MEC ends Pinetown taxi standoff as operators threaten further action
Durban - The tense standoff between taxi operators blockading Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli at the Pinetown Civic Centre on Friday morning ended shortly before midday with the MEC leaving the building, as taxi operators vowed they would take further action.
Taxi operators from the Clermont and Kwadebeka, and the Pinetown and Molweni taxi associations dispersed after partially blocking roads around the centre for most of the morning, causing traffic chaos in central Pinetown..
At the height of the stand off a visible police presence was evident as the heavily armed taxi violence unit arrived on scene, while Ntuli was negotiating with taxi operators.
The MEC was due to open the latest stage of the multi-billion rand Go!Durban Rapid Public Transport system in Pinetown this morning, which has since been cancelled. eThekwini Municipality has spent R6 billion on the R40 billion Go!Durban project to date which aims to transform Durban’s public transport system, unlock economic potential and provide strategic links across the city.
After Ntuli engaged with taxi association bosses, he said he would be holding further meeting on Tuesday.
SANTACO chairman, Mathula Mkhize, said that the project was negatively affecting the taxi industry and needed to be halted. “This project has left the taxi industry worse off. We have 13 points that they will be delivering to the MEC next week,” he said.
He said taxi associations were looking for greater participation in the project and they would now go and talk to their members. Mkhize also said if these issues were not resolved, taxi operators would take further action.
The Independent on Saturday