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Taxi strike fails to dampen spirits of Western Cape matrics who sat for Sepedi and Sesotho papers

Two buses were burned the the Western Cape taxi strike in Cape Town on Monday.
Two buses were burned the the Western Cape taxi strike in Cape Town on Monday.
Image: Esa Alexander/Reuters

About 100 Western Cape matric students sat for Sepedi and Sesotho papers on Tuesday amid a taxi strike.

The SA National Taxi Association (Santaco) in the province embarked on a two-day protest after the suspension of the City of Cape Town's Blue Dot Taxi initiative. Insufficient budgets ended the initiative, which rewards good behaviour and excellent service.

Two buses were set on fire in the city on Monday, while a third hijacking was thwarted by law enforcement officers. On Tuesday, Western Cape education MEC David Maynier said the Sepedi and Sesotho exams had gone smoothly.

“The Santaco taxi strike continues today, which has an impact on the matric exams. We have a small number of candidates writing in the Western Cape this morning,” said Maynier.

“We have fewer than 100 candidates writing Sepedi and Sesotho. So far we have had no problems reported. The bigger exam takes place this afternoon with more than 27,000 candidates writing geography. We have contacted the candidates and urged them to make alternative travel arrangements. If, despite their best efforts, they cannot reach their designated exam centre, they head to the nearest exam centre instead. They will be assisted by our staff.”

Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka, spokesperson for the MEC for mobility, Daylin Mitchell, said the situation was “fairly quiet”.

“No incidents reported. Buses are being escorted by law enforcement in hotspot areas,” said Makoba-Somdaka.

Meanwhile, three suspects linked to the taxi industry are set to appear in court after their arrest for the possession of 13 petrol bombs in Delft on Monday.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said members of the flying squad who were on patrol spotted a Toyota Quantum minibus and a sedan in pursuit of a furniture delivery vehicle on Delft Main Road.

Potelwa said the driver of the delivery vehicle seemed distressed and police members “promptly responded while calling for backup”.

“Once they pulled over the 15-seater vehicle and the sedan, they searched the vehicles. Thirteen petrol bombs were discovered and the suspects were arrested. The suspects, aged between  28 and 32, are alleged to have strong links to the taxi industry and are expected to appear in court as soon as they are charged in terms of the Explosives Act,” said Potelwa.

“Meanwhile, the furniture delivery vehicle was escorted out of the area by police. Integrated police contingents comprising SAPS members, the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement officials and traffic services continue to maintain a strong presence at identified hotspots while the taxi strike is being monitored.”


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