Durban taxi strike postponed

The Durban taxi strike has been postponed until further meetings have been held with drivers, owners and provincial transport officials, the city's municipal manager said on Friday.

In a statement, eThekwini municipal manager Sibusiso Sithole said he had met with the drivers' representatives and an agreement had been reached to postpone discussions and the strike until “a meeting involving all stakeholders is convened”.

Photo: Leon Nicholas. Credit: Independent Newspapers

These included Transport MEC Willies Mchunu, mayor James Nxumalo, taxi owners and drivers.

Last Thursday, drivers marched on the city and handed a memorandum of demands to the city, giving it a week to comply.

“We requested to postpone the meeting so that we can convene a broader forum to deal with these matters,” said Sithole.

“We could have simply responded to the issues raised in the memorandum, but we feel that these grievances raised by the drivers are a symptom of broader issues affecting the taxi industry.

“That is why we need a thorough and open discussion with all stakeholders,” he said.

The taxi drivers want traffic tickets to be issued in isiZulu, and demand the cancellation of all warrants of arrest.

They further seek an end to traffic enforcement during morning and afternoon peak hours.

Other demands include that no Indians or whites write tickets because some taxi drivers do not speak English, and that drivers be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers anywhere.

Last Thursday and Friday, 60 people were arrested for public violence after police fought running street battles with the protesters.

Forty-six of them appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday and were released on bail of R1500 each. The others were released without being charged. - Sapa