An initiative of the Congress for Democratic Taxi Associations (CODETA) to reward loyal taxi users has been halted after it emerged that some unscrupulous elements had taken over. The initiative, which saw loyal commuters getting preference during last week’s bus strike, was launched by Codeta’s Cape Town route last year.
Commuters bought R25 cards that allowed them to skip the long lines. A card would be valid for a year.
However, the taxi bosses have been forced to abandon the plan after realising that there were some people who made false cards. The initiative was aimed at ensuring that regular commuters did not stand in long queues. The project was only implemented on the Cape Town route, one of Khayelitsha’s busiest routes.
When Vukani visited the rank on Monday April 17, committee members said they no longer sold the cards as they had discovered that the cards were being faked. They said their intention was to help their regular customers, especially in times of difficulty.
They said they discovered that when other modes of public transport were not working, their regular customers were often inconvenienced.
The committee said they were not excluding other commuters who were not regular taxi users. But they said they were disappointed that some of their customers were among the people who were ruining this system. A regular taxi commuter, whose identity is known to Vukani, confirmed to owning a fake card.
She said she had been using it for almost two weeks and that this system was a good idea as they did not stand in long queues. “My card looks exactly like the original cards. I took a fake card from my friend and made mine,” she said.
Codeta chairperson Vusumzi Miselo said the initiative was the idea of the Cape Town steering committee. The organisation, he said had different steering committees for various routes to better their services. “What we are opposed to, is the overcharging of our people. When it comes to implementing new prices, we all sit down and discuss it. To be honest I do not know how the card system works but I heard the aim was to afford daily commuters an opportunity not to stand in the queue,” he said.
Commuter Nosiphe Tukela said she was excited about the introduction of the cards as it meant she would no longer have to stand in the queue. But, she said, now she had opted to use the MyCiTi bus to avoid the long queues .This, however,meant she had to wake up earlier. She appealed to Codeta to come up with another alternative.