Motorists warned to avoid parts of Cape Town CBD due to taxi protests
Cape Town – Motorists have been advised to avoid certain sections of the CBD and utilise alternative routes this afternoon due to taxi-related protests.
Minibus taxi drivers were also slowing down traffic along the N2 outbound on the M5, Maxine Bezuidenhout, of the City of Cape Town Traffic Service, said during lunchtime.
With the Nelson Mandela Boulevard in- and outbound blocked at Searle Street, heavy delays are expected on all major routes.
At 2.21pm, Bezuidenhout reported that two lanes were open again on the N2 outbound at Raapenberg Road.
"The following road closures are in place due to to taxi protests in the CBD. Sir Lowry Road is closed in both directions between Russell Street and Tennant Street," said Bezuidenhout.
"Christiaan Barnard is also closed in both directions between Hertzog Boulevard and Tennant Street.
"Taxis are blocking the roadways and motorists are advised to avoid that section of the CBD and utilise alternative routes out of the CBD this afternoon."
On Wednesday, mayoral committee member JP Smith hit out at taxi drivers after they had staged a protest in the CBD on Tuesday evening. It's believed today's protests are linked to Tuesday's incidents.
There was major traffic congestion during the peak-hour period as passengers were forced out of taxis at the Station Deck taxi rank, roads were blocked and a police officer assaulted and robbed of his firearm.
"It is our understanding that taxi drivers were upset about a warrant operation that was taking place yesterday afternoon, where officers issued notices for offenders to appear in court,” said Smith.
“According to reports, their dissatisfaction stems from the fact that they are fined in the first place as well as the fine amounts.
"The actions of the group yesterday cannot be condoned. You cannot break the law with reckless abandon and then cry foul when you are held accountable.
“The law applies equally to everyone and if some are able to abide by it, I don’t see why taxi drivers cannot.”
At the beginning of October, Dunoon, Joe Slovo and Milnerton were severely disrupted for several days – as well as the adjoining N7 – due to protests sparked by taxi drivers after a clampdown and impounding of vehicles by the traffic authorities.
Meanwhile, just after noon today, the City's Fire and Rescue Service responded to a person trapped under a MyCiTi bus in Adderley Street.
"Officers had to use the Jaws of Life and performed a rapid extrication due to the patient's condition.
"A secondary survey was done on the patient and he was transported to a nearby hospital via ambulance. His condition is unknown," the City's Traffic Service said.