Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Alliance has warned owners and drivers they were opening themselves up to attack by allowing their vehicles to be branded in party political colours.

KZNTA general secretary Bafana Mhlongo said yesterday this was more relevant to KwaZulu-Natal as the province was sitting on a political "time bomb".

The warning comes as different political parties intensified their campaigns by placing adverts on taxis, buses, trucks and even aeroplanes to woo voters.

"We felt this was too dangerous and risky to the owner of the vehicle, the driver, the passengers and the vehicle itself as there is a lot of political intolerance, especially in our province.

He said taxi owners must consider a number of things before allowing their vehicles to be branded.

"For example, the driver might not be politically aligned and the passengers are from different parties," said Mhlongo.

He said the taxi might be stoned when travelling on a route where an opposing party has a strong base.

"There are areas in the province where there is turmoil and this means certain taxis cannot travel there.

"We want to create an environment where our members can travel freely in every corner of the province," he said.

Mhlongo said those who had their vehicles branded were doing so at their own risk, without the approval and endorsement of the organisation.

Meanwhile, the alliance said a final decision regarding the registration of its own political party would be taken by the management council of the organisation.

"The move was made out of frustration and anger caused by government.

"But we are leaving our options open," he said.

Mhlongo said they would meet political parties in the province to discuss the problems facing the transport industry.