Taxi strike leaves commuters stranded in Ekurhuleni


Zodidi Mhlana

JOHANNESBURG- Commuters relying on taxis were left stranded in several parts of Ekurhuleni on Tuesday morning when taxis affiliated to the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) embarked on a strike.

According to City officials, mini taxis blocked the N3 freeway between the Linksfield off-ramp and Gillooly interchange.

Santaco members are demanding the resignation of Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwanele within 30 days.

Taxi operators marched from Germiston taxi rank to the Ekurhuleni Taxi Council to deliver their memorandum.  They said that they had written an affidavit that shows that the mayor and the city manager were colluding in ensuring that the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) failed.

 “Failure by the council to remove the mayor and the city manager will lead to the disruption of the transport service on a sustainable and prolonged manner.  The Ekurhuleni taxi industry has for more than two years tried to get into contact with the mayor, but none of our letters have either been replied to. Some communities within Ekurhuleni have endured similar treatment from the mayor’s office,” a memorandum delivered to the municipality read.

Affected commuters took to social media to voice their grievances.

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi also weighed in on the ongoing strike. “These endless disruptions of education should be discouraged. It harms the future of our children badly especially the poor! #taxiStrike,” Panyaza tweeted.

Another person also tweeted:“there’s no taxis so far, going to Kempton Park, Isando, etc, and no taxis headed to the South East of Ekurhuleni i.e Eastgate, Bedfordview, Germiston.”

“No taxi… No bus… No train… To Kempton park… No local around Tembisa,” Freedom Malema said on Twitter.