File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu / Independent Media.
Pretoria - The Alexandra Taxi Association has given the Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) seven days to respond to their demands, or face a “formal strike”.

Commuters were left stranded in Alexandra after 500 taxis were impounded for a range of alleged traffic and licensing infringements.

Two associations, the Alexandra, Randburg, Midrand and Sandton Taxi Association (Armsta), and the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA), issued a notice last week informing the public about a planned “one-day shutdown” on Monday.

In a message that has been circulating on social media, the two associations advised commuters to make alternative arrangements to get to work.

“Due to impoundment of our vehicles/Petrol Hike/Removal of roadworthy discs/a mark on vehicles. We are embarking on a one-day shutdown on the 25/06/2018. Our vehicles will not be operating on the said day. We want to draw the attention to the Minister of Transport about the ill-treatment to the taxi industry by the government. (Please make alternative transport),” reads the notice.

READ: We won’t be bullied by taxi associations: JMPD

Nompumelelo Nkosi, who works in Midrand, said she was not aware of the possible strike.

“I didn’t know anything about this nonsense. I wish they had informed us on time. Now, I have to call my boss and explain myself,” said Nkosi. Mbuyiseni Zulu, who also works in Midrand, said a lot of taxis were not roadworthy and should be impounded.

“We can’t continue like this. Our parents used these taxis that are not safe, and we grew up using them as well. I agree with the government and JMPD, they must impound them. It’s unfortunate that we are the ones affected. I don’t think I will be going to work today,” said Zulu.

Speaking to The Star, ATA spokesperson Jabulani Ntshangase said they had handed a memorandum to the metro police, and they expected a response, with their demands met in the next seven days.

A representative from the Eastern Taxi Liaison Committee said JMPD officers must stop treating them unfairly.

“They impounded 500 cars. They stop us on the freeway and take our taxis. It costs R3400 per car,” he said.

JMPD spokesperson, chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar, said they had impounded the taxis to ensure commuters were safe, and that only roadworthy vehicles transported commuters.

“More than 500 vehicles were impounded. It is alleged that some of the drivers were driving in the emergency lane with some driving without licence discs. Our officers will be monitoring the situation,” said Minnaar.

Taxis are expected to be fully operational on Tuesday.

The Star