Durban - Angry taxi drivers blockaded Mathews Meyiwa Road (First Avenue) and other roads around Durban Station on Thursday with burning tyres and threw objects at metro police and photographers who tried to get closer to the toyi-toying mob.
The drivers, with the Durban Long Distance Taxi Association, told the Daily News that they would blockade this road “for the whole year” if their demands were not met by metro police.
The association’s BQ Nzuza said this morning metro police impounded six of their taxis for being parked illegally in Mathews Meyiwa Road.
The drivers park and sleep in their taxis on this road and last month, these taxi drivers were told to no longer park on a vacant piece of land in this road.
“They tell us to go and park in a holding area in Dalton, that is too far because we work from First Avenue so it makes sense for us to park here,” he said.
Nzuza said metro police knew this and yet their taxis continued to be impounded and they were now “sick of metro police, they have been urinating on us for years”.
A taxi owner, Gaba Zuma, claimed that metro police were “abusing” their taxi drivers and making their working conditions unbearable.
“We want (Eugene) Nzama (the head of metro police) to come here and explain to us how long this will go on for because we are not moving from here till he comes and tells us where exactly our drivers are meant to park,” said Zuma.
Metro police spokesman, Eugene Msomi, said these drivers were not allowed to hold (park off) illegally if their allocated rank was full.
“The issue of the holding area in Dalton being too far is something they can discuss with our colleagues in the Ethekwini Transport Authority unit, who are responsible for providing infrastructure to the transport industry.
“Otherwise metro police’s duty is to ensure compliance with road traffic laws,” said Msomi.
He said if the association wanted to speak to Nzama, there were channels that needed to be followed and blockading roads was not one of them.