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Santaco not happy with interest cut - another strike possible

Santaco not happy with interest cut - another strike possible

The majority of members affiliated with the South African National Taxi Association (Santaco) have rejected the proposal offered by SA Taxi Finance Holdings on Thursday.

Santaco-affiliated taxi owners embarked on strike action on Thursday, protesting the 28% interest rate imposed on them by SA Taxi Finance when buying their vehicles. The owners said that the repayments were too high, and that they were suffering as a result.

Their protest action, blocking major roads into Johannesburg and Pretoria caused major traffic congestion and left thousands of commuters stranded, nearly bringing the country's economic hub to a standstill.

The price of a Toyota Quantum has increased from R220 000 in 2010 to currently around R450 000.

SA Taxi Finance offered Santaco a 3% interest rate drop on the purchase of Toyota Quantums from 28.5% to 25.5%.

Deputy director of Taxi Choice, Thulani Qwabe, said that the SA Taxi Finance had heard their pleas and have responded with an offer to include a residual payment of R100 000, reducing instalments on average by R1 800 per month.

"My fellow people‚ SA Taxi Finance says they hear your plea that R15 000 is too much for you to pay‚ therefore they will call you individually via SMS and restructure your deal so that if you were paying 28.5%‚ they will reduce your rate to 25.5%," Qwabe said.

"On top of that‚ they will include a residual payment which will be R100 000 and that will reduce your instalments on average by R1 800 a month. So when you get to them‚ it will be up to you whether you want them to adjust your contract to the reduction of the interest‚ or you choose the residual payment option," he continued.

The offer was however, rejected by the majority of the owners. Santaco president Phillip Taaibosch and the association’s senior leadership confirmed that they would continue negotiating with SA Taxi Finance to resolve the issue.

Should they fail to come to an agreement, the country can expect to experience a nationwide strike on July 12.

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