How nice if dancing in the rain could stop taxi violence

The ongoing taxi violence has frightened every member of our taxi crew.

The ongoing taxi violence has frightened every member of our taxi crew.

Though the violence has not really spread to our routes, commuters are worried it might be catching like the flu.

It looks as if the violence is escalating and previously peaceful areas are cringing under the threat of death.

The hired guns shoot at everyone in sight. They do not care if they hit their target or not. One wonders whether they are paid in advance or per bullet. As a result passengers are often shot dead.

Reports of violence have come in from Soweto, Randfontein, the Vaal and KwaZulu-Natal. It is a mystery why the associations do not sit down and talk. After all, talk is cheaper than bullets or a funeral.

Given the unreliable train service, commuters are caught between two frightening alternatives. Many workers have lost their jobs because of trains running late. The trains are seldom on time and they are dangerous too.

South Africa has many modes of transport, but very little of it is accessible to commuters because it was not set up with them in mind.

People have to go to the outskirts of town to catch a train. The taxis also have rigid routes that satisfy the whims of the association but not the people.

I have heard that the police react only after a murder has been committed. I wish for once they would take their fearful rifles and go tell the taxi bosses "what what", as we say in the east.

Perhaps the taxi drivers should call for a taxi commission that will look at each one of their problems, conflicts and misunderstandings and solve all spats quickly to avoid bloodshed and simmering grudges.

The fear of catching a bullet made us dizzy last week. When the taxi driver complained about a few rain drops that fell last Wednesday, everyone told him to count his blessings.

The poor man had misread the weather. He had paid for a full-house valet and cleaning service for the taxi. We could tell because of the overpowering "perfume" we had to inhale.

Someone suggested that the driver should invest in a more user-friendly fragrance. We shushed her because the perfume at least killed the smell of takkies and socks that accompanies our daily ride.

Auntie Emma told the driver that rain was a sacred symbol of black culture. More than anything else, it signalled prosperity, peace and joy.

She challenged him to stop the taxi and dance in the rain. She claimed that his bad luck would be washed away and he would have the happiest year of his life.

We all agreed because Auntie Emma knows these things. She is the one who pronounces on culture, ubuntu, love problems, children, manners and even politics.

We asked the driver to stop so we could all dance away our troubles. But the thought of all the women dancing around his taxi in the middle of town only prompted the driver to increase his speed.