The SA National Taxi Council in Gauteng has expressed shock at the Wednesday evening explosion which has caused sinkholes to key roads in Johannesburg, causing damage to minibus taxis and other vehicles.
The explosion happened just before 6pm during peak traffic, as thousands of commuters were filing out of the Joburg CBD.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi said there were at least nine people injured and they had been taken to hospitals.
He said at least 23 cars had been toppled and described as a miracle, that there were no fatalities.
Santaco Gauteng provincial secretary Graham Fritz said they were aware of the explosion, “but had little information at the moment”.
Regardless, he said they were relieved that there appeared to be minimal injuries suffered.
He said they had noted that some minibus taxis had been damaged, but their main concern as of Wednesday, was of the general safety of the people in the Joburg CBD.
“A lot of people have been affected with this whole thing, at the moment we believe the priority at moment must be on evacuating the people and ensuring they are safe.
“It certainly looks like the amount of people that have to be evacuated is going to be massive as well,” he said.
Fritz said Santaco would engage with all stakeholders, including the affected owners, taxi associations, the municipality and government, at an appropriate time.
“We have seen quite a number of taxis have been damaged.
“We will have to sit around the table and discuss the way forward with the way forward,” he said.
The Joburg Roads Agency said it had closed streets in the CBD included:
– Simon and Bree Street
– Harrison and Bree Street
– Loveday Street both sides
Meanwhile, Joburg Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda had also arrived to assess the damage.