The North West police used rubber bullets to disperse taxi operators blocking roads in Rustenburg on Thursday.
Municipal spokesperson David Magae said the Rustenburg municipality conducted an operation with the SA Police Service and the Road Traffic Management Corporation to remove people who had opened a taxi rank along the R101 road (Tlhabane road leading to Swartruggens).
He said there were individuals driving cars, who would follow cars that had offered hitch-hikers a lift. They would then flick their lights, signalling the cars to stop, and once the car stopped they demanded that the passengers return to the taxi rank.
“Over and above that, there were complaints around incidents of assault. Today [Thursday] there was an operation to impound all these taxis which had been parking at various hiking spots along the road,” he said.
“Subsequent to the impounding, taxi drivers came to our offices and blockaded the main entrance, where services were suspended for some time.”
The taxi drivers were demanding that the impounded minibus taxis be released unconditionally.
Magae said in terms of the city’s by-laws, R5,000 per taxi had to be paid before they could be released.
These led to taxi drivers using a bus to block streets near the taxi rank.
The police managed to restore order and the streets were re-opened.
– African News Agency (ANA)