Meter taxi drivers who shuttled delegates who were attending the ANC’s 54th national conference in Nasrec are ticked off that some delegates simply didn’t want to pay market-related fares for the services they received.
Those who spoke to the Citizen said they were called mainly by a group of delegates to be shuttled between places of accomodation, the conference and to restaurants and bars at night.
“When one of my connections told me about the conference I hovered around the Nasrec area and Soweto area and the first booking was Thursday before the opening day, I was quite excited about the prospects over the next few days,” *Zola Moloi said.
Moloi said it was downhill from there as delegates wanted to negotiate prices, even though they were travelling in groups. He said some of them will make multiple bookings with different operators and cancel them unreasonably.
“On Saturday, after making R60, I bowed out. They seemed too happy with spending thousands of rands on expensive bottles of alcohol but thought very little of giving change to people who ensured they arrived safely at places they were booked to sleep in,” said Moloi.
Another driver, speaking on condition of anonymity, suspected it was because some of the delegates are transported courtesy of the state during normal working hours and the thought that there is an entire industry based on transporting people between various destinations.
It would have been abuse of state resources and also created traffic congestion in and out the venue had the ministers and other public office-bearers at the venue been moved around in the notorious blue light brigade, which recently caused a horrific accident on the M1 en route to Pretoria.
Traffic congestion and strict access into drop-off areas is *Zakhele Mcwango, a Taxify operator said “killed” his business. He said when he accepted bookings, it took him unusually longer time to locate his clients and he finally found some, they had jumped into other taxis or had simply been swallowed by the venue and he had to turn back.
Mcwango also stated that there were some delegates who carried on as if he was offering them a courtesy service booked through the hotel or the conference. He said when he arrived to pick some delegates, they would ask him if their accounts have been settled – despite them having requested cash-on-delivery service through a phone app.
- Names changed to protect the identity of drivers.