Mzwandile Masina

Ekurhuleni - Hundreds of taxi operators from Ekurhuleni left commuters stranded on Tuesday, when they marched to the offices of the municipal council demanding that Mayor Mzwandile Masina and the city manager be removed within 30 days.

The taxi operators said Masina has failed to ensure service delivery and that they were tired of the unending construction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

"Failure by the council to remove the mayor and the city manager will lead to the disruption of the transport service on a sustainable and prolonged manner," secretary of the Ekurhuleni Taxi Industry (ETI), Bhuti Johannes Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu said the protest was their last resort after they had tried for the past two years to get the attention of both the mayor and the city manager, adding that none of them responded to their letters.

"He either doesn't care in promoting economic development within our transport sector...And if we can’t reach them, there is no other way, except to do the march and hand in a memorandum.”

Part of their grievances raised in the memorandum is that they want a permanent head of department (HOD) in transport because they have had seven different HOD's since 2015, Mahlangu said.

"There's no continuity, we discuss matters with this HOD and before we know it there's a new one and we have to start explaining everything to him, this is tiring, we want a permanent HOD," Mahlangu said.

ETI have accused Masina of bringing politics to the Harambee BRT system, stating that there has been no progress.

The organisation also said it wanted President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene and warned of "an intensified action depending on the way that they will answer or respond to our memorandum".

Joe Mojapelo from the City of Ekhuruleni accepted the memorandum and promised to deal with the issues raised in it.

African News Agency/ANA