Johannesburg - More than 20 Putco buses were turned back to Soweto from Roodepoort as taxi operators intensified their protest on Monday.
The Gauteng division of the South African National Taxi Council embarked on an industry strike as they have rejected the government’s R1.1 billion relief to the taxi industry. Taxi operators are demanding about R5bn from government and they want to be allowed to operate at 100% capacity, despite the Covid-19.
Witness Mhlongo-Chuene, a spokesperson for Putco buses in the Greater Soweto region, said several buses were re-routed in the Soweto area, but 23 buses were turned back in Roodepoort.
“Twenty three buses were affected in Roodepoort. They were turned back because of the striking taxis in Roodepoort,” said Mhlongo-Chuene.
She said despite the difficulties on the roads, with taxis used to block routes, buses would continue to operate and would use alternative routes where necessary.
She also said that some drivers and passengers were frightened, but no one was injured and no buses were damaged.
Going into the afternoon traffic peak, Mhlongo-Chuene said they would continue to monitor the situation and the buses would operate, ferrying thousands of workers home.
Mhlongo-Chuene added that their buses were still operating at 50% capacity due to the lockdown regulations.
“When one mode is not running, it becomes a heavy toll on the other modes. We are caught up in a difficult situation,” she said.
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