Johannesburg - 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) have alerted the public of a planned “one-day shutdown” on Monday.
In a message that has been circulating on social media, the two associations advised commuters to make other alternatives 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 letter.
Nompumelelo Nkosi who works in Midrand said she was not aware of the possible strike. “I didn’t know anything about this nonsense. This is bad for most of us who are using taxis. 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 are not roadworthy and should be impounded.
“We can’t continue like this. Our parents used this taxis that are not safe and we grew up using them as well. Imagine our kids will also use them. I agree with 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.
Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar said they impounded the taxis to ensure commuters are safe and that only roadworthy vehicles transport commuters. “There has been an indication from the association that there will be a strike. Over 500 vehicles were impounded. It is alleged that some of the drivers were driving in the emergency lane with some driving without license discs. Our officers will be monitoring the situation,” said Minnaar.
Commuters most affected are those who use taxis to go to Alexandra, Randburg, Sandton, Midrand, Woodmead and Modderfontein.