taxi bosses fed up

TAXI bosses in the eThekwini municipality have vowed to bring Durban to its knees if the city's traffic officials don't stop "abusing" them.

TAXI bosses in the eThekwini municipality have vowed to bring Durban to its knees if the city's traffic officials don't stop "abusing" them.

Taxi drivers say they are fed up with the string of abuses they claim to have suffered at the hands of metro police officers.

Durban taxi boss and Region Five spokesperson Eugene Hadebe said yesterday: "The anger of the taxi operators will be felt and this will affect business operations as taxi operators plan to stop transporting the public around the city if nothing is done."

Hadebe said there were more than 26000 taxis in operation in the city and drivers and operators were "fed up by the actions of the metro police officers".

"We are in business here and our vehicles are being impounded for no reason. Police should arrest drivers when they have warrants of arrest not our cars."

Hadebe said that metro police call the local breakdown services instead of calling taxi owners to take their vehicles when a driver is arrested for various traffic fines.

"We end up as operators coughing out more than R700 a time when the breakdown takes our vehicles."

Hadebe said they would be meeting tomorrow in Durban to discuss the protest action.

"We will then converge at Albert Park on Friday and it's there that we will determine the actual day, but it's possible that people might find themselves stranded on Monday and without transport."

He said they have tried several times to engage metro police management to refrain from impounding their vehicles.

Metro police spokesperson Joyce Khuzwayo said they were not unaware of the complaints.

She said usually police impound taxis when drivers run away leaving the vehicles to obstruct traffic.

"We do not have enough police to drive those cars when they are dumped by the drivers but we call breakdown to take them to the safe place."

Khuzwayo said they would not impound any taxi when drivers comply with the law by paying their fines and also attend the subsequent court cases

She added that they were not going to be soft onthe people who break the law.

"They have not put anything forward for discussion but we are aware that taxi operators are planning to protest," Khuzwayo said.

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