Taxi strike causes havoc for Joburg commuters

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JOHANNESBURG, June 25 – Thousands of public transport commuters were left stranded on Monday after taxi drivers in parts of Johannesburg went on strike in protest against the impounding of their unroadworthy vehicles.

On Sunday, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department said it had impounded more than 500 minibus taxis since February after they were found to be in very poor condition, with some displaying license discs which had expired as far back as 2012 while others showed fake discs from newspaper clippings.

In response, the  Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand, Sandton Taxi Association announced its intention to go on a one-day shutdown on Monday, saying it wanted to draw the attention of the transport minister to what it called “the ill-treatment to the taxi industry by the government”.

On Monday social media was abuzz with reports of the impact of the strike, in a city where the majority of commuters rely on public transport. Social media users posted numerous pictures and videos posted commuters left stranded at taxi ranks in the sprawling township of Alexandra, and at the Bree and Noord ranks in the Johannesburg central business district, as drivers parked their vehicles outside.

Traffic expert Rob Byrne said the most affected routes were Sandton, Midrand, Woodmead, Modderfontein, and Alexandra.

– African News Agency (ANA)