Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
EASTERN Cape residents prefer hitchhiking because it is faster than taking a minibus taxi, according to a report by the provincial department of transport.
The research follows reports of increasing crime against hitch-hikers. Communications manager Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said his department had also received complaints from motorists travelling on country roads across the province.
"Motorists were themselves sometimes robbed by people pretending to be hitchhikers."
Sicwetsha said taxi operators also complained about hitchhiking taking business away from them.
"There was also an increasing number of people reporting criminal activities against hitchhikers. Some were robbed, others assaulted and raped," he said.
"What is worrying is that even though there is crime and people are complaining, the number of people hiking is also increasing.
"The reasons for hitch-hiking vary but many are based on the fragile relationship between motorists and commuters," Sicwetsha said.
The study recommended that the taxi industry needed to open lines of communication with people living in areas along the roads.
The industry should also be well organised and have proper permits to operate on the roads so that they could be held accountable should anything happen on both sides.