Taxi drivers join Wynberg MyCiti protest
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Cape Town - Protesting Wynberg residents and more than 40 hooting taxi drivers brought traffic in the Cape Town CBD to a standstill on Thursday morning, demanding to hand over a memorandum of grievances to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
Police blocked their path in Roeland Street as they approached Parliament, which is deliberating the transport budget on Thursday.
Singing residents brandished posters saying: “BRT copy and pasted on apartheid road” and “national funding for city evictions”.
The residents had gathered at 8am in Broad Road, Wynberg, carrying posters made overnight after a heated public meeting with the City of Cape Town regarding the rollout of the MyCiti service in Wynberg.
Many of the residents took unpaid leave to protest.
“We know it’s a David and Goliath thing but we will see it to the end,” said one.
As the convoy moved through Wynberg, more taxis from different areas joined, travelling from Wynberg Main Road along the M3 to Parliament.
Mogamet Bester, of the South Road Families Association, told police the group had taken the drastic measure of arriving without a police escort because meetings with the city had been fruitless.
The memorandum calls for a moratorium on “illegal South Road evictions” and the city’s “total disregard for the well-being of the Plumstead and Wynberg communities.”
Meanwhile, the city on Thursday morning issued a statement responding to Wednesday night’s meeting.
“Certain groups with vested interests tried to disrupt this important information session about a project that will eclipse all former public transport infrastructure projects embarked upon by the City of Cape Town.
“It became clear during the engagement that they are not necessarily opposed to the MyCiTi service being rolled out in Wynberg, but rather that their concerns revolve around certain aspects of the project,” said Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport for Cape Town.
A long section of Roeland Street was closed off by traffic officers on Thursday morning, as taxi drivers refused to budge and more drivers joined from Retreat and Claremont.
Several streets in the city centre became badly congested following the blockade.