No end in sight as tempers flare in Gauteng taxi strike

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has asserted that taxi shutdown in the City of Ekurhuleni municipality will continue on Friday, and might continue if challenges remain unresolved.

The taxi body has temporarily suspended taxi operations in parts of Gauteng including Tembisa, Germiston, Benoni, Katlehong, Vosloorus, and others.

Spokesperson confirms

Santaco national spokesperson Rebecca Phala confirmed the suspension of services to Sunday World. She said the suspension was triggered by some of the patrollers being arrested. They were arrested after demanding 30% of their shareholder share from JR Choeu Express.

Phala said the bus company had signed a contract which stated that they would pay a shareholder share to the taxi industry for sharing the route. However, it has not stuck to its end of the deal.

Strike blamed on bus company’s tactics 

“Then our patrollers and security for the taxi industry went to approach them. This is when the bus service called the metro police, and our people were arrested. We then saw it fit that all taxi services be suspended in the meantime,” said Phala.

The Gauteng MEC for roads and transport, Kedibone Diale-Tlabela, visited the area on Thursday. The visit was in an effort to call an end into the dispute.

Lesiba Mpya, spokesperson for the MEC, was unavailable for comment.

Santaco disappointed at turn of events

However, Santaco Ekurhuleni region spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the meeting was disappointing. He said the shutdown would continue until all parties involved reach an agreement.

“Our taxis will not be operating tonight and tomorrow. Until such time we find an amicable resolution to this case. We also want to convey our sincere apologies to our commuters who were left stranded by the shutdown. However, we had no choice because this was beyond our control,” said Mnisi.

“We will communicate further tomorrow when we reconvene our meeting. We are open to any discussions, we had a meeting with the MMC and MEC of transport. But our meeting deadlocked due to some matters,” he added.

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