that both SA and Le­sotho op­er­a­tors pro­duce cross-bor­der per­mits.”

The po­lice, he added, ar­gued trans­port­ing pas­sen­gers be­tween the two coun­tries with­out per­mits was putting lives at risk as vic­tims would not be cov­ered by the road ac­ci­dent fund should the ve­hi­cles crash.

How­ever, Mr Posholi said the sit­u­a­tion was brought un­der con­trol fol­low­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions which re­sulted in the po­lice giv­ing the op­er­a­tors three months to sort them­selves out or risk ar­rest.

“Things are back to nor­mal now as we have been given un­til the end of Septem­ber to sort out the per­mits is­sue. We are work­ing re­ally hard to make sure we meet that deadline,” he said.

Mean­while, Mr Posholi said Qacha’s Nek District Ad­min­is­tra­tor (DA), Mo­siuoa Nthakong, had promised to would work hard to speed­ily fa­cil­i­tate the is­suance of the per­mits to avoid any fu­ture prob­lems.

The DA, he added, had said it was im­por­tant for the per­mits to be pro­cessed as the is­sue could af­fect re­la­tions be­tween Le­sotho and South Africa.

QACHA’S Nek taxi-op­er­a­tors have un­til end of Septem­ber to sort out their cross-bor­der per­mits.

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