The taxi strike in Pretoria could result in some matriculants not being able to write their English second paper on Wednesday. Learners struggled to get transportation to their various exam centres as the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) is embarking on a march to deliver a memorandum of grievances to the department of transport and the Union Buildings.
A statement issued by Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona said all Grade 12 learners and other inner grades who arrive late for assessments as a result of the strike will be given the opportunity to write their exams at alternative venues and times.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has urged parents to take priority in ensuring that their children are safe during the strike, News24 reported. He also said that it was unfortunate that such activities happen at such a time when schoolchildren should be focusing on exam preparations.
"All our Grade 12 learners should be preoccupied with preparations and excelling in their work [and not] another activity that is derailing their efforts and focus thereof," Lesufi said.
"The department will invoke necessary prescripts for all those learners who might not make it to the exam. Chief Invigilators will also use their discretion to accommodate learners to write at alternative centres."
The statement also said that it was important to note that such activities occur during the critical examination periods and therefore learners cannot be disadvantaged because of an activity that is beyond their control.
NTA general secretary Alpheus Mlalazi said that the protest was necessitated by Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi's failure to respond to the serious problems facing the taxi industry. This impeded the growth of the industry, effectively compromising road safety and customer care.
The grievances raised by the taxi industry include provisions of the National Land Transport Act, matters related to operations, the Integrated Public Transport Network or the BRT system, compensation for an operator surrendering an operating licence, the Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, and the public transport subsidy.