Impounding of taxis angers operators

TAXI BOSSES in KwaZulu-Natal are incensed about the daily impounding of their vehicles by no-nonsense Metro police officers.

TAXI BOSSES in KwaZulu-Natal are incensed about the daily impounding of their vehicles by no-nonsense Metro police officers.

The taxi owners say they have been unable to operate since the beginning of this week since their vehicles are being impounded for operating illegally.

The taxi operators say their vehicles were being impounded even though they have proof that they had long applied for operating permits, which had not been issued to them.

During the same operation last week a total of 90 taxis were impounded for operating without a permit. Eleven were suspended in Newcastle for being unroadworthy.

Since Monday police in Durban have impounded about 184 illegally operated taxis and arrested 155 drivers in Durban as part of the provincial initiative to eliminate illegal operators from the roads.

The city is experiencing transport problems after Ethekwini bus operator Remant Alton closed shop last month.

The threat by taxi operators to down tools because their vehicles are being impounded adds to the misery.

Senior Superintendent Rajen Chin said on Wednesday that they had temporarily suspended impounding taxis that operate illegally.

City manager Mike Sutcliffe said he was also aware that the impounding of the taxis without permit had been suspended for the benefit of commuters who relied on the taxis because of the lack of buses in the city.

Though Metro police yesterday said they had temporarily stopped impounding taxis operating illegally, taxi operators said their vehicles were still being impounded.

KZN Taxi Alliance president Gerald Ferro, whose vehicles were also impounded, said he had to pay a fine of R2000 for their release.

"My vehicles were impounded and the department officials are saying one thing, but the police on the roads are doing another thing. " Ferro said.

" I have been waiting for five to six years for the operating licences (permits) for some of my vehicles.

Provincial department of transport spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha could not comment on the allegations.

X