Gauteng commuters left stranded as taxi drivers go on strike

Taxi commuters at Baragwanath Taxi Rank, in Soweto.
Taxi commuters at Baragwanath Taxi Rank, in Soweto.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Thousands of commuters have been left stranded in various parts of Gauteng due to a strike by the National Taxi Alliance.

Traffic has also been badly affected as taxi drivers have used their vehicles to block roads leading to Pretoria.

At the Roodepoort taxi rank commuters were standing helplessly not knowing how they would get to work.

Right in front of them were taxis drivers sitting inside.

Mita Welcome who works as a hairdresser in Rosebank was already counting the income loss.

"I have a client's appointment at 9am but I cant make it now. My daughter called me last night but I didn't believe her, now I'm stuck.

"I will lose a day's pay. This is not right," Welcome said.

Joyce Bojang was able to catch a lift from Braamfischer to Roodepoort only to find there are no taxis at the rank.

"Our jobs are on the line. These people are really unfair. People have lost jobs in the pandemic, we cant risk ours now," said an angry Bojang.

NTA is marching to Pretoria over the non-payment of the taxi industry's Covid-19 relief and also wants government to recognize the alliance as an independent body that taxi associations can freely belong to.

A taxi lekgotla organized by transport minister Fikile Mbalula last month recognized the SA National Taxi Council as the apex body of the industry.

Tshwane Metro Police had their hands full early in the morning as taxi drivers blocked all roads leading to the capital.

"They have blocked roads in Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Garankuwa...But we have sent officers there to attend to the situation," said TMPD spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba.

In an interview with the Sowetan yesterday, NTA assured the public that today's protest will be a peaceful one

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