File photo: KHAYA NGWENYA
File photo: KHAYA NGWENYA

Officials to meet over violent taxi strike

By Viasen Soobramoney Time of article published May 26, 2015

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Durban - eThekwini municipality officials will hold an urgent meeting with members of the taxi industry in a bid to end the public transport strike that has left thousands of commuters stranded.

On Tuesday morning, taxi drivers blocked major highways and roads leading to the city centre.

Several incidents of violence were reported across the city with municipal buses being stoned and passengers being pulled out of buses and taxis still operating.

eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo condemned the acts of violence.

“We are receiving reports that while the strike action is currently taking place our municipal buses are being attacked with passengers inside. We are highly concerned about the recent turn of events and urge people to raise their concerns through following the appropriate channels without resorting to violence,” said Nxumalo.

City manager S’bu Sithole says that they had not received any memorandums and were not sure what the reasons behind the strike were.

“At this stage we are not clear what the issues are that have led to the strike by members of the taxi industry. We are hoping that a formal meeting which will be convened will indicate what their demands are and how we can engage to find solutions to those demands. Last (on Monday) night we received conflicting messages as to whether or not the strike would take place but this (on Tuesday) morning we noticed that taxis are not operating throughout the city,” said Sithole.

One taxi driver who wished to remain anonymous said that taxi drivers were upset about the proposed new rapid transport system that the city was to implement.

They believe the new system similar to the Reya Vaya system in Johannesburg and the MyCiTi in Cape Town will see the taxi industries routes severely hampered.

While others said they were unhappy at being targeted by the city's metro police.

ANA

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