PANIC gripped thousands of daily commuters yesterday as the reality of a nationwide taxi strike hit home.
The National Taxi Alliance, one of South Africa’s two major taxi associations, confirmed its drivers would park their taxis and march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum.
Many people will be left stranded or arrive late for work or exams, but drivers from Mzansi’s other big association, the South African National Taxi Council, will be working.
National Taxi Alliance spokesman Theo Malele told Daily Sun taxi drivers will gather in Marabastad before marching.
He said one of their demands is for the transport department to speed up the process of issuing operational licences. He also called for taxi owners to be subsidised by government.
“Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi failed to act after we met last month. It seems like protesting is the only language our government hears.”
Malele said all provinces except the Western Cape are expected to take part in the strike.
Santaco spokesman Ralph Jones said they are not part of the strike.
“Our taxis will be fully operational and on the road.”
Pupils and students writing exams will be affected by the strike and will have to find alternative transport.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said his department will make provisions and that all grade 12 pupils who might arrive late due to the strike would get an opportunity to write.
- The Western Cape’s Congress for Democratic Taxi Associations spokesman, Andile Khanyi, yesterday dismissed rumours that the province was also set for a protest today.
“We will be operating as normal. People shouldn’t panic. Our taxis will be on road,” he said.
- Meanwhile, Cross Border Road Transport drivers yesterday said they will continue the strike that started on Monday until their demands are met.
Members on Monday evening slept outside their agency’s gate in Menlyn, Pretoria, keeping up their blockade at the entrance with their taxis.
They said they’ve been forced to use temporary permits since 2014.