Taxis operating again in Durban after unrest
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Durban – Taxi commuters expressed joy and relief today that taxis were functioning at full capacity as it appeared that things were getting back to normal.
In the past week, due to ongoing protests and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal, taxi operations were suspended for safety reasons with regards to commuters, drivers and the vehicles.
Early Monday morning the Independent Media team visited taxi ranks and witnessed taxis ferrying commuters to their destinations including work or visiting families.
One of the taxi drivers operating at a taxi rank in Warwick Avenue, Phumlani Radebe from KwaMashu said he was happy that things are back to normal even though they have lost some commuters who were forced to work from home due to the violent protests from last week.
“Following the unrest I am glad that many of us survived the violence that was seen in our area, some stores were defended by many, that led to many stores not being set alight, so we still have customers. We will be able to work and support our families. I feel sorry for my fellow drivers operating in townships where many shops were torched meaning that there are no customers,” Radebe said.
He said he was happy that they are working even though there are fewer commuters.
Rank manager from the Umhlanga Taxi Association, Phila Mbatha said the challenges they faced last week affected their business but they are adamant that this week things will pick up.
“About four retail shops are operating at Gateway Shopping Mall so we are able to take commuters to and from there. We hope that more will open.
“We call for calm. We understand that some people need what they need but we are against the looting, stealing, torching of properties, many of our brothers and sisters have lost their jobs. We can’t afford to lose the little that we already have. All taxis are operating. We hope that the situation will soon get back to normal,” Mbatha said.
Taxi commuter Nokubonga Mdlalose said she was glad that the taxis are functioning well.
“We struggled and had to stay at home last week when there were protests. For the number of days that I have lost I will not get paid,” Mdlalose said.
Taxi association Santaco-KZN also confirmed that the taxis are operating at full capacity without experiencing any problems.
Last week the association opted to suspend services as it was not safe.