Toyota Avanza taxi drivers mostly known as “Amaphela” have clashed with cops and soldiers in Philippi as they attempted to ignore lockdown rules.
Taxis are only allowed to transport essential workers from 5am to 9am and then break and start again at 4pm to 8pm but in kasi amaphela were doing their business as usual.
Cops and army turned several Amaphelas from Philippi Junction mall leaving several shoppers stranded with their groceries. Cops and soldiers had to ensure that the group of people still maintain social distancing.
Speaking to Daily Sun one of the Amaphela drivers said they are tired of sitting at home doing nothing. “I didn’t work on Friday but already I feel that I should be back at work because I’m running out of money. I thought I have enough money but when I did groceries for my family I realised that I don’t have enough hence I’m trying to work,” said Xola Dumbashe (40).
A shopper Nasiphi Mcetyiwa (36) said she saw Amaphela transporting people around she then she decided to go shopping. “My worry was that there wont be any transport when I saw the cars driving around I then came to buy groceries but now I’m stuck. When I arrived here there were no cops and soldiers and the moment, they arrived they started to chase Amaphela away so I will have to stay here a little longer till they can move around,” said Mcetyiwa.
Other shoppers ended up walking about 2km to go back home with groceries in their hands because they didn’t know whether the Amaphela’s will be permitted to carry them.
Residents told Daily Sun that the Avanza drivers are not following social distancing as the government has been advocating for.
“When I come here at the mall we were squashed as usual, they are not listening to all these calls. One guy tried to tell them about social distancing, but they told him to get out of the car and allow those who want to go to get in,” said a shopper who didn’t want to be named.