Sne Masuku
2 minute read
31 Mar 2016
9:00 am

Commuters stranded as taxi strike continues

Sne Masuku

They are demanding the release of more than 200 mini bus taxis that were impounded.

Taxi commuters had to seek other means of getting home yesterday afternoon as taxi bosses, the KZN Taxi Alliance and the department of transport officials were in a meeting until late last night in an attempt to end the violent taxi strike.

Taxi operators went on a rampage around Durban City Centre and brought all public transport including buses on a standstill.

They are demanding the release of more than 200 mini bus taxis that were impounded around the province over the Easter weekend for operating without permits.

Shops had to close to ensure safety as a mob of angry taxi operators threatened violence.

Some buses were stoned and passengers forced out. Police had to use teargas to disperse the crowd.

They carried sticks and sjamboks. They went from one taxi rank to another making sure that no taxi was loading passengers while they were on strike.

The strike by all taxi associations yesterday follows a protest by some taxi owners that started in Mandini at Tugela Bridge on Tuesday.

Yesterday the angry taxi operators said they were tired of being treated unfairly on the roads and demanded that the issue of the permits be sorted once and for all.

One of the drivers Senzo Xaba said they demanded to meet with the MEC directly.

Xaba said the Mchunu says something to them and the police does another.

“We had a deal with Mchunu that no taxi would be impounded until we are all issued with permits,” he said.

He said they would bring all transportation to a standstill until all the impounded taxis are released.

People packed bus and train stations, while others were seen walking home.

One of the stranded commuters from Umlazi Connie Zikalala said she was hoping that the parties would reach common grounds and end the strike immediately.

“We are the ones who suffer the most whenever there is a strike. The city does not have enough buses to accommodate all of us and we rely on taxis, they are quick and get us to work on time,” she said.

The department of transport was not available to comment as the officials were still in the meeting.