Despite the taxi drivers blocking roads and burning two Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) buses in Nyanga Terminus on Thursday, its services continue to operate.
This comes after the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) in the Western Cape declared a taxi strike with immediate effect in reaction to the City of Cape Town’s implementation of the new amended traffic by-law, which has seen taxis impounded.
Gabs spokesperson, Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said that they hope to operate until all passengers have been assisted and they are working in close collaboration with law enforcement partners.
"We are operating our Nyanga services from the Nyanga South African Police Service (SAPS) as a precautionary measure," Dyke-Beyer said.
Metrorail has also confirmed that it will work with Golden Arrow to fill the void left by the minibus taxi strike in Cape Town.
Metrorail spokesperson, Zino Mihi said that they would do their utmost to transport every commuter to their station.
She further added that the taxi council, Santaco, had come through for the Metrorail service when it had challenges.
On Thursday, Santaco chairperson Mandla Hermanus said that all regions of Santaco in the Western Cape have resolved to recall all taxis from operating as of this moment.
Hermanus further added that taxi operators should go home until August 10, 2023.
The SAPS and other law enforcement agencies have responded to the current taxi strike with high-density operational deployments in Cape Town city centre and other affected areas to quell the threat and maintain law and order.
Police said preliminary reports suggest that the N2 in both directions are blocked by taxis, severely affecting peak-time traffic in both directions.
"Several incidents of public violence have been recorded where vehicles were stoned and set alight in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, Langa, and along the N2," police said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is deeply concerned about Cape Town’s current taxi crisis.
The chamber said that the escalating conflict between law enforcers and taxi operators threatens to compound transport problems at a time when most residents already feel the financial strain.
“We appeal to all stakeholders to commit to constructive dialogue aimed at resolving the impasse in the best interests of the society at large.
“As much as we all hate lawless taxis, a better understanding of the taxi industry will help devise more effective strategies to combat lawlessness.
“Taxis transport about 70% of people to work. They are an essential service at a time when the public sector is largely failing to provide affordable transport for the urban poor,” the chamber said.
The chamber further added that it is actively engaging taxi stakeholders to help find workable solutions, and they have held discussions with Santaco to gain insight into current challenges.