The EFF says it is all systems go for the planned multi-party provincial shutdown against taxi impoundments, harassment of commuters and service delivery in the province on Monday.
While South African National Taxi Association (Santaco) said it would be business as usual, the ANC on Sunday withdrew its support, saying it was opposed to any form of shutdown.
The shutdown follows violent taxi strikes by operators and associations over the impounding of taxis in August.
EFF provincial spokesperson Wandile Kasibe said they would hand over a memorandum calling for the release of all impounded taxis and the immediate removal of City mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith.
“We are calling for the immediate release of all unjustly impounded mini-bus taxis, for the City to issue all taxi operating permits speedily and licences, and the scraping of all the exorbitant fines targeted at the taxi drivers,” he said.
ANC provincial spokesperson Neville Delport called on their members not to participate in the shutdown.
“It was always our position that this was a multi-party march against the unlawful impoundment of taxis. It was never intended to be a shutdown led by one political party. The mixed messages emanating in the media have convinced us that it would be unwise to participate... The ANC calls on our members not to participate and continue with their normal activities.”
Kasibe said they were not surprised by the ANC withdrawing its support.
“We don’t want to interfere in the internal affairs of the ANC. Our main priority is what affects our people on the ground,” he said.
Smith said the city was aware of the planned march.
“The EFF has applied for a peaceful protest permit with conditions, including refraining from intimidating City staff, entering the Ndabeni pound and excluding taxis from the procession. The City has an operational plan for the day in case any protest becomes violent or disrupts traffic. Our operational plan includes provisions for addressing public disorder and violence, using technologies such as drones and CCTV for effective response,” he said.
President of the Cape Chamber Jacques Moolman said they hoped the march would be peaceful.
“The chamber shares many of the concerns on the EFF’s latest list of grievances, particularly the energy crisis and the soaring cost of living. We have also shared our concerns about the flawed dialogue between the City and the taxi industry that in our view amplified the disruptive protests seen across much of the city.
“However, we are deeply concerned that in staging yet another protest the EFF will display the same disregard for law and order shown by party leader Julius Malema in previous public utterances related to the party’s concerns said Moolman.