Wild West no more

Breaking news: someone in authority will have to step in and disabuse our recalcitrant taximen of the notion that they own the public roads.

Breaking news: someone in authority will have to step in and disabuse our recalcitrant taximen of the notion that they own the public roads.

Until then we will never have a public-transport system that rights the wrongs of our apartheid past and serves all the people of South Africa.

The taximen's latest bout of tomfoolery is a threat to prevent Joburg's Rea Vaya public-transport system seeing the light of day. They claim the efficient bus service will limit their income.

So what?

The taximen thrive on chaos and outright banditry.

Drivers are paid a pittance and seldom receive the labour protection, such as unemployment insurance, to which they are legally entitled. This encourages them to up their income by careening around like maniacs, as if they alone may use public roads.

And owners sneer at the laws, from those requiring them to pay tax to those requiring roadworthy vehicles.

Rivalries in the business are still routinely resolved by hired guns. And drivers regularly have the effrontery to threaten private motorists picking up friends or relatives on our public roads.

Sorry to break it to you guys, but you provide a service like any other. If a public bus can do it better and cheaper, your time has passed. We, the people, deserve safe and efficient public transport.

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