Taxi rank agreement
Taxi associations in Grahamstown (Makhanda) still have to ratify an agreement brokered this week. Competing taxi associations Border Alliance (BATA) and Uncedo have met twice this month to resolve a disagreement over fee sharing.
The dispute over stand fees (the duty payable to the rank management once your taxi is full and ready to leave) earlier this month saw Uncedo leave BATA’S long-distance car rank in Link Street and establish their own loading area less than 500 metres up the road.
The dispute is about BATA’S Link Street rank. Both Uncedo and BATA were using it to load long-distance taxis to Fort Beaufort, King William’s Town and Peddie.
Loaded taxis pay a stand fee of between R15 and R20 before they set off – effectively rental for the space they’ve occupied to load passengers.
Because BATA operates the Link Street rank, their marshall collects this fee and it goes to the association. Uncedo believes they’re entitled to a share. Chairperson Monde Sandi said at issue had been that many of their drivers and owners were paying stand fees to the BATA marshall – yet Uncedo was receiving no share of that. Sandi said this had been resolved during talks.
“The stand fee payment for the Port Alfred, PE and Peddie taxis will be split half-half,” Sandi said. “But for the Fort Beaufort line, each association will take its own fee.”
Sandi said as far as Uncedo was concerned, negotiators had resolved the disagreement. It only needed to be ratified by the respective organisations. BATA chairperson Dole Kondile, though, was frustrated that the Uncedo long-distance taxis continued to line up in Beaufort Street opposite the Total garage, less than half a kilometre from their rank.
“There’s no change,” Kondile said this week. “They’re still in front of our rank.”
Uncedo’s home rank is in Dr Jacob Zuma Drive opposite Fikizolo Primary School. BATA’S rank is in Link Street, opposite the Engen garage in Beaufort Street.
Both use the main municipality managed Queen Street rank, along with privately owned land behind Shoprite and four allocated parking bays in front of Checkers in High Street.
The ‘Avanza’ rank for vehicles travelling to Port Elizabeth is a section of Beaufort Street close to the Hill Street corner.