South Africa - Durban - 09 April 2019 - Several roads in Greyville, Durban were blocked off to traffic due to a taxi protest. It was understood that the taxi drivers and operators were unhappy about the permots police requires. Picture Leon Lestrade: African News Agengy(ANA).

DURBAN - The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the Transport minister in the province to expedite the issuing of taxi driver permits. The party's spokesperson on transport, Steven Moodley, was commenting on the back of violent protests that rocked Durban on Tuesday morning. 

Scores of motorists were caught in the middle of protest action by taxi drivers. According to the drivers, they were protesting due to their taxis being impounded. 

One of the drivers claimed that they often had to wait for months before receiving their new permits. 

"Are we supposed to stop driving now because the permits take so long to come? We have to continue to make money," he said. 

The driver claimed that long distance taxi drivers were being targeted. 

"They take our taxis away and want to charge us R11 000 at the pound where we have to collect them. We do not just have R11 000 lying around," the driver said. 

Moodley said since 2016, minibus taxi operators have been unambiguous in their calls to the department to speed up the process so that they can commute in peace. 

"Many taxis have been impounded for not having permits even though an agreement was reached with the authorities that this would not happen as permits were being delayed by the transport licensing board. It is no secret that the ANC led government have failed our people by not honouring promises they make and not attending to crucial issues which need urgent attention. For them, it is business as usual conducted in air- conditioned luxury while duping the people by giving them false hope," he said. 

He said the transport department and police cause unnecessary mayhem through the lack of urgency in critical matters. 

"When people have no other recourse, they turn to violent protest to in articulation of their frustration and anger. Unfortunately, we have a reactive government that seems to rely on law enforcement for a quick fix in answer to their spectacular failure to deliver services and remedy problems. It is clear that this strategy is unsustainable and always make volatile situations even worse," Moodley said. 

He called for MEC Kaunda to intervene. 

Transport department spokesperson, Kwanele Ncalane, said they were working with taxi associations to find resolutions. 

THE MERCURY