Ver Angola


Taxi cooperatives in Luanda announce strike on March 25th and 26th

The Union of Cooperatives and Associations of taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers in Luanda complain about the lack of response from the authorities to their concerns, such as the withdrawal of support, and promise to stop on the 25th and 26th of March.

: DW/P. B. Ndomba
DW/P. B. Ndomba  

Speaking to Lusa this Wednesday, António Freitas, representative of this structure that brings together four cooperatives and three associations, lamented the withdrawal of the gasoline subsidy, without these professionals having been heard, although he defends an alternative solution to fuel cards.

Last June, the Government began the gradual withdrawal of fuel subsidies, which started with gasoline, but exempted some economic activities.

Farmers and artisanal fishermen, taxi drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers were beneficiaries of this exemption, which will end from April 30th, through the delivery of cards with a daily ceiling of 7000 kwanzas to cover the difference between the 160 kwanzas per liter, which cost gasoline and the current 300 kwanzas.

"We want subsidies, but not through cards, that was just a big deal", he criticized, adding that there are more than 7000 cards to be delivered to taxi drivers and that they remain in the hands of municipal administrations.

In other cases, he continued, "the cards came empty (without 'plafond')" or remained uncharged for up to three months.

"What we want to know is where this money ended up," he asked.

"We are open to dialogue until the 18th. If they don't comment, from that date onwards we will start sticking papers in taxis (calling for a strike on the 25th and 26th)", he highlighted.

Other demands include the creation of taxi ranks and the updating of taxi routes.

"We want defined routes" defended the association leader, stressing that prices must also be updated, without advancing the proposal they intend to present to the authorities.

Taxi rides currently cost 150 kwanzas.

Private nine-seater taxis, known as candongueiros or "blue and white", and motorcycle taxis are the cheapest and most popular means of transport in the country, especially in the capital, where thousands of young people dedicate themselves to this activity.

The Union of Cooperatives and Associations also seeks the legalization of transport known as "gira_bairro" (private vehicles for collective passenger transport) and compliance with the decree-law that establishes the legal regime applicable to the exercise of taxi and motorcycle taxi driver activities.

According to António Freitas, these professionals are currently in a situation of illegality as they do not yet have the professional card provided for in the diploma.

"Until now, no one has a license, so the activity is not legal, but you have to pay for an activity license, insurance, etc.", he questioned.

The intention to paralyze taxi and motorcycle taxi activities, due to the six points that constitute the main concerns, was communicated on March 11th to the Provincial Government of Luanda.

According to the note to which Lusa had access, representatives of cooperatives and associations met with provincial authorities on January 8th to present the demands, without receiving a response since that date.


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