Cape Town – Commuters were once again dealt a heavy blow as two of the biggest taxi associations caused havoc, torching buses and bringing early morning traffic on Cape Town’s busy N2 freeway to a grinding halt in protest over their treatment by the Western Cape government.
Cape Town authorities were on high alert.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith said the City of Cape Town was aware of the planned protest by taxi associations.
Early this morning, minibus taxis belonging to Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association and Congress of Democratic Taxi Association blocked the N2 to Cape Town as they marched toward the city centre to hand over a memorandum of their grievances to the Western Cape Premier Alan Winde’s offices.
The list of grievances included but are not limited to: the impoundments of taxis, unfair requirements for release of impounded taxis and other issues directly affecting the Cape’s taxi industry.
Smith said the march is expected to start from Hanover Street to the Provincial Legislature in Wale Street.
However, Smith said there have been incidents and the City’s enforcement agencies along with the South African Police Service (SAPS) have activated a response plan.
“Multiple safety risks have arisen from the protest and the City’s enforcement agencies together with the South African Police Service (SAPS), have activated their response plan to protect commuters using public transport.
“There have been reports of buses set alight in Nyanga as well as of taxis blocking the N2 road way in the vicinity of Khayelitsha and Kraaifontein. Emergency services and policing agencies are on scene,” Smith said.
He has urged members of the public to report any emergencies to the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700.
Golden Arrow Bus Services’ Bronwen Dyke-Beyer confirmed diversions have been made to assist commuters in communities caught in the violence.
“Unfortunately, it has been a rough morning across Cape Town. There have been incidents targeting our buses and as such please be aware that we may have to make diversions and other difficult safety related decisions.
“At present our Nyanga passengers should please be aware that we are operating from Nyanga SAPS,” she said.
This is a developing story.