We all know that money is an important factor in our lives. It’s important for our survival in this world. We have so many demanding factors in our lives that make us depend on money. But sometimes, I believe there are some who place profit above everything else, most importantly, above human dignity and respect.
The ones that have caught my attention these days are not unknown to the general public, at least here in South Africa. They are the drivers of the taxi association.
I know that I do not have all of the facts surrounding the circumstances in which these drivers find themselves. What I do know, is that some of them behave virtually like criminals, supposedly forced by their circumstances to earn money in the quickest ways.
Now the taxi association falls under public transport. But I think they defeat the purpose of public transport. Their job is to serve the public. I think that instead they are serving themselves.
Taxi drivers do not adhere to a schedule that I could determine. The only thing that they seem concerned with is how many passengers they can serve. So when one is the first one to board a taxi, it is possible that one may find oneself waiting for an undetermined amount of time until the taxi driver is satisfied with the amount of passengers on board.
So, yes it is wonderful that there are so many taxis on the road to get us to work and wherever else. But what good is it if because of these taxis we sometimes may not get to work on time, we may not be able to make our appointments, we may not be able to fulfil promises we have made?
Over the years, I have seen just how despicable the taxi association can be over the issue of profit. It seems they do not believe in fair competition. They believe in demands and intimidation. A few years ago, I found out that the Jammie Shuttle service which runs for students of the University of Cape Town, had to suspend services in certain areas because the taxi services threatened violence because they believed that the Jammie Shuttle service was stealing their profit. The flaw in their argument is this: students of UCT pay a lot of money to study at said institution. They have the right to choose how they get to campus, and if they can save money, good for them! I believe the taxi services really do not care about the wants or needs of the consumer.
I believe roads would be much safer, and more peaceful, without taxis. It would be a perfect world if there were more buses for people to use. At least buses adhere to schedules and generally they drive safely. Yes, there have been accidents involving buses, but in recent years accidents involving taxis have become more prominent.
For now, that is all I have time to say on taxi drivers in general. One thing I would like to add, that we find ways to avoid the use of taxis. Yes, they may get you to work, but they promote disrespect, recklessness and violence.
Where is their humanity?
Image Credit: By Dillon Marsh (Own work), CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons