Tshwane taxi bosses distance themselves from ongoing violent protests and looting of shops

Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Lulama Zenzile

Taxi operations and municipal bus services are expected to resume in Tshwane on Wednesday afternoon following meetings between the taxi industry in the capital.

The City of Tshwane, the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), the National Taxi Alliance and a structure representing taxi drivers in Tshwane, announced on Wednesday that the protests by taxi drivers which began last week were officially over and distanced themselves from ongoing sporadic attacks on shops owned by foreign nationals.

The protests, which sparked the looting of shops owned by foreign nationals, started after a Tshwane taxi driver, Jabulani Baloyi, was shot dead allegedly by a drug dealer of foreign descent last week.

Tshwane roads and transport member of the mayoral committee (MMC) Sheila Senkubuge announced that the city would reintroduce the municipal bus and the A Re Yeng Bus Rapid Transit service on Wednesday afternoon.

The two services were suspended following sporadic attacks and the looting of shops in the capital city. "The protest action is now officially over… the situation has now been resolved and buses will be reintroduced in the afternoon," Senkubuge said.

The protests also affected taxi operations in the metro, leaving taxi owners in financial strain, according to Tshwane taxi operators. In a joint statement read out by Santaco Tshwane chairperson Piet Mahlangu, the city's taxi industry condemned the violence which has engulfed the capital.

"We remind fellow South Africans that foreign nationals are also members of the South African society and are also passengers in the taxis, therefore making foreign nationals equally important," Mahlangu said.

He said they were distancing themselves to the "disturbance that is happening in the city". "The alleged perpetrators of this disturbance are also not part of our formal structures. The acts of violence in the cIty are not in our names," Mahlangu said.

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