South Africa 30.8.2018 12:09 pm

Witbank taxi association in standoff with mayor over RDP housing

Burning charcoal offloaded from truck which was used to block the N4 Highway during a protest by taxi owners and drivers.

Burning charcoal offloaded from truck which was used to block the N4 Highway during a protest by taxi owners and drivers.

All roads leading and out of KwaGuqa were blocked in an earlier protest by the Witbank taxi association regarding RDP housing not being allocated to them.

All entrances to KwaGuqa informal settlement were blocked by taxies on Monday, wreaking havoc for motorists, Witbank News reports.

Chairperson of the local taxi association Solly Vilane confirmed that the incident was a protest undertaken by the taxi owners and drivers who wanted to be included when RDP houses were to be allocated at Siyanqoba.

ALSO READ: National Taxi Association denies talk it will join fuel protest

A truck used by protesting taxi owners and drivers at the KG Mall circle in Vosman on Monday.

“As taxi people, we are working 24/7 and we do not have off days and I approached former mayor Lindiwe Ntshalitshali in August last year. She agreed that something would be done about the issue of houses. When I approached her later, she said that she has passed on the issue to the present mayor Cllr Linah Malatjie, who confirmed that she was aware of the matter,” explained Vilane.

Vilane added that the taxi association decided to take action after houses at Siyanqoba were not allocated to them, even after their request.

The association had a meeting with the mayor after the protest and were assured that the matter was receiving her attention.

Vosman police reported that they have arrested five suspects aged between 24 and 38 after the protest action, and are investigating a case of public violence, Constable Kgomotso Maluleke confirmed.

A bus was also used to block the road and keys taken by protesting taxi drivers and owners.

“The protesters ran away when they saw the police after they had hijacked buses and trucks to block the road near KG Mall in the Vosman circle and on the Mathew Phosa off-ramp on the N4 Highway. Other roads that were blocked were the Schonland Drive and Kromdraai off-ramp.

Trucks used to block Mathew Phosa Drive near the KG Mall in Vosman on Monday.

Burning charcoal offloaded from truck which was used to block the N4 Highway during a protest by taxi owners and drivers.

“The drivers of the trucks and buses told us that they were forced to stop by a group of people who pulled them out of their vehicles by force, then drove the trucks and buses and parked them in the middle of the roads to block the road,” explained Constable Maluleke.

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